Thursday, September 15, 2016

Do you feel like you're just plodding in the faith?

So many people, especially women, are hopscotching the globe founding important ministries, establishing orphanages, 'empowering' native women, or teaching to packed arenas, that it makes the rest of us humdrum ladies feel, ahem, left behind. Should we be doing the big things? Can we do the bigger things? Are we doing enough?

All I do every single day, is go to work. I come home and I study my Bible &pray, I write, and if I have enough energy after that, I read a bit. Then I go to sleep and do it all over again. On the weekends all I do is grocery shopping, laundry, cook the week's lunches ahead, and study a lot more and write a lot more. I go to church on Sunday late afternoon. Bed time. Repeat.

I'm not skipping off to host conferences or giving interviews or unashamedly on tour or in Rwanda on a storytelling trip. I wash dishes in obscurity in Comer GA and my job is to help kindergarteners tie their shoes and learn their ABC's. It's not glamorous. It doesn't seem like it's very much at all of a contribution to the kingdom. I mean, Beth Moore is a nearly 60 year old grandma busy helping her daughter through her unbiblical divorce and interacting with her grandchildren yet keeps a a packed schedule. Younger women also seem to be doing the big things, the glamorous things, like Jennie Allen and Raechel Myers and Kari Jobe. As for me, I'm just plodding.

Well, let's hear it for the plodders.

First, if you are a mother, you are in a highly esteemed Biblical position, You are doing such wonderful work for the kingdom in being a foundation block in society, in raising pure young women and strong young men for the next generation. I thank Mrs Paton and Mrs Spurgeon and Mrs MacArthur and Mrs Johnson and all the other Missus' who raised men and women who in turn, impact the kingdom.

Secondly if you think of the life of Paul most often we think of the highlights. His speeches before thousands, his dramatic miracles, his appearances before kings and leaders.

However, Paul also walked. Thousands upon thousands of miles, he plodded. He trudged. He hiked. From one town to another, in all weathers. In addition, Paul sewed tents. (Acts 18:3). He did the mundane. He wrote letter upon letter to friends. He fundraised. The in-between miracle times in his three missionary journeys were rife with the mundane and the insignificant, except nothing about a Christian's life is insignificant. Not Paul's and not mine and not yours. The Lord cares for all our concerns. He clothes us and feeds us and He even knows the number of hairs on our heads. To Him, it's all significant.

As for the women of the New Testament, Dorcas was beloved not because she was on storytelling tours of Rwanda empowering women for great things, but because she sewed. She made clothes for the poor and she "was always doing good". (Acts 9:36). She lovingly helped, humbly and quietly, within her own sphere.

Mary, mother of God? Do we hear of her going on her book tour, telling about the angel that came to her one day, and the miracle of the three wise men or hyping up audiences with her harrowing tale of narrowly escaping the massacre of the innocents? No. Whether she was in Egypt or in Israel, Mary simply raised her Son. She brought Him up in the faith and managed her household and she raised Jesus' siblings too. A few times a year she made the pilgimage to the Temple and the rest of the time, she did what women then and onward have done, she lived in her home and she was faithful to the Lord through His word.

Here are two articles about the plodding kind of faith that endures. That kind of faith is cement. It's bedrock.

The first is by Kevin DeYoung, titled, Stop the Revolution. Join the Plodders.
It’s sexy among young people—my generation—to talk about ditching institutional religion and starting a revolution of real Christ-followers living in real community without the confines of church. Besides being unbiblical, such notions of churchless Christianity are unrealistic. It’s immaturity actually, like the newly engaged couple who think romance preserves the marriage, when the couple celebrating their golden anniversary know it’s the institution of marriage that preserves the romance. Without the God-given habit of corporate worship and the God-given mandate of corporate accountability, we will not prove faithful over the long haul.
This one is one of my favorites. It's by John MacArthur, titled An Unremarkable Faith
Meet Larry, a thirty-six year old Science teacher. Larry married Cathy 12 years ago. They love each other and enjoy raising their two sons. Larry’s life wouldn’t hold out much interest to the average citizen. His Facebook account doesn’t draw many friends and nobody ever leaves a comment on his blog. In fact, most people would summarize Larry’s life with one word—boring. But not Larry. Teaching osmosis to junior high students, playing Uno with his kids, and working in the yard with Cathy is paradise to him. But the real love of his life is Jesus. Larry’s a Christian. He’s been walking with the Lord for more than 20 years.
Not that founding orphanages isn't worthwhile or something women or men can't or shouldn't do. Not that going on a missionary trip to Africa isn't something Jesus wants us to do. But the big doers are fewer than we think, despite the hype. Most of the church is populated with plodders. As Kevin DeYoung concluded his article,
Put away the Che Guevara t-shirts, stop the revolution, and join the rest of the plodders. Fifty years from now you’ll be glad you did.



8 comments :

  1. Elizabeth, why do you call Mary "mother of God"? This is Roman Catholic terminology, even at a times a swear word they use. But the scriptures never call her by this name. She is simply called Mary, or the child's mother, or the mother of Jesus. Jesus on at least three occasions had the opportunity to call her mother but He didn't. Instead, twice He called her 'woman' and another time He pointed to His followers and said "Behold my mother and my brethren!" See John 2:4; John 19:26; Matthew 12:49

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  2. Great, encouraging article! I'm happy to be a stay-at-home-wife/mother plodder!

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  3. Thank you so much for your article. I do very much have the same sentiments that I am just plodding along and not helping in a 'revolutionary' way. I stopped going to church when I was 18 and now more than a decade later I need to be back. I had some issues with hypocrisy within the church and used it as my bold excuse to fade away. Life changes and I now have a 14 month old and his soul is my top priority. I have been praying for God to show me His truth so I’ve really been delving into the Word and listening to a slew of MacArthur video and audio sermons. His God-centered approach to teaching scripture is so refreshing to me. He could care less what man thinks and is only concerned with what God thinks. I praise God for John MacArthur. I often feel confused about how to respond to my Catholic boyfriend about spiritual matters. He does not go to church and could care less about God. His father raised him Catholic so there is some discord between us on theological things(even if he doesn't truly believe). He only entertains me because of the level of importance I place on our baby's God-fearing upbringing. My boyfriend thinks that church is the same thing over and over again and that he won’t get anything from it. I half proposed that we go to church with his dad on Sundays because he always asks him to go. I feel like some church would be better than no church but then I don’t want my family to continue to be brought down by false gospel. I’m in a little rut right now praying for a shovel. It's why scripture says not to be unequally yoked but here I am.

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    1. Kudos to you for recognizing your need to return to church. Yes, there are hypocrites in church because there are sinners in church. There are liars too, and gossips and murmurers and complainers and thieves. We're all sinners and the great things is that we can be forgiven by Jesus if we commit one of these after salvation. We do keep sinning but the difference is He has made us aware of our sins, to know His standards, and the availability of His forgiveness even when we stumble. I'm glad you're setting a good example for your 14 month old.

      I say this kindly, but you are not unequally yoked. You're not married. Moreover, if you and your boyfriend are continuing to sleep together, you are gravely sinning because fornication is a sin. Your boyfriend is right, he ISN'T getting anything out of church because Catholicism isn't faith. It is a false religion. It's not true that some church is better than no church because each time you attend a Catholic church you're worshiping a false god and that is blasphemy. Going with him to the Catholic church IS being unequally yoked, for you're partnering with darkness. There is a church finder at The Masters Seminary website (the seminary MacArthur is president of. You can find a church led by one of his graduates and you can be pretty sure you'd be getting truth at that church

      I'm thrilled you're delving into the MacArthur videos. He preaches truth straight from the Bible. Why not search for some of his videos that speak to where you are in life right now? They will help you because he will explain the scriptures and that means you will understand how much Jesus loves you and how much He wants the best for you, which is a pure and holy life of peace. :)

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  4. Thank you! Oh and this scripture came to mind :)
    Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." John 8:58

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  5. "Mary, mother of God"...just a descriptive phrase to distinguish which Mary of the bible is being referred to, is how I read it...
    Great article...I will continue to "plod"...

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