My Soul, Be On Thy Guard - Marcia Zimmerman
By God’s design, we are mothers … with specifically assigned tasks to fulfill. These responsibilities require careful attention and surrendered hearts, both of which can only happen when we are awake and keenly aware of our surroundings.
My soul, be on thy guard …
Let us not walk into the trap of loving pleasures more than loving God (2 Ti. 3:4-6). So many thousands of pleasures call for our attention. In this technological age, social networking presents a real pleasure trap that often involves more time and attention than we had first planned upon. Are we able to be the wife, mother, and daughter we have been created to be if we are on Facebook or Google+ many minutes of the day?
Shopping can be a pleasure trap for women. Living in a country where it is easy to be thing-hungry and to fall into the pit of excessive spending should raise constant caution in our hearts. Money is not ours to throw around as we please (even if we do not have enough money to do this, we can still have this attitude, when we wish we could buy whatever we want to whenever we feel like it).
When we need a break from our children and consistently use it on shopping, we need a serious heart examination. Why do we need a break from our children? Do we love children? Or are we just “pro-life”? Do we see these little ones as bothersome interruptions to our plans for today, or do we see them as living souls who have been sent to us from God for showing the way to eternal life by our words and deeds? Do we truly have a vision for multigenerational faithfulness in our families? If we do, then we will value our time with our children as an honor from the Lord to help another generation to know the reality of why we are here and what to do about it.
How do we spend our “spare” time? Do we waste it frivolously on immersing ourselves in “Christian” romance novels or self-help books filled with a mixture of lies and truth that will cloud our judgment and fill us with unrealistic notions for relationships, and dissatisfaction with the husbands we have married? Satan wants to set a trap for us. Oh, let us not walk into it! There is character training to be done, virtuous womanhood to teach to our daughters thru serving the family and others, and husbands to help in family life and whatever other ministry the Lord has him involved in. What a waste for us to walk into the pleasure trap!
Ten thousand foes arise …
The snare of gossip lies at our door. Think not that it isn’t gossip for us to share with uninvolved persons the details of wrongs committed against us and the way it affects us … the anger and the pain we must go through to forgive that person. Sharing these kinds of things in all their “gory” details to uninvolved persons opens the door for Satan to walk into our homes, dear sisters. Nor does it honor God by true, Christlike forgiveness which seeks Him first and does not reveal sins of others to more than the necessary persons. There is a way to testify of God’s saving power without gossiping. Let us seek the Lord on how to do that, for He has promised that those who seek Him with all their hearts shall find Him.
My soul be on thy guard …
The casual, me-centered philosophies of men today are infiltrating the churches at an alarming rate. Let us be careful that we don’t blame our personal problems on father, mother, sibling, or friends of yesterday’s past who may have failed us. Let us seek the Lord and walk in the simplicity which is in Christ … which says that our basic need is salvation from sin and a new life in Him. In Him old things are passed away, including the old habits that must die, the past painful experiences that do not need to plague us year after year with sinful habits and bitterness.
Ten thousand foes arise …
Watch out for the trap of feminism. This one creeps up on us in very unsuspecting moments. Let us place great importance on being biblical wives … truly reverencing our husbands and making our life about helping him, instead of seeing life as ours to fill with our own personal interests and goals.
My husband is a farmer. Not being of farmer “material” in my personal desire, I have to quite often yield my will to become flexible with the odd schedules during seedtime and harvest, or the manure hauling on a beautiful sunny day when I wanted to hang up the laundry outdoors. But God’s design is for me to be Lamar’s helper and so, practically speaking, this means sometimes being sanctified thru farming—serving tailgate suppers with a smile, or being thankful that I have indoor laundry drying options. My husband is also a leader in our small congregation. This means that I can help him by keeping the home quiet and clean on Saturday when he is studying for a sermon he plans to share at church the next day. Or by having guests over as part of working out God’s design for our family to be hospitable. Or by typing up some notes for him. Or by reviewing the family calendar with him before he goes to men’s meeting so that he is knowledgeable on how to plan activities involving the church family. All this requires me to be a manager of my time, health, and spiritual life so that I am prayed up, rested up, eating for health, and have a well-ordered household in order to help my husband who is the head of our home
Satan sets a snare for us to “receive” Jesus as our personal Savior, but not to have Him as Lord of our lives.
Is He Lord of our lives? Does He have first place in everything? (Col. 1:18) Does He have first place:
- In the words that we speak during tense moments?
- On those occasions where we do not agree with our husband on an issue?
- In the way we spend our days, the time God has given us to use for Him?
- In the way we practice (or don’t practice) hospitality?
- In the thoughts that we think towards those who have wrongfully treated us in life?
- In our attitudes when the plans we made for today fall to pieces by the intrusion of other circumstances?
My soul, be on thy guard …
The enemy wants me to claim autonomy, independence from the lordship of Christ, the “freedom” to live my life as I think is best for me.
Oh, watch and fight and pray,
The battle ne’er give o’er.
Renew it boldly every day,
And help divine implore.
Ne’er think the vic’try won,
Nor lay thine armor down,
Thy arduous work will not be done
‘Til thou obtain thy crown.
Fight on, my soul ‘til death
Shall bring thee to thy God;
He’ll take thee at thy parting breath
To His divine abode.
God has provided for us all things that pertain to life and godliness. He has given us power in the Holy Spirit to be an example of the believers in word and in deed. He has given us His holy Word to show us what He expects from us and to encourage us to believe Him when He says He has all the tools for us to accomplish His design for us. May our lives be poured out in sacrifice to Him who is our Supreme Example to follow.
Daughters, you too can apply these things to your lives. You have been placed in a family to have a safe environment in which to learn of Jesus. Use this time to be wise and to learn of your parents and other godly examples how to be a woman of God. Value what God values and shun what He hates. Love to honor Him by being under your father’s headship and learning willingly from your mother. May He bless you as you grow up in Him, with roots going deep into the soil of His Word.
Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
(1 Th. 5:6)
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
(1 Pe. 4:7) ~