Going Deeper with the Message:

Compromising With Kids
by: Michelle Lemley

This Sunday, Andrew shared a powerful message about Daniel, and how he trusted that God was in control. He shared one particular quote by D. A. Carson that really spoke to me. It reads:

“People do not drift toward Holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”

Now, I wouldn’t call myself a control freak, per se, but let’s just say I’ve been known to throw internal temper tantrums when things don’t go the way I want them to. I guess that’s where my kids get it. Recently, we’ve been butting heads about bedtime. With school starting next week, we’ve been more conscious of their bedtimes and trying to get them to sleep earlier. We’ve always started getting ready for bed at 7pm, but somehow over the summer we’ve slipped into the habit of starting later and later. It started with a night out when we got home late and they went to bed at 7:30pm. Then they wanted just one more snack, so it was 7:35pm. And so here we are, prepping for school to start, and they’re used to going upstairs at 8pm. What a rude awakening, and what a fight. 

My oldest son is especially frustrated with this turn of events. He’s 10, and wants so badly to be in control of his own schedule. We have had more than one conversation about why mommy and daddy are in charge of keeping him safe and healthy. And bedtime isn’t exactly the easiest time of day for rational discourse. 

And so the line from Carson’s quote, “We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance” has hit especially hard (not that he was pulling any punches with the rest of it). I have found myself drifting toward compromise, telling myself that a little change won’t hurt here and there. But there are some times in my parenting where I need to stand my ground and recognize that, while none of us may like it at the moment, in the long run it’s the right choice. 

Just as these moments are difficult in my house, similar choices can be difficult in my relationship with the Lord. Just as my kids need healthy and firm boundaries to know that they are safe in my care, I also need the reassurance of knowing that my Heavenly Father is in control and that I can trust Him to always be with me through it all. 

And that’s not a place where He will ever compromise.


Living out the Message:

Yet Will I Trust Him
By Barb Barnhart

This week, Andrew shared with us about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These three men can be seen as the epitome of trust. No matter which way the results from being thrown into the fiery furnace went, they would still trust God. Their response to King Nebuchadnezzar was:

But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.” –Daniel 3:1

Job was another person in scripture that demonstrated trust in the midst of adversity.

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him” –Job 13:15 (KJV)

Two years ago, my brother was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. I got the call on Valentine’s Day of 2019. This was my fiery furnace! I watched my brother, who was physically fit, go from a strong 190 pounds down to a weak 130 pounds in less than five months. All the while, I prayed that God would heal him. His family needed him. I needed him. He was so very sick, unable to eat or do any of the things he had loved. Yet he trusted God. He knew that no matter what happened, He would be with Jesus one day.

This is part of my journey where the statement, “yet will I trust Him” became a question. Yet will I trust Him? My trust was very small and seemingly insignificant. Yet I will trust Him. When my brother passed away in July of 2019, my trust was at a very low point, hanging by a thread. I was angry and sad! My brother needed to be here to see his youngest son, who is on the Autism spectrum, go to Life College at Coastal Carolina University. He was supposed to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding. Right now, he should be holding his brand new baby granddaughter. Moment by moment I hold tightly to God’s promises, though I don’t understand. Yet will I trust Him!

This trust I have in my Savior is one that grows as I purposefully believe that He is at work in my life. I cry. I read His Word. I sing His songs of praise. I pray. 

I know that everyone has had or will have a fiery furnace time in their lives. We each must decide how to hold onto the trust we have in Jesus. It is a blessing to know that as we walk through the furnace of our despair, we are not alone. God is with us. Caring for us. Protecting us. Loving us. You can decide…