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Beware of the Preacher with Rose Colored Glasses

While many preachers air their daily sermons on social media or television, something that became useful during the Coronavirus pandemic, some paint a much rosier view of life than the Bible details. I understand the desire to win souls to Christ, but when a stranger leads a seeker into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, don’t tell them all their problems will suddenly go away. Life is full of challenging trials, James 1:2-4, which are necessary to stimulate spiritual growth.

Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Padan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean. 21 And Isaac prayed much to the Lord for his wife because she was unable to bear children; and the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife became pregnant, Genesis 25:20-21.

If you read the Bible too fast, you’ll often miss what’s really going on. As Moses summaries the life of Isaac, he seemingly skips over the fact that it took Isaac and Rebekah 20 years to have their first child. From a modern perspective, most doctors don’t recommend women having children after forty due to the numerous health risks to the mother and child. From Rebekah’s point of view, her biological clock is running out as hope fades, replaced by doubt and fear. These are the trials that preachers with rose colored glasses often gloss over.

[Two] children struggled together within her; and she said, If it is so [that the Lord has heard our prayer], why am I like this? And she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 The Lord said to her, [The founders of] two nations are in your womb, and the separation of two peoples has begun in your body; the one people shall be stronger than the other, and the elder shall serve the younger. 24 When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb, Genesis 25:22-24.

Isaac prayed for the same thing for 19 years without any signs of God answering his request. Like a well written movie script, Moses fast forwards two decades to highlight God’s blessing of twins. Be careful what you pray for as it appears Rebekah went through a rough pregnancy, another point ignored by preachers with rose colored glasses. While everyone would prefer to hear a positive message, one of Jesus’ disciples writes about the need for Christians to go through fire, tested by God to refine faith. 1 Peter 1:6-7.

by Jay Mankus

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Do Not Hinder or Delay

Procrastination is a common default of human nature. While everyone has aspirations, dreams and goals in life, anyone who is afraid to fail will put this a hold temporarily. Once you fail to act or exercise, it’s even harder the next day to get back into living a disciplined life. Subsequently, as Eliezer is ready to return home to fulfill his mission, he refuses to wait another day, eager to act and proceed now.

Then they ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and stayed there all night. And in the morning they arose, and he said. Send me away to my master. 55 But [Rebekah’s] brother and mother said, Let the girl stay with us a few days—at least ten; then she may go, Genesis 24:54-55.

Anyone beaming with confidence, won’t be afraid to try something new. Meanwhile, those who have experienced an extended period of failure, will be more likely to put something off, delaying the inevitable in their minds. This is where Eliezer remains mentally tough, focused on prayer and God’s blessing for his quest to find Isaac a wife.

 But [the servant] said to them, Do not hinder and delay me, seeing that the Lord has caused me to go prosperously on my way. Send me away, that I may go to my master. 57 And they said, We will call the girl and ask her [what is] her desire. 58 So they called Rebekah and said to her, Will you go with this man? And she said, I will go, Genesis 24:56-58.

As I write this blog, I find myself more of the latter, delaying one major project as I’m afraid it won’t turn out like I hope and want. Perhaps, Eliezer ‘s success is more about a positive mindset, prayer and expectation that God will bless his journey. Whatever you’re currently facing in life, may you learn from Eliezer to do not delay or hinder what God has in store for your future. If you can live out Proverbs 3:5-6, God will take care of the rest.

by Jay Mankus

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