6/25/11 – Do your choices produce the results you want? – Pastor Shane Idleman

As stated last week: We are in desperate need of broken, humble men—men who are not afraid to admit that they need God; men who are more worried about prayer than about status and recognition; men who petition God rather than position themselves.

While we may want recognition, respect, and honor, God first wants brokenness, humility, and a servant’s heart. Many men want the recognition, but not the brokenness; the honor, but not the humility.

While dads jockey for position, build reputations, chase careers, go out with friends, and so on, its often mothers who pray, petition, nurture, care for, and lead.

Men begin leading your family in the fear and admonition of the Lord. You’re not called to be a passive, weak, indecisive partner—you’re called to protect, lead, and guard your family.

You are to initiate prayer, defend your wife, shepherd your children, make your home a holy sanctuary. You’re called to fight the enemy, not flee from him.

Our nation is looking for character, our wives are looking for leaders, are kids are looking for fathers. Dads…wake up. Life is a battleground, not a play ground!

The state of the family today is disheartening. Men have largely forsaken their God-given role as spiritual leaders in their homes…that, no one can deny. One of the reasons is because we are not applying wisdom to our lives.

One way to gauge wisdom, or good judgment, is to consider the results. In Matthew 11, the Jewish people were having difficulty grasping the unexpected nature of Jesus’ ministry. Many alleged that John the Baptist, the one chosen to prepare the way for Jesus, was demon-possessed and that Jesus was a glutton and drunkard. Instead of arguing with them, Jesus made this statement “But wisdom is shown to be right by what results from it” (vs. 19).

Godly wisdom bears godly fruit. During Jesus’ ministry, people received healing and deliverance, and many repented and turned to Christ as their Lord and Savior. This was obviously not the work of demons, drunkards or gluttons. Jesus encouraged them to look at the end result and not at how things appeared.

We gauge good judgment by considering the outcome. Do your choices produce the results you want? If not, consider who’s leading you—God’s Word or the cultural value system and mindset. Does our present society promote good judgment and/or produce good outcomes? Is society building godly leaders and developing admirable character? Let’s take a look: All too often…

  • Daily Bible reading and prayer is called fanatical while working twelve hours a day is called success.
  • Talking, chewing gum and making noise were the top three public school problems in the early sixties. Currently, rape, robbery and assault could lead the list.
  • We build our career and neglect our marriage.
  • Corporate executives are praised and family men frowned upon.
  • We protest war but say little about abortion.
  • We can act out murder, adultery and arson while playing a video game and call it “healthy” entertainment.
  • We’ve increased our wealth, but decreased our values.
  • We take better care of our cars than our bodies.
  • We search the heavens for answers and turn from the One who created them.
  • We mock Father God but worship mother earth.
  • Pride is considered an asset and humility a liability.
  • We know more about our favorite athletes than our wives and our children.
  • We’d rather be seen leaving a bar than leaving a church.
  • Televisions break from over-use while Bibles become dusty.
  • We raise our hands and praise our favorite team, yet appear handcuffed in church.
  • We call ourselves a nation built on Christian principles; yet reject those principles that made us great.

Sadly, we call this progress.

Although we see these attitudes around the world, it is most disheartening to see them in America because we have known better and have drifted so far from the truth. Granted, it can be discouraging to read facts like these, but don’t allow a declining culture to erode essential qualities in your life. You can make a difference and reverse these trends as you follow God’s commands, seek direction, and pursue the opportunity that He has given you to make a difference. Be grateful and consider it a privilege that God has chosen you for such a time as this. Allow wisdom, through God’s Word, to direct you: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her” (Proverbs 4:7-8).

Shane Idleman is the pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship. KTLW (88.9FM in Lancaster) features his radio program at 7am on Saturdays, and Sundays at 6:30pm beginning in February. Westside Christian Fellowship meets Saturdays at 5:30pm at 6015 W Ave. J-8. For more info., visit WCFAV.org, or call (661) 524-6610. Shane’s books, articles, & radio program can be found at ShaneIdleman.com.