Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Life Lessons From a Dental Chair

In 2009 I went to the dentist for the first time in possibly ten years. Yikes! I had been taking our children for about a year and each time I went in, I would tell the dentist, "I'm next." I was in no rush to go because I had this foreboding feeling that, when I opened my mouth, things were not going to be good.

I knew something wasn't quite right when my teeth were bleeding every day for about a year. This is NOT normal. When I would brush my teeth I would hear, "Dentist. You need to go to the dentist." I would shake the thought off like one would shake their head knowing a fly was trying to land on their nose. Well, just like a pesky fly keeps coming back until smashed with a fly swatter, the thoughts would come every day until I finally went to the dentist.

My apprehensions were correct. I reluctantly went to the dentist and laid my life down in that dentist chair for some stranger to go poking around in my mouth. I was horrified when the dentist told me that I had periodontal disease, needed a root canal, two crowns, and at least five cavities to be filled! Well, to make a long story short, through much pain and agony I got all of the dental work done and today I have healthy teeth and gums. I was also delivered from dental phobia! I am no longer afraid of going to the dentist. Hallelujah!

Proverbs 2:6 says, "For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." One of the ways the Lord gives wisdom to the Body of Christ, is through the five-fold ministry gifts, namely your pastor. However, like many fear the dentist, many fear going to church and heeding pastoral instruction. The result is that even though people know things are wrong in their lives, the fear of change and getting the issue dealt with is not greater that the the things that are wrong. Therefore, saints and sinners alike remain dysfunctional, continue on their own way, knowing that something is wrong.

The problem with continuing on your own way is that the longer you wait to deal with the issue, more damage is being done. My fear of going to the dentist was rooted in the fear of pain which was directly connected with the ultimate fear of death. However, my waiting didn't make my teeth stop bleeding.

No one connects death with not going to the dentist, but serious dental issues can lead to more serious infections which can lead to death. So, no, you may not be dead, but all it takes is one more drink, one more smoke, one more lie and you will either find yourself dead or damaged beyond repair.

Today I pray that you would hear the Spirit of The Lord ministering to you through my life lessons from the dentist. Don't be a fool and despise the wisdom, knowledge, correction and instruction that comes from the Word of God through your pastor. Let me warn you though. Things may get a little painful, and you may even cry out in pain. Just remember, Hebrews 12:11 says, "Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Allow the Word of God to teach and train your soul to trust the Lord. Then you will be able to show through your transformed life what is that good, perfect and acceptable will of God.

Finally, let me say that you will not physically die through this process. Somehow, the devil had me duped into thinking that I was going to die at the dentist. Like I said, you are not going to die by the hand of your pastor dealing with your issue. But, you will learn how to crucify your flesh so that your flesh issues will not kill you.

Prevailing In Him,

Dr. Sheila

Monday, October 29, 2012

Remain Faithful

Remain faithful. Seems simple enough. Nevertheless, how many of us struggle with those two words? People, saved and unsaved, have difficulty remaining faithful in marriage, money, exercise, church, good eating habit, study habits etc., etc. Why is this?

Well, before answering the question, let's look at the life of the wisest man of his time, King Solomon. He was a good king and began his reign asking the Lord for wisdom instead of things (1 Kings 3:1-9). He displayed his loyalty to the Lord in the dedication of the temple (1 Kings 8:23, 61). However, in the end his heart was turned away from the Lord. How could this happen to a man full of such wisdom?

1 Kings 11:2-4 tells exactly how this happened. It says, "The LORD had clearly instructed the people of Israel, ‘You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.’ Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the LORD. In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the LORD his God, as his father, David, had been."

King Solomon, the wisest man of his time, had his heart drawn away because of disobedience. He did not remain faithful to the Lord. God clearly told the people of Israel not to intermarry with the pagans because they would turn the Israelites hearts away from the Lord. Solomon was no exception. He did not remain faithful and therefore his heart was turned away from the Lord.

The Word of God instructs us the same in Romans 12:1-2. We are not to adopt the worlds ways. We are to remain faithful to the Lord and His word and let it transform our hearts and minds to His will, word and way. However, if we do not remain faithful, we are not exempt from having our hearts turned away from the Lord.

So, do you see how some may struggle with remaining faithful? It is solely due to the fact that the world's influence has a stronger pull that the influence of the Holy Spirit. In order to reverse this curse, you and I must remain faithful to being transformed by the renewing of our minds. This is the only safeguard against the world's gravitational pull. There is no other way.

Don't go out like Soloman who refused to follow the Lord completely. Cling to the Lord for He is our life and length of days. As long as we remain faithful to Him in our lives, all will go well with our lives.

Until next time...

Prevailing in Him,

Dr. Sheila