Sometimes we sit back and think nothing I did today matters I just coasted along on this endless routine and can’t see anything I did or said that impacted one soul. My most heartfelt prayers did not even make the mountain tremble, never mind moving them. My head NEVER shutdown while I was attempting to have my quiet times.
Maybe it’s the circumstances. Maybe it is our priorities. Maybe it is the season. Maybe it’s you and I. One thing we can be assured of is that it is not God.
When we are dissatisfied or feeling out of step with life however, that is definitely a problem.
So we do a gut-check. Am I embracing sin? Not doing something I should be doing or doing something I should NOT be doing? Paul said, “I know that nothing good lives in me—I mean nothing good lives in the part of me that is earthly and sinful. I want to do the things that are good, but I do not do them. I do not do the good things I want to do, but I do the bad things I do not want to do. (UGHH!!) So if I do things I do not want to do, then I am not the one doing them. It is sin living in me that does those things. So I have learned this rule: When I want to do good, evil is there with me. In my mind, I am happy with God’s law. But I see another law working in my body, which makes war against the law that my mind accepts. That other law working in my body is the law of sin, and it makes me its prisoner. What a miserable man I am! Who will save me from this body that brings me death? I thank God for saving me through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:18-27 NCV
So we need to address our sin yet sin is more than physical/moral things we do and don’t do. Never forget the first commandment. Are we loving the Lord with ALL of our heart, soul and mind? God won’t drop a letter in the mail to tell you that you are running behind in your faith account. He won’t sign you up for a marriage conference because your love has grown luke-warm or He is being taken for granted. You will just feel His absence in your day, in the quiet, then your home, then you sit down bewildered and numb in our life.
At that point don’t worry about all the little things that are undone around you or in you. Step back and simply focus on drawing near to God.
If your marriage was coming undone you would step back to re-engage with your spouse SO that the core would be strengthened to handle everything else that life brings your way… together. You’d have to look at and address both of your individual issues that are interfering with unity and love.
In faith it is a little different because the head of that marriage and house is Christ and He is perfect. So when issues arise there is only one party that has to address where they slid off course… that would be us. Thankfully God is rich in grace and abundant in mercy and is not quick to anger HOWEVER after He speaks to us about a matter if we refuse to acknowledge and be honest about it – we will most definitely have a problem.
Grieve His Spirit with a headstrong attitude – walk away and slam the door like you would your spouse (oops… maybe that was just Lenny & I) and He’ll leave you there. He doesn’t have to change. Yet even in our rebellion / stubbornness His love remains. But He won’t coddle us to make us feel better or pretend there is not a problem. It is on us. And just like our marriages here on earth if we don’t move toward healing and coming together, we will find that we are drifting apart and that just ushers in more issues.
The solution / healing is a three step process but definitely not easy, especially if you / we have been stuck awhile. We’ll head to James 4:7-8.
Step 1. SUBMIT.
Warning this may hurt. SUBMIT. In Ephesians Paul says wives are to be submissive to their husbands and husbands are to love their wives like Christ loved the church and gave His life for it. In James, Christ IS the husband and every believer – male and female alike – are called to do the ‘S’ word… SUBMIT.
The definition of SUBMIT is to accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person. The sad reality is that we all just kinda want to run our own game like we were independent or single. We want to follow our own idea and dreams… and so to yield to Christ is to HAVE TO surrender our thoughts, desires, wants and maybe even needs. And we bow up (puff up) especially if we can morally or consciously justify our plans as good… not ungodly.
Now be honest… in games and sports, with siblings and spouses NONE of us enjoy having to bring out the white flag of surrender, but in order for us to walk yoked to Christ that is a requirement.
So are you graciously submitting to God in ALL arenas of you life?
If so great then we are ready for step 2.
Step 2. RESIST THE DEVIL
Shoot, I just said I was submitted! Sorry there is more.
If you are married and you want an incredible relationship with your spouse then you have to do more than just not have a physical affair. That flirty co-worker… back ’em up. That show you are watching… turn it off. Those things/people/social media things that continuously keep you distracted from your spouse… put them in check. That is the same in marriage here and in our walk with God. You and I have to be intentional about not allowing things / people / plans to divert us away and lead us back into an attitude of independence aka rebellion. And Satan ain’t going to give up on pulling you away because you said, ‘I’m done.’ one time or a dozen times. Nope. He doesn’t like to lose even more than you. He will wait and scheme. He’ll be back around, so arm up with the Word. If Jesus had to – yuupp we had better get on it. It is necessary.
Step 3. DRAW NIGH TO GOD AND HE WILL DRAW NIGH TO YOU.
Lenny and I didn’t like to be apart. The longer we were married the more vital it became. We had become one and functioned best yoked as such. Making up wasn’t just fun because of the intimacy shared it was because when we disagreed or were apart it was like we had lost part of ourselves… it was incredibly painful. God loves us close, so close that the man after His own heart said that he desired to live and abide in His shadow. Jesus even told his closest friends to abide there. (John 15)
The moment you stop abiding in Him the devil will see the space in between and begin to creep back and the moment satan sets foot in your house you begine to mentally, physically or emotionally reclaim your rights to your life and plans and dreams. Then submission will get kicked to the curb in the chaos that ensues.
Such is life. A vicious cycle of learning, repenting and returning UNTIL the moment your faith matures to the point that you, like Christ, can distinguish the difference in your will, God’s will and the devil’s schemes.
The good news is that God is forever faithful. The good news is that in Christ we have power over the darkness and the enemy.
The only variable is you and I.
Want to have an incredible life? There is only one hurdle we have to get over… ourself.
Bless our hearts.