Month: July 2014

Adultery, Truth, Convenience, and making God Fun Size

Some rights reserved by dnguy3n

Some rights reserved by dnguy3n

Okay, I’m not even sure where to begin with this one. If you read this blog regularly, you know that I am on a very intimate journey with God as a “Stander“, one who refuses to move on, even though his or her spouse has believed the world’s opinion about marriage and divorce. I’ve shared a lot of scripture here. I’ve shared a lot of prayer. I’ve shared some of my deepest pain.

I have not shared a lot of personal testimony (how God is working specifically in my life). Frankly, I assume that most of you would immediately tune me out if I started sharing what God has been doing in my life since my wife left for the far country. Why? Popular Christianity has diminished God so much that we do not believe that He is who He is. As a result, anything or anyone that speaks against that illusion is marginalized as a little crazy. I know this because that is how I had always felt. Charismatics, Pentecostals, and the like always came off as a bit cult-ish to me. I wanted nothing to do with that mess. Then, my wife left. I decided to wait on God to bring her back. Then He started speaking to me and intervening in my life. How do I share this with others without being labeled as a crazy person?

This Sunday, one of our pastors gave a sermon on the true nature of God, with a focus on how we’ve diminished God, and it occurred to me that this is not only the key to denying truth in our lives to avoid its inconvenience, but also how we can deny the supernatural in our lives. My argument is that both lead to apostasy and set us up beautifully to become servants of the enemy, rather than of the God we profess to know and love.

 

The Truth

If you profess to be a Christian, the truth is not relative. The Word of God is the truth. It does not make suggestions. It was inspired by the being that created all things, that holds all things… That’s scary stuff. It should be very very sobering, particularly if you live like most of us do in the USA.

Incidentally, our culture has programmed us to not see any real awe in anything. So, we put God in a little fun-size package and go on with our life not following the truth and asking Him to bless us in our self-centered pursuit of happiness. After all, our happiness is the most important goal of our whole life…

With this diminishment of GOD, then we experience a decay of TRUTH. For God is truth, true truth, the source of all truth and without God, truth cannot remain. We exchange the truths that would provide the norms for human life for the prevailing lies that are convenient. (Brian Rice)

I agree with Brian Rice, that we get more “truth” today from pop culture than we do from the Bible. We’re practically marinated in it. No wonder so many of our prodigal spouses have said that God wants them to be happy, so they left to pursue happiness with someone else. We have countless pop culture gurus to thank for the pervasive believe that our feelings are paramount and that we can live without sacrifice, self-denial, or discomfort. We just need to focus on what makes us happy. Thanks a lot, Oprah!

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ John 8:31-32

So, we see that truth is intertwined with obedience, obedience to the Word of God, or Christ’s teaching. Further, Jesus connected truth and obedience to our relationship with Him. This is not a doctrine of works, but merely a statement on the reality one will live in if he or she is truly saved.

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. (John 14:23)

Notice, that Jesus promises to come and make a home with those who obey His teaching. Not everyone who says, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the ones who do the will of God. I spent much of my adult life saying Lord, Lord, every Sunday and failing to do the will of God daily or even weekly. Now my very family is broken and my spouse has been seduced by the enemy. In the middle of this wreckage, God stepped in and reminded me of a few things:

  1. He is real and so much bigger than all of my circumstances.
  2. He bought me with a price.
  3. I’m wasting that gift by not living into it.
  4. He never promised I wouldn’t suffer.

Then I started reading this Bible. The Word of God, after all, is full of inconvenient truth for both standers and prodigals.

11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.” (Mark 10:11-12)

In other words, just because your prodigal spouse left before carrying out your affair doesn’t mean that it isn’t wrong. It also provides a sobering warning to us.

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)

In other words, most of us standers are not innocent of this sin that we hate so much.

In fact the Word of God tends, by and large, to move us out of the flesh and into the spirit. It instructs us to move away from a focus on self and into a focus on others. If my goal is to fulfill my own happiness, then I am focused on self. I am against God at that point. If my view of God is appropriate, then how can I be against God without feeling a little uncomfortable?

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:16-26)

So, the acts of the flesh are pretty much what our popular culture tells us leads to happiness. Seriously. Turn on the TV or radio. Listen to some popular music. I remember preachers trying to tell me when I was a kid that Rock music killed house plants so it was destroying my soul. It turns out that it was actually the accumulation of repetitive messages about how to live my life that was killing my soul. The tune to which it was set was largely irrelevant.

Oddly, up until recently, I have found the fruit of the Spirit almost impossible to attain, even in small amounts. Incidentally, what was missing in my equation was the Spirit. Yes, I was saved. Yes I’ve been baptized. Unfortunately, my denial of God’s supernatural power left me unable to embrace the Spirit.

The Supernatural

Some rights reserved by Werner Kunz

Some rights reserved by Werner Kunz

God is either omnipotent or impotent. God is either God, or He is not. We have watered Him down so much. Where is the supernatural in Christianity today? We’ve given it over to the snake handlers and acrobats who do back flips during worship and “flop around like a piece of bacon” (Bill Scott) when the healer forces them to swoon. If you speak of God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit as thought they’re alive and active in your life, speaking to you and intervening, people assume that you’re starting to get just a little too radical and should consider finding another church (and some new friends) at best or consider admitting yourself to a local psychiatric facility at worst.

This brings us back to the truth, the Bible, which is either the Word of God or a collection of nice stories. Do you believe the new testament? The existence and prevalence of evil spirits in the new testament is not presented as metaphor or as a reality that is dealt with there, at that time, never to resurface again. It is merely a fact of life. This should concern us, as believers, but it does not. Our cultural coating of Teflon, that Brian Rice notes keeps us from comprehending the reality of God’s greatness, also convinces us that such things all had medical and psychological explanations. It’s all science. There is nothing going on in the spiritual realm, you see. Those people were just backward and primitive. So, is the Bible truth, or is it sort of true once you take out all the primitive supernatural stuff? At that point, how compelling is it?

Fellow standers, how many of us have had a spouse who suddenly went from being a man or woman of God, who was devoted and loving to a completely different person, almost overnight, with no logical explanation? My wife’s Christmas card to me told me that I was her “superhero”. Three months later, she informed me that she never loved me the entirety of our 10 years of marriage. She was suddenly cold and distant and a bit haunted. That is the work of of evil in the heavenly realms, or it’s a sudden onset of insanity. Either way, there is little doubt in my mind that the kingdom of Satan is not behind it. If you’re a stander and you’ve never read the testimony of a returned prodigal, then stop right now and read one of all of these. They will change your view considerably:

This is a spiritual battle. All of life is. Once you professed Christ, you joined the war. You can say you are a pacifist, but you’ll still be attacked. We have been both warned and equipped.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19)

I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. (Luke 10:19)

Again, this is either the Word of God or a collection of nice stories. Jesus was either for real when he was talking about that stuff, or he wasn’t who he said he was. Would the God of the universe, incarnate, make stuff up for the primitives or dumb it down? Like it or not, this stuff is real. Every day, you are in a spiritual battle for your very soul, and often that of your loved ones. You had better put on your armor and work on your Kung Fu because Kansas just went bye bye.

Apostasy

Apostasy is not a word you hear often anymore. “Apostasy in Christianity refers to the rejection of Christianity by someone who formerly was a Christian” (Wikipedia). In practice, it commonly refers to falling away from the truth. So, an apostate is someone who has once believed and then rejected the truth of God. There’s that whole truth thing again. Apostasy, then, is a rebellion against God because it is a rebellion against truth. What truth? There’s actually a formal code of primary and secondary essentials, primary non-essentials, etc. The bottom line is, the Word of God is the truth. If you profess to be a Christian, then the truth is not relative. It’s right there. Think it’s okay to leave your spouse for someone you like better. Keep going to church every Sunday and doing devotions with your kids at night, but you are still in rebellion against God.

Remember, that Jesus promises to come and make a home with those who obey His teaching. Not everyone who says, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the ones who do the will of God. Further, in the end of the story, victory is only guaranteed to those who overcome (Revelation 2, Revelation 3). The key is to overcome. If we don’t overcome, we are overcome (Derek Prince). There is no middle ground. There is a very real spiritual war going on. Whose side are you on?

That’s all I’ve got…

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Love, Faith, Fear, and the Eraser

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭18‬ NIV)

Some rights reserved by KristinNador

Some rights reserved by KristinNador

I’ve noted before, on this blog, that God does not save us from the fire, but stands with us in it. The question is, will we get burned, and how does one quantify the burn? Todd White raises an interesting and frightening point when he says, “if it’s about you, you will get eaten and you will get burned” (Todd White). That’s frightening. I am in a divorce, one of the most painful ordeals of anyone’s life and am expected to make Godly and wise decisions concerning my children in the midst of that ordeal. Every day, I question, how much of my reactions, thoughts, and feelings are about me and how many are about God and my kids? Then, the enemy is constantly involved, framing the messages of my spouse in such a way to make me look selfish and unreasonable if I disagree at all. How much truth and how much manipulation exists in those arguments? How do I know when to die to self and when to stand against something? What am I supposed to do? It’s difficult to think clearly in the heat of battle. That still small voice is hard enough to discern when one is at peace.

Today, it really sunk in that my family is going to the beach in three days with a counterfeit in my place. That is EVIL and no one is standing up against it. I want to just scream at them all! It feels so wrong and unjust and unfair and every one just seems to wish I would “go away” or “disappear” so they could get on with their lives and pretend nothing happened. It so much more difficult to die to self when those around you actually wish you where dead. That’s not pessimism or depression. That’s just an observation. My wife, my in laws, and my neighbor’s lives would be made much more convenient if they could simply erase me from the picture. Then, the little fantasy that everything is okay, and nothing is amiss would have no interruptions. Unfortunately, I am here, asking for things like being able to see our children on a pretty regular basis, to have a say in where they’ll live and where they’ll go to school.

So, I ask Him to give me my daily bread, equipping me for each battle as it comes up. I cry out to Him daily and do my best to trust Him to care for me and speak on my behalf.

In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.
I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause. (Psalm 25:1-3)

Good morning, Stander

goodmorningThere’s something about waking up… The enemy often takes that time, looking to the empty pillow next to me, to remind me that I am “alone, forsaken, and rejected“. Every morning I have to remember to reach out to God and “remind” him that if I seek Him, I will find Him. I must tell Him that I need Him to “show up” in my thoughts and throughout my day. I am not indeed “alone, forsaken, and rejected“, and I need God to to make that not such an intangible thing…

Yesterday, I did not do that, and my day was long, unproductive, and depressing. Today I am begging God to be here with me… to walk with me and sit with me and work with me and talk with me and remind me that I am not alone! I need that to be more than a nice spiritual truth… I need that in reality. I need it to be tangible.

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jer 29:12-13).

Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope (Ps 119:49)…

Remember…

Remember your word to your servant,for you have given me hope (Ps 119:49).

I’m tired.

I’m frankly exhausted… There’s a lot I’m supposed to be getting taken care of for the divorce that I am not. Recently, my prodigal asked, “What do you do all day when the kids are with me?”. I wasn’t quite sure, actually. Honestly, I get a lot of little chores done. I eat on occasion. I do get things done that need to be taken care of. The rest of the hours and minutes that are in my day are spent in prayer. I’ve found that I’ve become a bit more deficient in the sustained attention department since this whole thing began…  I only have the stamina to actually focus on any kind of work for about 10 minutes. Then I find myself running to the back yard to pray or the deck to read my Bible. This must be that elusive thirst for God I’ve read about for the 20 or so years but never experienced…

My prayer, basically falls into three areas throughout the day:

  1. Reminding God: Remember your word to your servant,for you have given me hope (Ps 119:49). This is the majority of my prayer time throughout the day. I feel that I have a promise to claim that God can and will restore my marriage. I remind Him to get on that constantly. Here’s my premise for this habit. Give it a listen, you will not be sorry.
  2. Drawing near to God: Hear me as I pray, O Lord.Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming” (Ps 27:7-8). I need more of Him in my life. I suck at this, and I need His spirit in abundance. He’s inviting me to spend more time with Him.
  3. IntercedingThis is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life (1 John 5:14-16). In addition to mine, there are a lot of prodigal spouses on my heart.

Ultimately, I feel a bit unbalanced. Still, I have not heard, “stop seeking Me” yet. Off to pray for some fellow standers and their prodigals… It’s 10:00.

Being transformed and refusing to whine

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:4-9).

Some rights reserved by JD Hancock

The above passage frustrates the heck out of me. Between the words above and James 1:2-8, I find myself perpetually perplexed about how to jive my deepest gut-level feelings with what I know walking in faith looks like. This has been the theme of my last week on this planet. Like many standers in the midst of a divorce, I’m at the place where a new attack of circumstances comes in daily. Sadly, all too often I allow myself to become discouraged and distraught. I share my circumstances with my friends and fellow standers, rather than encouragement received through my deepening relationship with God. Honestly, sometimes you need someone to share your sorrows with, but am I allowing Satan to use me as a tool in a different way from my prodigal? I loved this statement from today’s Charlyne Cares:

Our prodigals are in the “far country” and are being blinded and deceived by Satan, but what about us? Are we allowing Satan to blind and deceive us? Are we allowing Satan to diminish our Savior? Are we allowing Satan to minimize God’s love for us? Are we allowing Satan to define who we are in Christ? Are we allowing him to take our blessing and our victory? (Minerva in Texas)

Again, I think it’s okay and even healthy to feel sorrow and grief over our situation and circumstances. I think, though, that I need to avoid having that become the theme of my life, that I share with others. I think that i have often failed in this regard, in my personal interactions and on this blog.

Romans 12:2 tells us, Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. How do I renew my mind?

If we follow the instructions in these verses, our minds WILL be TOTALLY renewed and there’s no way we could have anything but peace! The challenge is retraining our minds to think that way, because anyone standing for marriage restoration knows how much time we spend doing the exact opposite of what these verses tell us, especially when it comes to the things we spend most of our time thinking and talking about! (FAM Blog)

My friend and fellow stander, Bill, said the other day in one of our chats that speaking life over everything is what”renewing” your mind is about. I have a different attitude and I believe due to that, God has torn down more walls for me (Bill). I think that we would all like to see more walls come down. So let’s at least try this. I have no great strategies to share. I will try to take captive every thought of complaining and try to focus on the good in my circumstances. I will try to pour out my grief and grievances to God alone, as He is the only one who can do anything about it anyway…

So let’s take up our Armor of God and step up! We are not standing or fighting FOR the victory; we are standing and fighting IN victory! Remember the promises. Remember that He made the heavens and the earth by speaking it and watching as the sun appeared, the clouds, the stars, the moon. God’s Word went out from His mouth and did not return to Him void; instead the earth and heavens came about. God has sent out His Word for each of our marriages. He has spoken the Word and it will not return to Him void; instead a healed and restored marriage will come about. Know that the circumstances can become overwhelming, but if you keep your eyes on the one being who holds all the answers, who holds all the solutions, who holds the truth, you will see the manifestation of your promise come about. (Minerva in Texas).

Wow! I love the idea that, We are not standing or fighting FOR the victory; we are standing and fighting IN victory. I need to tell myself this daily. I need to let my countenance know. I need to walk in victory and speak life. Will I still cry my guts out to God in the back yard? Yes, of course. My challenge is then not to go to the grocery store and walk around with a rain cloud over my head and talk to everyone I meet like Eeyore. It may be a bit too abstract to think about God’s greater purpose for my pain and about the fact that “it is finished“. My own sanity and my own walk with God, however, is not so abstract.

Finally, I love the idea from Pastor Tim Dilena, of Brooklyn Tabernacle, that the difference between intercession and gossip is whom we share the information with. I need to share my circumstances with my Lord not everyone else. I need to pray more and worry less so that Jesus can show up and get us off the program.

I know that God is working, so I have to get out of His way, and give Him the credit.

Mowing the lawn & praying the Psalms

photo-2I’ve never been a guy who loves mowing the lawn. Over the last year, I’ve begun to take more pride in getting it done, though. Mainly because I was mowing the lawn of our family home, the place we were supposed to raise our kids and grow old together. We built it in a beautiful setting in the small town my wife grew up in. Now, every time I make another pass and turn back toward this house on the mower, my heart hurts a little bit more. I find myself crying out to God with each pass and soon tears are freely pouring from my eyes that have nothing to do with my allergies.

I find myself crying out loud from the mower, asking God to end the injustice of my circumstances, to rescue me quickly, to save me from being put to shame for my obedience, to give me some direction, to reveal the truth and to destroy the lies and illusions of the enemy. “Come quickly, God, and save me!” I cannot comprehend how the lover of my soul could allow the enemy to use my help mate, my one-flesh spouse, my best friend, and my covenant partner against me so openly and not stop it now…


As a modern Christian, I’ve often struggled with these feelings and how to express them in prayer. The writers of the Psalms did not have such hangups. Incidentally, much of the language I find myself using from the back of the old Wheelhorse, comes directly from the Psalms. If you’re feeling a bit put upon, abandoned, or neglected in your stand tonight. If you’re struggling with how to “get in God’s face” about your pain, your hurt, and your desperation, without sounding ungrateful or snarky, begin by praying the Psalms. Go grab the Message or, better yet, the Remix, and just get on your knees with a box of tissues and go for it.

 

May I recommend the following:
  • Psalm 42 (NIV / MSG)
  • Psalm 43 (NIV / MSG)
  • Psalm 69 (NIV / MSG) I recommend stopping at verse 20, unless you can visualize the real enemy… see below.
  • Psalm 38:9-22 (NIV / MSG)
  • Psalm 70 (NIV / MSG)
Remember, that if you are praying some of the imprecatory Psalms, such as Psalm 69, in their entirety, that your enemies are not your spouse and / or any non-covenant partners. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). If you can visualize the right enemy, go for it. 

Psalm 43 The Message (MSG)1-2 Clear my name, God; stick up for me
against these loveless, immoral people.
Get me out of here, away
from these lying degenerates.
I counted on you, God.
Why did you walk out on me?
Why am I pacing the floor, wringing my hands
over these outrageous people?

3-4 Give me your lantern and compass,
give me a map,
So I can find my way to the sacred mountain,
to the place of your presence,
To enter the place of worship,
meet my exuberant God,
Sing my thanks with a harp,
magnificent God, my God.

5 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
He’s my God.

 

You will notice that in almost all of these Psalms, the writer recognizes at the end the God is still with him and continues to praise. Remember that. Even when it really sucks, and we can’t comprehend the delay, God is still worthy of praise… and probably doing a good deal more behind the scenes for us that we’ll ever know or comprehend.

Unhappy Independence day…

Covering your garment with violence…

stopdivYou cover the altar of the Lord with tears,
With weeping and crying;
So He does not regard the offering anymore,
Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands.
Yet you say, “For what reason?”
Because the Lord has been witness
Between you and the wife of your youth,
With whom you have dealt treacherously;
Yet she is your companion
And your wife by covenant.
But did He not make them one,
Having a remnant of the Spirit?
And why one?
He seeks godly offspring.
Therefore take heed to your spirit,
And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.

“For the Lord God of Israel says
That He hates divorce,
For it covers one’s garment with violence,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
“Therefore take heed to your spirit,
That you do not deal treacherously.” (Malachi 2:13-16)

I just ate my 4th of July hot dog, grilled to perfection in my microwave, sitting alone in the kitchen of the house I designed and help build for my wife… I never asked for this level of independence.

I feel violated. I cannot think of another way to describe it. What I am experiencing in divorce is no less demeaning, destructive, or excruciating than most felony offenses. Yet, this is perfectly legal to do to someone. I actually would prefer to have been beaten within an inch of my life or even murdered to what I am going through right now. I literally have never felt such pain in all of my life, and I have experienced some serious pain.

If you’ve stumbled across this because you are a Christ follower who is considering divorce, STOP. Forget the escape clause. Read the whole Book. Read all of the stuff in red. Read everything it says about marriage and divorce from Genesis to Malachi to Matthew to the Epistles. GOD HATES DIVORCE! He hates it for good reason.

Divorce should be illegal. I would rather have been murdered. That’s really what this is. That person, the one person to whom we exposed our nakedness and vulnerability, the most significant person in our lives has essentially said, “I wish you were dead“. Then they come to take their share of everything you have together, often running off to share it with someone new.

Whatever lies Satan has planted in your mind, ignore them.

  1. No, your kids won’t get over it!
  2. No, you won’t be happier in the long run. You are in rebellion from God, and you will have no peace.
  3. No, your spouse does not deserve “better”. Your spouse deserves you!
  4. Love is not a feeling. It is an act of sacrifice that you agreed to before God until one of you dies.
  5. The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence, it is greener where you water it.
  6. This lover that seems so exciting and understands you so well and is so perfect for you is committing one of the most atrocious and evil acts in the entire scriptures and is drawing you into it. That person does not truly “love” you if he or she desires to destroy your soul or your family. They may lust for you, but they do not love you.

If you had to go to God for a divorce instead of an attorney, what would you say? How would your current argument hold up under the scrutiny of the Lord of hosts, who created the institution of marriage and joined you on your wedding day? Good luck.

Listen to God now, and save yourself some pain and detours. I know he’s speaking to you. He may be screaming at you to stop, but you are ignoring Him. You want to be “happy”. How can God not want you to be “Happy”? Take some time and seek the Lord.

 

Struggling to Stand?

from conversations with God and fellow standers.

Bill, intercessory prayer warrior, musician, and writer.

Designed for Bill, intercessory prayer warrior, musician, and writer. Copyright Bill Scott 2014. Check out his web site.

Standing for marriage restoration is hard. We’re people who are mourning the death of our most significant human relationship, yet no one has died. We’re people who have been rejected by the one person to whom we exposed our nakedness and vulnerability. We’re people who have been called to love while often being actively attacked and hurt by the person we love more than any other. The enemy is not content to attack our spouse alone. He desires to see us fall as well, and we struggle a lot with thoughts of despair and hopelessness. We ask questions like,

Do I really believe that with enough faith, a prayer will come to pass?

Does God even care about my situation?

Am I crazy?

Am I wrong; is it perhaps God’s will that my spouse find happiness with this other person?

Does God even have any power or authority in this situation?

What am I doing wrong that this continues?

God, do you at least care about my children??

I believe, and am reminded by everyone that God will take care of me. That is the pat answer we often get from Christian friends who don’t want to commit to anything that may or may not happen. God will take care of me. That might mean He will bring my spouse back, but to most people that means he’ll keep me alive and fed until someone else comes along and I settle for a life with that person.

Meanwhile, I know he has answered prayers that I have prayed. Lately, he’s been answering prayers in a spectacular and very specific way. Of course, he’s answering them all, except that one. I do believe that we should pray audaciously in his will, which we can learn through the scriptures. In my case, that means praying for a fully restored marriage. I wish that with enough faith, I could “name it and claim it”, like some kind of charismatic Bible sorcerer. Unfortunately, faith does not make me Gandalf or Belgarath. I cannot short change myself, though, I am an adopted son of the God of the Universe. Will he not take care of me? Will he not answer me when I pray according to his will?

I have to believe him. I have to believe his word. I know he’s a lot more worried about my holiness than he is about my happiness… Despite what the song says, happiness is not the truth. The truth is the truth. Happiness is a feeling. My wife is pursuing happiness. That’s why she’s in rebellion against God and destroying her family… I have to do what I know is right. I’m not saying this does not hurt, and I’m not saying that it does not suck. I am saying that God doesn’t spare us from the fire… He stands in it with us, when we obey. Unfortunately, the alternative is to give up on God, and I’m not prepared to do that. I was sharing these ideas with some fellow standers, and one of them said:

I think we shortchange God when we think He doesn’t take our desires and happiness into consideration. I’m not talking prosperity Gospel. He does want our holiness, but He made our human natures and, I believe, places many of the desires of our hearts in there. Obviously not the ones that go against His word and will, but seriously, who among us would have picked this route for our lives? I have heard specifically from Him that He’s using the love He put back into my heart for my husband as the motivation for me to continue to press into Him as hard as I am. I’m not pursuing Him just to get my husband back, but we all know we would probably not be pressing as hard and as urgently if there weren’t the pain and urgency. I’m not using Him…He’s using me, as it should be. I don’t believe He sets us up on wild goose chases, and He knows no matter how holy we become, we will still be disappointed if He does not bring the restoration He’s placed in our hearts. He would disabuse us of our belief that our marriages would be restored if they weren’t going to be. He would change our hearts and ease our pain. His love is flawless. I believe that if He meant for us to live single the rest of our lives, He’d enable us to be content in that and to even desire that. As a wavering (I don’t know if I can smoosh the God I have experienced back into the Church I’ve been a part of all my life) Catholic, believe me, I know MANY Sisters who were called to live that single consecrated lifestyle and they are ecstatic and fulfilled in it. If we believe He can and will change the desires of our spouse’s hearts, why would He not do that with us if restoration was not His intention? He’s not cruel. He is the epitome of the perfect Father. If you were your own child, would you not figure out a way to change your child’s belief about something you knew wasn’t going to happen? And that’s us, with no omniscience, or omnipresence or all the powers of the universe at our fingertips or perfect love. He absolutely is using this to perfect us in many ways, but He uses the surly cashier at the grocery to do that and everything else we come upon everyday. He’s asking us to have radical faith to the point that we’re viewed as delusional and desperate and cuckoo. That’s when He’s working big things in people’s lives. I know I’m not desperate. I could easily walk away from this and find another man, but then, I’d have to find another God who is not the One True God, and that’s what I’m not really willing to do (@TitusWoman13).

God made me. I’ve just been re-hashing that idea in my devotions this week. God made my human nature and the desires of my heart. It is not ungodly to desire reconciliation with my covenant spouse. I have to face the fact, though, that it isn’t entirely right to desire that reconciliation more than my relationship with God. Admittedly, in my heart of hearts, I would give up all the spiritual growth I’ve experienced in the last few months and all the lives I’ve touched for the better, just to have my wife back. That is my selfish sin-nature, though. It shouldn’t be an “either / or”… God desires a “both / and” for us… so I feel that I have to get to the point where I’m seeking God for God and not for God to bring my wife back so that she can be my God again.

Meanwhile, I have to believe. I have to believe in his plan. I feel called to stick with this. I feel called to do what I am doing. Unfortunately, the alternative is to give up on God, and I’m not prepared to do that. My friend, Bill, had one of these candid conversations with God, and he received the word, “do you want to fulfill a need or the plan?” I may be able to deaden my pain a little by pursuing my flesh, but I’ve essentially said, God can’t do this. What else then can he not do? Heal a sick loved one? Protect my children from harm? God is either omnipotent, as the Word says, or he’s impotent. I think a lot depends on the box we put him in or don’t put him in.