Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Heart to Obey is at the Broken Heart of Every Believer

Deep down anyway. Sometimes we weak-in-the-knees, easily-distracted-by-shiny-things -type people need to be reminded of our first love and what He desires from us.

The mercy of God becomes dim and unexciting and unamazing at times for all of us if we let the world (and Oprah) distract us and believe their lies about what is important.
Self seeks to elevate itself above everything. The bluntness of my last post I need to admit, is due to seeing deception in the heart of another - knowing that I WAS IN THE MIDST OF BEING DECEIVED by the same thing - and then being terrified.
It was so incredibly subtle how I was trying to excuse myself from obeying the Lord.
'But, but, but....' was my line of the month.

Recently, my husband and I were at a meeting with the sweetest lady from my church and her husband, they are probably 30-40 years older than me, and the wife had gone through some pretty long-term deception herself. She's been married for about 45 years or so ......and I was super interested in her insights into long term covenant keeping with a fellow sinner.
She told me of a time when she was deceived/distracted from God by her emotions. She was legally separated from her husband after 18-20 years of what she and HE describe as a miserable marriage. Somehow (I'm not sure exactly) her heart began to break before the Lord's words (commands) of what He had done for her (in taking the penalty of the wrath of God) and what he commanded of her as his child. She went back to live with him after 2 years apart, as hard as it was living with a man like him, she hoped to love as Christ loves us.
She and her husband sat across from my husband and he nearly wept as he spoke of how selfish a man he was and how he hurt his wife by being distant and not caring for her as Christ would have had him. But they are a tremendous testimony to the Covenant keeping blessing of marriage that God has given us to show unbelievers by our lives how God keeps his promises - because His children do too......even if it costs us our comforts, our pleasures - even our lives.

I sat stunned. I have felt like this is whole "dying to self" was just too far beyond me that I was unable to do it.

That encouraging story came into my life shortly after a woman in my bible study (let's call her 'Mary') had shared her testimony of God's amazing grace in her marriage. She had been married 16 years and with sorrow on her face for her disbelief in God - she pulled no punches saying "I was in sin, I hated my husband and I felt like there was no hope"

But the Lord did as he had done with the lady I mentioned before....He opened up the word to 'Mary' - not showing her what her husband was doing wrong, but what SHE was doing that was disobedient, and something in her broke.
She sought prayer from other sisters and counsel on how to RENEW her mind......since she was convinced that it doesn't just "happen" by reading a verse here and there and enjoy a light and frothy Christian song once in awhile.....but by a conscious effort to change a sinful habit. (her sin was her responses to her husband in pretty much everything)
Doing what God requires of us starts is tremendously different than I thought - with blessings to my soul that are beyond my wildest dreams.
It starts with our thinking rightly about our own sin as BEFORE the Lord....since what others do to us will be irrelevant when we go to the judgement.

There will be NO "But he did..."
God will say to me, "That is not your concern, What did YOU do in response to being treated unfairly Jennifer"

Anyhow, back to the story....'Mary' was determined to obey God and seek first His get into a right relationship with God, you cannot ignore your sin.
So, first thing she did when her husband talked to her in a way that would have provoked her to snap back - was to remain silent. No reply is better than a wicked reply. She would go into the other room to pray to the Father to love her then enemy and keep her covenant.
After making a practice of not responding to his short attitude, she then started to go back into the room with a kind word to him. She laughed as she remembered how shocked he was when she not only didn't fire something back, but talked sweetly to him, in a way that showed love and a care for what he was talking about...trying to look past his attitude and sin - right into his win him over by love that is not shaken.

She teared up as she spoke about how her husband is now her very best friend, and how week by week, month by month - he has been becoming more and more of a Godly man in his speech and conduct and has been in the word leading their marriage as God had commanded him.

Sisters, she is fulfilling God's design for us by being a helpmate for her husband, that he might become the man God wants him to be. (by our being the women that God wants us to be) God has blessed her 1000 times over in her marriage for her obedience and seeking to live rightly related to Jesus in righteousness.

"In your presence there is fullness of joy"

THIS is the reason for my last post.
I'm desperate for Christ and I want to bear fruit that proves that I'm connected to the vine. That He would get the glory and I would get the joy from being rightly related to Him in all of the details of my life.

I want to change regardless of what my husband does. (though- Praise the LORD I have a wonderful man, who reflects Christ more and more every day.....I'm incredibly blessed to have a man who desires to change too)

In an effort to not be so harsh I ended up re-writing my reply to the comments on the last post. Knowing that I'm conversing with people NOT just thought patterns has been helpful to consider.

Please, no more 'anonymous' or 'nameless' comments. If you disagree, be accountable for what you say too. (my friends rebuke me for things that are too harsh, and I am thankful for their insights)

With love from above,


At 9/03/2008 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now this post is RIGHT ON. Thanks.


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