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"Many times they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Ps 129:2).
Welcome back for part two! Here's a quick re-cap of the previous blog. If you slacked and didn't read Matthew 4: 1-11, at least consider re-reading Part One. (Scroll down. It's right underneath Part two.)
When we left off, Jesus was in the wilderness and on the heels of a forty day fast, where Satan was attempting to defeat him with a combination of three things:
- The Word
- God given desire and ability
- Weariness due to deprivation
Three points to consider:
- Jesus is the Living Word, who only acts on what "proceeds from the mouth of God."
- Jesus has the God-given desire for food when He's hungry, coupled with the ability to satisfy that hunger.
- Jesus is fatigued due to an extended period of deprivation.
If you've read this story, then you know, straight away, Satan says, Dude, if you really are the Son of God, turn these rocks into a pizza. (Okay. These actual words are not in the holy writ, but you get the picture.) A very hungry Jesus replies, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" The enemy makes another two attempts to deceive and each time he begins with the phrase: It is written. Jesus, in turn, responds with: It is written.
Why would Jesus, who is perfectly capable of quieting the rumblings in His belly, respond in such a way?
I'm no theologian, but I'll tell you what the take-away is for this Bible-study girl. God created me with the desire for marriage. (A til'-death-do-us-part-marriage.) In Christ, this desire is coupled with the ability to uphold my marriage vows. And to fight for my marriage if it's in trouble.)
My marriage was never easy. For many years, (he) struggled with drug addiction. I was the classic co-dependent. When he was "clean," let's just say moderation was never his strong suit. (Freebie #1): The roots of addiction will forever seek some form of expression if they are not severed with Truth and Light. (Freebie #2) The root of addiction is fear and it feeds off selfishness. I don't say this to be all judge-y. Perhaps you battle addiction, yourself. I have friends who are recovering addicts and they go to great lengths to live an honest life. They know, an addict who protects his/her addiction, is an addict who does not yet desire to be made well.
That being said, there came a time when both my God-given desire and ability to remain married was clearly trumped by the free-will of the man who is no longer my husband. These were facts I did not want to accept. And I found myself trying to keep a marriage alive in wilderness territory. Long deprived of the nourishment God assigns to marriage partners. I was so weary, I could scarcely remember my identity in Christ. So guess who showed up, touting 1 Corinthians 13: 4-9? That's right, SNL Church Lady fans . . . Satan!
- Love SUFFERS long and is kind.
- Love does not seek its own.
- Love bears all things, believes all things, endures all things.
- Love never fails.
- Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
THIS is WHY it is SO important that we learn to recognize the voice of God for ourselves. Hebrews 4:12 says the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discern-er of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
I sought wise counsel. I met with two pastors. One reminded me of my wedding vows. The other agreed I had biblical grounds for divorce. I have a deep reverence for both men. Each quoted scripture. That's when I knew I would have to hear the final word from God. Because I was the one who would have to walk it out.
At the end to the day, 1 Corinthians 13: 4-9, is not "what proceeded from the mouth of God" in my circumstances, but rather Mark 5:34. And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction."
By the way, the word well, translates to safe and protected. The decision to follow Jesus out of my marriage has been absolutely heartbreaking. But I am safe. I am protected. I am free.
How many times have I unknowingly exploited the Word of God by hand picking scriptures that only speak to my desire and abilities (granted, God-given), with no regard for the written word God would speak directly to me and my circumstances. Jesus didn't make a move without first hearing what proceeded from the mouth of the Father.
Thank you, Jesus, for rockin' my world, rescuing my soul, and reaching into the recesses of my heartbreaks. Amen.
You are not alone,
Published on Friday, June 13, 2014 @ 5:17 PM CDT