I have a question is marriage restoration really about marriage restoration? Is the marriage really what God is concerned about? Or, is there something elsesomething greater in God's economy at the root of His purpose for marriage restoration? What do you really want?
After years of ministering in the realm of marriage restoration, I've found myself weary. Not weary of ministering the Word, not weary of offering encouragement and hope, but weary of not being able to truly express God's heart in it all. This has caused me to cry out to Him "what is it all about?" and "why aren't we seeing more marriages restored?"
Even in the Christian marriage ministries flooding the internet today, so many have failed to see the heart of marriage restorationperhaps because some aren't ready to accept it, perhaps because some are blinded, and perhaps because some don't want to consider that the problem might be "us"!
I've "heard" (through reading hundreds of letters) the hearts of many whose lives are devastated, their hopes dashed, and their futures shattered by a spouse who chooses to leave, divorce, and maybe live with another. And, I "hear" (through reading hundreds of letters) how God has given moments of hope, promises of restoration, and offerings of encouragement as spouses "stand" for their marriages. But something is wrong. Something is preventing the hand of God from moving in so many marriages. The enemy has managed to restrain God's promisesnot because God is unable, but because we've enabled our adversary through our own ignorance.
God says, "It's time! It's time to straighten out your mess and live according to My Word, not for the restoration of your marriage, but for Me!"
I believe He's disgusted with so many. Many have turned marriages into idols, living for the day of restoration, measuring every blessing against the standard of restoration, all the while ignoring the heart of God.
God is not so interested in marriage restoration as He is in YOU as an individual, YOU as an integral part of His corporate bride, YOU as the object of His lavish love. Not your marriage, not your covenant promises, not your relationship with your spouse, not anything but YOU.
So many lives are out of focus. Life's goal has become marriage restoration. Your life and breath has become seeing spouses return home. Hearts has become captured by the hope of one day being loved by a mortal man/woman who can in no way compare to the love of immortal and eternal Christ. We have neglected such great a love we have through Christ in the hope that we could feel the arms of one mortal man/woman holding us securely to his/her breast while the security we have in Christ has been minimized at best--at times totally ignored.
The Spirit of God who beckons us to Himself has been so horribly offended--the One who draws us into deep and abiding relationship with Christ, into a place where every need is satisfied in Him and Him alone. Instead many seek a physical/natural satisfaction while neglecting such a total and eternal satisfaction offered in Christ.
It's time to repent yes, I said repent! Yes, you are saved and trying to serve the Lord. But so many have turned restored marriages into the goal you press forward toward rather than relationship with Christ, our eternal hope in glory.
Never once in God's Word do we see Him say, "I press toward the goal to win the prize of marriage restoration"! Rather, we read, "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Phil 3:14)
God hasn't called us "heavenward in Christ Jesus" so our early marriages can be restored He called us "heavenward in Christ Jesus" as He says later, because "our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." (Phil 3:20-21)
It's about Him! It's about Jesus Christ, our Savior, our Lord, who is in the business of transforming us into His likeness and His image. It's about loving Him regardless what happens here on earth. It's about counting it all joy whether or not marriages are ever restored in our lifetimes! It's all about surrender. It's all about sacrifice! It's all about laying down our hopes and our dreams in order that Christ's image might be formed in us and His will perfected through us!
LET GO OF YOUR MARRIAGES! Forget about them! Forget about that one you once loved who has hurt you so horribly! Forget about needing the physical touch! Forget about the memories of physical love. Forget about your dreams of restoration! FORGET IT ALL!!!!!
This is NOT what God intended when He called you to marriage restoration!
God called you to walk a path of sacrifice. Sacrifice means death. Death means severing the ties to every earthly thing that brings us pleasure or gives us hope. Death means mortifying the flesh (the desires of the flesh). Death means giving no life to our hopes and our dreams and our wishes and our visions. Death means laying down everything we ever hoped to achieve in this life in order that we might apprehend Christ!
Stop reading the Word looking for promises of restoration!
Stop reading the Word looking for justification for your self-righteousness!
Stop reading the Word looking for confirmation that your spouse has sinned against you!
Stop reading the Word looking for hope for a future life of happiness with a restored marriage!
Rather, READ THE WORD LOOKING FOR LIFERENEWED LIFE IN CHRIST, TOTAL SATISFACTION IN CHRIST, AND THE KEY TO TOTAL SURRENDER TO HIM!
You say you've surrendered, but you've not not as long as marriage restoration is the motivation for your relationship with Christ. And, sadly, the Lord sees the hearts of so many who are so easily swayed by circumstances seen in the natural realm, particularly in the state of the marriage.
Our hearts must be fixed! Not fixed on our spouse's reactions and responses to us, but fixed on the HOPE that is in us hope for eternal and total satisfaction in Christ!
Find that place of satisfaction in Him, people! You'll never be happy and neither will you ever find fulfillment outside of satisfaction in Christ.
Jesus COMPLETELY satisfies our every longing! He is more than enough! He MUST be the object of our TOTAL affection and the reason for our EVERY breath!
Lay your marriage on the altar, light the fire, and let it be consumed as a sacrifice unto the Lord. Then, take the ashes and throw them to the wind so there is nothing leftnothing to distract you from total devotion and dedication to the Lord.
Lay it all down, give it all over, and pursue Christ. Not for what He can do, but simply for who He is and what He has already done!
He's more than enough let Him be more than enough for you!
Jan Ross 2007
Heart of God International Ministries
Jan Ross, President and Co-Founder of Heart of God International Ministries, is a passionate and outspoken defender of the Word of Truth and the Great Commission. http://heartofgodinternational.com. For more devotional material by Jan, please take a moment to visit www.hgdevotions.com.
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