I have been reading some pretty distressing articles on the breakdown of people’s faith. As proof of this, it examined the condition of many “Christian” marriages. The statistics do show that most spouses graciously support their partner through certain degrees of misfortune, but when the hardships and the complaints drag on and on, even the most saintly love reaches a breaking point. It appears that in the very best and strongest Christian marriages times come when either partner may view the other (however temporarily) as no longer a lovable or godly person at all, but as a sniveling and self-centered little worm. And, the “vows” that were made fall to the expedience of adultery.
Couples make the vow “for better or for worse.” But, when it becomes worse and one’s spouse has a nervous breakdown or contracts some lingering terminal illness, there are few wives or husbands who will find in themselves a natural desire to keep on being smilingly supportive. Notice I said a natural desire. There is always an abundance of grace for those who reach out for it, but sadly, they prefer to separate.
My friends, we need to find within ourselves the ability to surrender to our Lord. We need to follow Job, who had witnessed all hell coming against him, yet remained faithful: “In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” why? How? because his will was wholly yielded to his Lord!
The horrible truth is that many who call themselves children of God, in one way or another, do indeed serve Him for the good they get in this present world and in the world to come. Rather than serving Him for Himself alone, and would curse Him to His face if they experience any trial of significant proportion.
I don’t think anyone has said it better than John White:
“Our quest must be the quest of a suitor, a suitor too blinded by beauty to descend to calculating self interest; too intoxicated with love to care about the cost or the consequence of his suit. It must be the love of Mary, sitting at Jesus’ feet, enchanted by his words and grace, but deaf and blind to the frustration and fuss of her resentful sister (Luke 10:38-42). An enchantment of that sort will not be broken, nor its pleasures denied.
“It is time for us to throw spiritual pragmatism out of the window. We come habitually to God carrying shopping baskets and armed with a checklist of needed purchases when all the time He wants to put His arms around us and draw us to Himself. We know no other way. Custom and tradition have drilled us in the art of celestial bargain hunting. It isis time for us to forgot about our spiritual performance and our spiritual needs and gave ourselves up to passion.”
To paraphrase Tozer, “within the modern churches, some are experiencing a growing hunger after God Himself. They desperately long for spiritual realities and they will no longer be put off with mere words, nor will they be content with correct “interpretations” of the Scriptures. Those are great, but they are not enough! They thirst for God, and they will never be satisfied until they have drunk deep at the Fountain of Living Water!” It is no longer enough to talk about these wondrous things, they want the “Life” our Lord promised us. Tozer also pointed out, “it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself.” So, how long will it take us to discover this?
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add youm—a to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.