It’s been a… rocky few months, to put it very lightly.
There are obvious changes happening. In my life, the most obvious would be the arrival of my second child in just two short months. And then, there have been less apparent things, both good and bad, that are changing the course of my life. It’s not even only my life, but everyone’s. So many things have happened. Maybe someday I will write about them, or publish the small amount that I have written in private. I’ve certainly thought about them a lot, to say the least.
Really, though, it’s what all these experiences have taught me that’s important. So, that’s what I will share.
Before I go on, let me say that these things are significant because of the way I learned about them. I sought after the truth, and it was given to me through God’s word, the changes in my heart, and confirmation in my spirit. To me, it wasn’t a journey of self-discovery. Rather, it was through active seeking of something outside myself, something constant, and I have been blessed to know that it is available to me, as it is to all of us, through Jesus.
Marriage has been an exceedingly prominent theme in my learning from God. At first, I wasn’t quite sure why I was learning so much about it, but then one thing happened, and then another, and then another. I realized that God wasn’t seeking to teach me about my own marriage in particular, but marriage as a whole. His design for marriage is undeniable. His intention for marriage is clear, which is why it was given the name “marriage.” Those who seek to do His will recognize these truths are written perfectly in His Word. Though He has been teaching me about marriage for many years, I was recently called to surrender my perspective again, so I could be affirmed in the truth.
Broader than the topic of marriage, I’ve learned about redemption. It is certainly related to marriage, in that many marriages need it. But, redemption is always possible, always available, and it is relentless. I’ve learned that there is no limit to what can be redeemed. I’ve heard a lot of “it’s too late,” and a lot of “it’s hopeless,” but because of Jesus, these things are just not true. Our God is absolutely without limits, as is His love and goodness. We are the ones who resist redemption.
Which brings me to another big lesson about resistance. It’s so clear to me now, but before I just couldn’t see it. When we seek change, reconciliation, healing, or any manifestation of goodness, we focus so much on having something visible and tangible. What God wants, though, is a spiritual change. The Bible says ask and you will receive (Matt. 7:7), but there’s a catch. If you are resisting the change that will happen in your spirit, why should God give you anything? What does He owe you? It has been a lesson I’ve had to learn over and over, but it finally makes sense. Only when I allowed my heart to be surrendered and work to be done within would I get the physical reward that I was seeking. I had to care about what God cares about first, and let all other things be second. God wished to bless me, and I praise Him for choosing to do that! But I can’t say I cared any longer for the wealth I received. It was dust compared to the treasure I got from within.
I have learned so much about wisdom. James 1:5 says that if you ask for wisdom, you have it. I realized that, even though I had received wisdom so many times, my attitude when asking for it was misguided. Although there are times when wisdom collides with you in obvious ways, you must believe that you have it when you ask for it. It’s almost as if it’s already been given to you before you even ask. Continue reading James 1 and you will see that doubt is what snatches wisdom from your grasp. Doubt distances you from God, so the message is really this: trust Him. He will save you if you walk into destruction, so don’t be afraid. Ask for wisdom, and leap.
It goes very much alongside preparation. God prepares us, and He prepares others. So, wherever you step, you must trust that He has prepared that path for you, and if it is the wrong way, He will intercede. He has prepared you for this moment your entire life. When the Jews doubted and became afraid, He punished them! We get so much validation from others for being cautious and smart, when the reality is that we are fearful and doubtful. We forget that Jesus wants us to go to God like children. To the world, it looks like foolishness. But it is freedom. Believing that we have been prepared for whatever will come next is pure, childlike freedom.
So then, what right do I have to be afraid of anything the Bible says about the work of a Christian? Should I fear rejection? Persecution? Suffering? If I am wronged, should I be unloving? Unwilling to reconcile? This has been the most recent lesson for me. I am still struggling, still probably going to sin, still learning. But I trust in God’s work. And I know that the instructions I need to live this life are available to me. I’ve learned some of them already. And I have total refuge in my Lord, the one who so graciously gave me instructions, and even more, sacrificed His only Son so that when I failed to follow them, I needn’t be punished.
The same is true for you as well. If you have never accepted Jesus into your heart by following the instructions in Romans 10:9 to confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that He rose from the dead, then right now is the moment to do it. You want to be set free from the chains of this world, and be born again into a new life. That is salvation, and my friend, it is free for the taking.