CKI Mini-book: Is God Working?
During Easter, Christians all over the world turn their thoughts to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. By going to the cross, Jesus demonstrated in a most unselfish way the truth of His words: “Greater love has no man than he lay down his life for his brother.” Although laying aside our own desires, needs and agendas is difficult and often painful, we can only victory in our lives by taking up our crosses daily and dying to ourselves.
Many lost hope when Jesus lay in the tomb; their hopes for victory over their enemies and a new way of life seemed dashed forever. As His agonies ended, Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When our marriages seemed dead and hope recedes, it is easy to think that God has stopped working in our lives. The Savior’s resurrection 2000 years ago gives proof that, even when things seem darkest, God never stops working with and for us.
A lady called our office and asked, “Do you really believe God is working in our situations – especially when we can’t see any results?”
Not seeing immediate results is what faith is about. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The Greek word translated “substance” literally means a “standing under” and was used in the technical sense of “title deed.” The idea is that of standing under the claim to a property to support its validity. Thus, faith is the title deed of things hoped for.
If you own your home you have a deed that proves that the house is yours. In the same way, if you have faith for the healing of your marriage, that faith is the title deed to your miracle.
ASSURANCE RESTS ON GOD’S PROMISES
No one can take from us an assurance that is based on God’s Word. In order to lose your substance you must faint and give up on what God has spoken to you from His Word.
Faith must be grounded on God’s Word. If we base our stands on what someone else says or on our emotions, we will faint and not receive the healing we so desperately need for our families.
When we marry, we enter God’s system; His institution and not man’s. The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 5:22-23 that the relationship of Christ and the Church is depicted on earth by the relationship of a husband and wife. “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.” Paul is referring to Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:5 Jesus goes on to say in verse six: “Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
In Malachi 2:16 we read, “For the Lord God of Israel says: I hate divorce and marital separation, and him who covers his garments (his wife) with violence.” (Amplified version) Paul indicates in 1 Corinthians 7:10-22 that “…a wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a man is not to divorce his wife.” Later in the same chapter in verse 39 we are told that the death of a spouse is the only reason we have for remarriage.
We see from these scriptures that God does not approve of divorce, and His heart is for healing and restoration. We can choose to become and remain covenant keepers even in the face of divorce.
And what do we do when we see no changes in our natural situation? Keep our perspective! When we go to see a stage play or musical, the curtain is drawn between acts and we are unaware of what is happening on stage. Even though we are unable to see it, a great deal occurs behind the curtain. There is much activity, and sometimes entire sets are changed.
Likewise we must understand that God is at work behind the curtain of our situations: in the spirit realm there is much activity. Just because we can’t see what is happening doesn’t mean that God is not working.
To create the intricate beauty of Persian rugs, the weavers work underneath the frame and follow the instructions and directions of the master weaver above. Even though the weavers cannot see the results of their labors, a beautifully patterned rug is created. In like manner our Father has a beautiful plan for our families and marriages if we will but follow His instruction. His plan for us is far greater than anything we could desire.
Habakkuk 2:3 tells us, “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
“For the vision (our healed marriage) is yet for the appointed time.” There is a waiting period. Our miracle is not going to happen overnight. Some covenant keepers wait two or three months; others wait several years. Some of us wait many years God’s promise remains: “But at the end (God’s timing) it will speak and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come. It will not tarry.”
The only way our marriage will not be healed is if we quit waiting for the vision to be fulfilled!
Covenant keepers have to come to terms with several things in order to endure a long stand.
Length of Stand Doesn’t Matter: Learning to let go of your ideas about how long you should stand and just trusting that God knows best brings peace and release. “My times are in His hands.” Psalm 31:15) Stop worrying about which month or year your reconciliation will take place. Learn to say, “If I die or my spouse dies or Jesus returns before our reconciliation that is okay.”
Faithfulness to Your Vow: Being faithful to your vow – until death do us part – satisfies the promise that you made and also is a long, living witness to your children about the permanence of your marriage.
Standing Defeats the Enemy: Your stand comes between the curse of divorce/remarriage and you. It weakens the power of the enemy over your children and grandchildren.
God Fills the Void: Learn how to let God place Himself quite adequately in the areas you counted on your spouse to fulfill. God will be a special companion to you, be the best father to your children, and He will provide for your spiritual, emotional, physical, and financial needs.
Your Sacrifice Wins: As you give up selfish and self-serving ways and lay down your life, your sacrifice will bring salvation to your family.