Saturday, March 7, 2015

In Marriage as it is in Heaven


Apparently, I'm slightly behind the times because Corrie already wrote a fantastic post on this verse a couple years ago.  But I've recently discovered that the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6 has one of the most foundational verses for healing in the whole Bible. Jesus, praying to his Dad says,

"Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."

Jesus came, bringing the kingdom of God with him, invading the kingdom of darkness that had been reigning in the earth since the fall.  And here he tells us what that means exactly:  God's will happening on earth in a way that represents the way things are in heaven.

Jesus is telling us to pray--to fight--for God's will in heaven to happen on the earth.  So we have this commission then to go out and change the world until it looks like heaven.  And that's what Jesus modeled for us by healing the sick, raising the dead, preaching the gospel, rescuing the poor, loving enemies and friends alike, saving people from sin.

So when I see someone on the street with a cast on their foot, I can know that there will be no casts or broken feet in heaven.  I get to fight to change that right now.  I get to lay hands on the sick and see them recover, like Jesus promised.  Or when I have a friend with a stiff neck, I know there are no stiff necks in heaven.  So I can pray and see the neck healed.  That's what the Bible says.

But here's what's really exciting:  this goes far beyond just healing our bodies.  This extends into every area of our lives, including marriage.

Corrie and I just went to a fantastic marriage workshop/Holy Spirit surgery session, so marriage is fresh on both of our minds right now.  And our question is this:

What are we believing God for in our marriage?

One of the more common sentiments about marriage in our culture is, "Marriage is hard work."  And that's it.  It's often said with this look of weariness and relief-that-I've-actually-made-it-this-far.  It's a look that should be more fitting for a soldier having just returned home from war.  I know I've been there.  But Jesus is offering me this hope:  God is excited--eager--to give us more than that.  He loves me and my marriage.

I agree that marriage is hard work.  But I don't want to let the fact of the struggle steal my faith for the blessing and passion.  It can be easy to lower our hopes and goals for our marriages over time as disappointment, hurt, and difficulty creep in.  We start to think, "Well this is just how marriage is.  Maybe God is using it to refine me, to make me more holy.  Passion was good at the beginning, but it's not needed anymore."

Corrie and I love each other so much, but we have gone through some difficult seasons.  We've gone through seasons of feeling like just business partners, of not really liking each other, of causing more frustration or sadness than joy.  Especially during the last couple of years as God has been uprooting unhealthy and hurtful things from us.  For me, selfishness, et al!!!

Anyway...moving on...It has been easy at times to think, "Well, this is just us.  This is the kind of marriage that we get: hard with some sprinklings of awesome. "

What's up with THAT?!  That's not God's plan for us at all.  Proverbs 5 says that there is a place, in the kingdom, where I can REJOICE in my wife, where her love is intoxicating to me.  That sounds more like, "Awesome with some sprinklings of hard." 

I know to some of us that may sound impossible after __ years of marriage.  But the Bible says it's God's heart, his will, and Jesus told me to pray for that to manifest in my life.   I get to pursue it with all my being until it comes.  And I pursue it with the full force of heaven, the approval of my Dad, and the power of the Lion of Judah to move mountains. 

In my last post I mentioned that we don't want to let our experience of sickness overpower God's revealed will for healing.  So even if my healing doesn't come at a particular prayer time, we don't try to rationalize it, we keep pushing for more until it does. 

Well, Corrie and I are ready to apply this to our marriage too.  We're determined to not let the times of struggle steal what we know our love CAN be, and IS.  We know that Jesus has a vision for our love of each other that is more passionate, joyful, and fulfilling than we've experienced thus far.  And we've been letting God teach us how to love each other in a way that reflects his love for us and that creates such an intimate powerful connection between us that no power of hell can sever it.

So my prayer for us is, "Jesus, your kingdom come in our marriage.  In heaven there is no bitterness, no selfishness, no distance.  In heaven there is unlimited intimacy and oneness, giving, self-sacrifice, passion, and fire.  Thank you Jesus that the cross's redemption is so far-reaching, even into transforming our marriage."

Bodies don't have to be sick in the kingdom.  It's not what Jesus paid for.  Marriages don't have to be broken, full of pain, sources of strife in the kingdom.  They can instead reflect the oneness that Jesus has with us.  The passion that he has for us.  His passion is a fire that is constant forever.  And if we are called to be like him in our marriages, then I've got to think that passion for our spouses, true LIKING of our spouses, excitement about our spouses has got to be possible for the long haul as well. 

Yes it's hard work.  But it's hard work on the road to the wonderful blessing that marriage is meant to be.

4 comments:

  1. Really good observations. I might have to use this in the future. Thanks!

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