Monday, November 9, 2015

"On Fire": Does 'He' Make You Feel HOLY? (Hint: He Should)



"...because it is written, 'Be holy, for I am holy.'"---I Peter 1:16(NKJV)

"He who does not love does not know God, for God is love."---I John 4:8(NKJV)


CLEARLY...

It's been a while since I've checked out the "Kisses from Katie" blog. But when I did this morning, it really did warm my heart. *I had no idea that she got married earlier this year*:



For so many reasons, it makes me smile---giggle even---to read about this because a woman with a missionary's heart like Katie, I desired to have a covering...in human flesh form. That's why I was even happier to see her pen this in her February 10 post:

I imagined marriage would be good. Wonderful even. But I did not even begin to understand that it would be this holy. I didn’t know that I would melt under this man’s gaze that is so full of the love of the Father for me. I didn’t imagine the way his delight in me would be my daily reminder of the way my Father delights in me. My husband’s love is just another way God has chosen to pour our His extravagant love on me, another constant reminder that He rejoices over me, and over each one of our daughters.

MARRIAGE COULD BE SO HOLY.

Not only *could* but *should* when it comes to the standards that we set...
Based on the ones God has given us (Ephesians 5, for instance).

OK, but bookmark that for now...

Perhaps a part of the reason why I was "late" (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) when it came to taking in Katie's news was because I needed to also see her post from just last week---close to nine months since being married. I'll share excerpts:

This year has been different.

For months before marriage God spoke to my heart of new things, prepared my soul to cling to His promise, “Behold, I am doing a new thing.” This seemed obvious. Of course, marriage was new, learning to share leadership in our home was new, having someone to share everything with was new – and so wonderful! – nearly everything felt new. What I did not perceive all the months of these whispers was that God was also speaking of something much deeper, much more subtle, much less obvious. Apart from anyone’s eyes, deep in my insides, God was going a new thing in me. In the depths of my heart, in a hidden place that the outside world could not see or understand, My loving Father was tenderly peeling back the layers, revealing to me my very truest, deep-seated beliefs about Him and carefully chiseling them away to replace them with truth.

For the first time in years, opposition in our lives was not coming from outside, but from within these walls. No one was deathly ill on our doorstep. Ministry seemed to run fairly smoothly. The presence of friends was true and constant. And in this season of calm, within our home, deep wounds were on display – mine and theirs. Old woundedness, occurring long before God knit us together as a family, began to surface and just kept surfacing in this season of new. The newest thing of this season was the work God was doing invisibly, in our hearts...


I remembered His promise, spoken for months. But this new thing, it was not only beautiful, it was difficult. What new thing was He really speaking of? Couldn’t I see it? And so I sat in my wondering and my waiting and my pleading, and God spoke to me the same words again and again, “I am not done yet.” And I fought to believe it. But this was my way through the sea, my stream in the wasteland, my lifeline. When in my heart I felt that I might be truly done, He was still at work in the hearts of my people, and He was not done yet.

He was not done with me...


In the quiet, in the waiting, in the asking and believing and sometimes even faltering, He was our stream in the desert. His strength became our strength when being strong seemed a thing of the past. His love endured when I wondered if mine would give out. His faithfulness endured through the waiting, through the changes, through the challenge.

“Behold, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up! Can you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness, and streams in the wasteland to give drink to my chosen people, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.”

In the last weeks, we have seen immeasurable growth, joy and heart change in our children that does not compare to anything we have experienced before as a family. The Spirit’s work is evident and I feel the Lord’s hand heavy on our home. Of course in reality, it has been all along.

His words ring true in my ears and in my heart, these words He has spoken over me long in preparation. I look at our people, our home, that He has so faithfully and so constantly poured into and He opens my eyes, I perceive it. He has done a new thing in us and He is not finished.


Two points...

A Godly Man:

One is the statement she wrote that's in all caps. One thing that can't be said enough is the fact that *marriage is of God* (no matter how much the world tries to make a mockery of it---Genesis 2:24-25, I John 2:16) and as the two Scriptures at the top state, God is love *and* God is holy. This means that love and holiness can in no way exist without one another---not if love is true.

The Hebrew word for holy is "qadosh". May of 2014, I penned a piece on holy meaning special. Holy also means consecrated which means "to make or declare sacred; set apart or dedicate to the service of a deity" and "to devote or dedicate to some purpose". So yes, Katie is so right.

Marriage is not something God owes anyone.
Marriage is not something that is automatically a right just because it is desired.
Marriage is not something that is created for us to "go off script" (not follow the Word) with in order to suit our agenda.

MARRIAGE IS HOLY.

When we allow God to bring us (Genesis 2:22) to the one that *he* has in mind for us, the purpose is going to be holy. It is going to be scared. It is going to be set a part for *his service*. It's going to be devoted and dedicated to him. Whether it comes in the form of a marriage like Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18) or Hosea and Gomer (the Book of Hosea). Marriage is about *one man* and *one woman* being joined until death (Matthew 19). A piece of paper doesn't diminish the "one flesh" process (Matthew 19:6). This is why it is soooooooo important to allow God to choose and to make sure you are clear about what his biblically-based standards and expectations are *before* marriage. The world may deceive people into thinking that they can take on a "do over" approach, but short of death, God does not. One spouse until death (I Corinthians 7:10-11). God's Word and stance on marital covenant is crystal clear.

That said,
Holiness is not easy. Not by a long shot...
Holiness is God's goal for all of us, though.

So yes, even in the dating (preferably courting) process...
It is extremely important to ask yourself...
Before anything else...

"Does this man I have feelings for make me feel holy?"

Does he treat me like I am holy ground?
Does he honor me as if I am sacred?
Does he act as if he is fully aware that I am set apart for a special purpose?

If a man is not honoring you as holy now...
If *you* are not honoring him as holy now...
How do you expect your marriage to "all of a sudden" have two people acting holy in it?

Which brings me to the second point...

A Godly relationship should Build the one you have with Jesus, Not replace it.:

Did you peep that in Katie's marriage blog, you could hear the joy and excitement leaping off of the page while last week's post was a bit more...somber? It reminds me of something that one of my favorite videos on marriage states (paraphrased): "Marriage is one of the greatest tools of sanctification." Marriage is designed to make you more like Christ and the best way for that to happen is for you to be tested (Psalm 7:9), for you to be challenged and for you to spiritually mature (Hebrews 5:12-14). When marriage's rose-colored glasses are taken off, we are able to better see that it's used so that we can truly see what it means when it compares a husband and wife with Christ's love for the Church. We send Christ through *a lot*. He has never left us or forsaken us (Hebrews 13:5). Divorce has not come up one time. *It's not an option*. Because in marriage, divorce is not designed to be (Malachi 2:16).

Here's an example of what I mean: I remember once hearing a husband say that it was only after getting married that he saw how selfish he actually was. Yeah, a lot of people get married because of the warm-and-fuzzy feelings that they get; how their flesh responds or reacts to a person. They are in no way prepared for the way their spouse will put up a full-length mirror on their character and reveal to them all of the areas where brokenness is and changes are needed, though.

However, when you marry someone who honors marriage as being holy (and again, that's all the more believable based on how they treat you during the dating/courting process), the "growing pains" are so much easier to bear because you don't only have someone to love you but to pray for and with you, to fast for and with you, to stand in the gap for you...to bring holiness into the crevices of your life and spaces in your home where it is most needed.

Indeed...

MARRIAGE IS HOLY!

And if you desire to be married (Matthew 19:11-12-Message), the goal should be to be with someone who can help to make you holier with them than they were without them. You might be surprised who God chooses your "holiness teacher" to be. You might be even more surprised how much more "in holiness" you need to go. Yet again, marriage is not about "soothing your loneliness" more than building your spirit for the sake of further building our character and ultimately God's kingdom!

I'm about as thrilled for Katie as I would be for myself...
That she has a man walk her through her next levels in ministry and the Lord.

Let it serve as a reminder to us all...

That marriage is not about "getting a man"...
Marriage is about coming together in a covenant that will bring honor to God.

Through love...
Through patience...
Through grace...
Through mercy...
THROUGH FORGIVENESS (Matthew 6:14-15)...
And yes...*through holiness*.


Adorn,

SRW



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