This raises the question: Has He changed?
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
As we said last month, Jesus’ first miracle was on behalf of a married couple. (John 2:1-11) A growing number of scientists are admitting that our universe is too “finely tuned” to be an accident. Jesus’ first miracle was not an accident either.
We must pray for couples to tune out the death dealing ways of the world and get very close to Him and dig deep into His Word! Then they will find His answers for fullness in their marriages. Jeremiah 29:11 is a familiar verse. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
But the Lord’s instructions for this blessing follow right after. “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity.” verses 12-14
Captivity came through turning from Him to worldy idols and focus on me, not Me! The world and flesh have a way of enticing but fade eventually and people are left feeling hopeless and sad.
Proverbs 23:17,18 (Message) tells us the truth about following after the world. “Don’t for a minute envy careless rebels; soak yourself in the Fear-of-God-That’s where your future lies. Then you won’t be left with an armload of nothing.”
Married couples (or even one of the spouses) must ask the Lord to teach them to intercede for their marriages. “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
God answers prayer when we intercede according to His Word and His will. Many of us would not be walking in His fullness today if it was not for one or both of us spouses praying (in faith), believing God loves us and works miracles! Or maybe we are together because of other people who prayed for us. What about our children who are blessed because of believing prayer that not only kept their parents together but made their family strong and blessed!
Sit and read the Gospels. Focus only on all the miracles Jesus did. If you make a list, it will be a long one. Then read Acts – another long list of miracles. We’ve heard people say they believe and pray to God for physical healings, for a job, etc…but when it comes to a tough marriage situation faith leaves and instead we hear “well, after all people do have free will.” That is definitely true. God gives us the choice to accept Him as Savior and also a host of choices thereafter in whether we allow Him to be Lord in our lives or not. But if we can’t pray for people’s hearts to be changed then what do we do with this story?
“And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.’ ” Oh, praise God that Jesus prayed for Peter! Jesus had a faith vision for Peter! That is not only wonderful but pretty amazing since Jesus was the one Peter wounded with his betrayal! (Sound familiar? The one that was hurt and betrayed was the one who stood in the gap for Peter. Many spouses need to do that.)
All of our prayers and ministry in 2=1, prayers and ministry of leaders in the Body and all of the spouses praying and getting God’s heart for their marriages, bring God’s power into marriage situations. “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church.” Ephesians 1:22 Could it be because of all the divorcing it is difficult to understand the Father heart of God’s love for marriage? So many children have now grown up without experiencing the stability of God’s design for family. When a couple goes through a Married For Life class they are experiencing the most powerful life transforming truths for their marriage. God will meet their need and give abundantly! Their children are forever grateful and taught to trust the Lord.
Do couples pray, and believe that? In Hebrews 3:19 we are told they never entered the Promised Land because of their unbelief. The Lord desires for married couples to believe and see His promises come to pass. Spouses have to see that God not only answers pray but He is “in the process” before you see the manifestation of the answer.In our humanness we just want to GET THROUGH the process as quickly as possible. Sometimes the process can be as short as lifting up the need in prayer and we see an answer quickly. Other times the process can seem to go on so long we are not sure God is hearing. Before his victory Joseph spent many years of captivity in Egypt, but his heart stayed close and faithful to the Lord.
Many times the process is about God’s timing. His timing is wonderful in hindsight! It can also be about His wanting us to see the steps along the way and give Him glory in how He is moving. It is also sometimes about Him changing some of the ways we are praying over the situation so that we truly line up with His will and His Word. We heard someone once say that God made man in His image and man returned the favor. Have many done that and therefore lessened their belief in His great power? Maybe one thing He wants to do in the process is birth a deeper belief in hearts of His greatness! Maybe it is to rid us of our own flesh even though we only see that of our spouse!
Let one of our prayers for marriages be Zechariah 4:6,7. “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!” That grace is all of our own testimonies. And couples who entered a 2=1 class without hope, that through God’s grace are now walking in fullness!
Let us continue to cry out for God’s grace over every marriage and pray for couples to do the same for their own marriages.
No, He has not changed!
With God nothing is impossible!