Monday, February 28, 2011

More on Stage Three - Purity

I have been discussing, what I consider to be, the three stages of our spiritual and marital walk.  Many couples remain in the second stage of marriage, lacking the self-control necessary for a pure relationship with their spouse.  There are also many spirit-filled, church-going, bible speaking Christians who will never reach this third stage of their walk with God.

Matthew 7:21,22 tells us, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.  Away from me, you evildoers!’”

“I never knew you.”  Those are powerful words Jesus speaks in Matthew.  We as Christians easily fall into the trap of performing works in the church and in our lives, sometimes only to show others how spiritual we are.  Jesus wants to know us personally.  That is why we have to strive to spend time with Him every day and involve Him in all we do.  This needs to become a habit in order to exist in the third stage of purity.

Spending time with Jesus does not mean you need to be on your knees in prayer all day.  It means including Him in your life.  That means talking to Him as if He were sitting next to you.  (Guess what – He IS!)

I often have to apologize to Jesus when we are driving somewhere and my temper gets the best of me. (That’s okay, by the way.  He knows we aren’t perfect yet and that there are crazy drivers out there.)  I’m a different person behind the wheel of my car, even with Jesus beside me (still working on that - doing much better, too).  I also ask Him to help me find a parking place when there seems to be none.  He ALWAYS comes through and surprises me with spots that open up before my eyes.  I discuss my feelings and frustrations with Him and ask Him to help me with decisions throughout the day.

Once more (and probably not the last time), I need to refer to SELF.   As with our marriage relationship, SELF will get in the way of our relationship with Jesus Christ. (When SELF is in the passenger seat, there's no room for Jesus - or your spouse.) It will always interfere with God’s plans for us and direct us to a path that leads to nowhere.  We are made to want to please our inner SELF, and the devil will stop at nothing to motivate those natural desires.  That is why we have to die daily to this poison that will destroy our marriages and our relationship with God.

It is very difficult to learn to ‘die to your SELF’.  Once you do, though, the process becomes easier.  You discover the beauty of turning your life over to God to fulfill the plans HE has for your life.  We are put on this earth for a reason and THAT is what we need to focus on if we desire to serve Him.
 
At one time, I lived a life so full of my SELF that I wanted to end it.  I was miserable.  God saved me and opened up a whole new world of peace and joy and blessings I had never known before.  I never want to go back to those SELF seeking ways.  Oh yes, once in a while my SELF will try to rear its ugly head, and I have to fight to suppress its yearnings.  It’s worth every struggle not to give in.  In the past, when I have given in, I’m quickly taken off the track God desires for me and troubles begin.

If you want a pure marriage and a pure walk with God, be sure to wake up every day and put on the whole armor of God, so that you might resist the devil and his temptations to follow your SELF.  That is how we remain pure in our marriages and our relationship with the Master.

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