Tuesday, July 08, 2008

sanctification is hard

The bottom line is that my own marriage is not strong enough to withstand the schemes of the devil that would surely come our way if we followed that path. You know what a great spiritual challenge being a pastor who wants to follow God is in today's world. Even as an Associate Minister, I face the very real battle of trying to act like a Christian in front of my own wife.

It is not only that she knows what a Christian husband is supposed to do. She wants to test the limits of my love and patience. Satan is reinforcing her and trying to make us think that she is the problem, not him. The same temptations that happened in the Garden of Eden and in the wilderness, when Adam and Jesus were tempted, are happening, now.

We (speaking for myself) don't have the strength to say "Get behind me!" to Satan. Jesus did. We are told to "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you," and we only have the knowledge and strength to say, "It is written!" and "Help mine unbelief!" May the Lord give us the wisdom to know which of his words have the power for this situation.

Joshua said, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." The problem is that "my house" gives me doubts every day. And that means that I am not living in front of her in such a way that she will be led and compelled by that spark of the spirit I know is there. It would be so much easier if I could just say, "As for me, I will serve the Lord," but, just as the promise was made to the Philippian Jailer, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house" so I do things that result in benefit for my house.

"For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy." We sanctify each other when one of us is not acting consistent with what we say we believe. For her sake, and the children's, I must be faithful. Or, if you think it is bad, now, wait until you remove your sanctifying influence.

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