The Spiritual Marriage

Billy Graham once said that the spiritual realm is filled with angels of light and demons of darkness fighting over the decisions that humans are going to make.  Both kingdoms are fueled by our agreement and mental ascent to their principles and suggestions.  One kingdom desires to bring life through the death of self and the other desires to bring death by the exaltation of self.  This is an ancient conflict and is evident in all Christian and non-Christian religions. (the fact that it exist so prevalently is proof of this truth)  We must understand this before we begin to make life changing decisions that will not only effect us but will also effect the ones we are supposed to love above all else. When selfishness is acted upon, it is a spiritual principle that works opposite all that Jesus did and taught.  It is the basic premise of Satanism (see any Satanic website for confirmation of this) and is the central premise behind the lie that Eve believed when the serpent told her, “You will become like God.” (Genesis 3:5)  If our actions and decision have a root in selfishness, please understand that acting on it will only further the advancement of the kingdom of darkness in our lives.

It is a Christian truth, selfishness must die.  A.W. Tozer in his classic work, “The Pursuit of God” writes, “The ancient curse will not go out painlessly; the tough old miser within us will not lie down and die in obedience to our command.  He must be torn out of our heart like a plant from the soil; he must be extracted in agony and blood like a tooth from the jaw.  He must be expelled from our soul by violence, as Christ expelled the money changers from the temple.  And we shall need to steel ourselves against his piteous begging, and to recognize it as springing our of self-pity, one of the most  reprehensible sins of the human heart.” (1)  The basic premise of Tozer comment is that death to self is a death.  It hurts and it is painful and it is messy like all killings are.  Nevertheless, after the battle is over, then the peace will come.  This is the peace that Jesus possessed while demonstrating to us how a man in right relationship with God could effect the world through the Holy Spirit.  This is the peace that Jesus wanted us to possess.  This is what He meant is saying, “My peace I leave you.”(John 14:27)  The peace that comes after the cross.  Jesus told us that this peace is “not as the world gives do I give to you.” (John 14:27)  The world’s peace is rooted in selfishness and the peace that comes with immediate gratification of the selfish desire.  This is not the peace of heaven, this is the destruction of mankind.  Jesus also told us “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)  He knew we would need help in the killing of self and that we would be anxious and fearful about it.  Hence, He will send us the Helper to aid us in this venture or, more appropriately, this murder of self.  A premeditated attack on the selfishness of our soul.  The peace that comes after the battle is the peace of heaven.  It is the lasting peace and it stems from God possessing us and us possessing Him.  Again, Tozer writes, “The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One.  Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness.  Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight.  Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for he now has it all in One, and he has it purely, legitimately, and forever.” (2)  This relationship in which we are “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4) is the key to life and marriage.  When I posses God as the complete fulfillment of my soul, I’m not dependent upon the behavior of any other being for it.  Therefore, when Godly people do ungodly things and I am wounded by it, I need not respond as the world would respond but an equipped to respond as God responded to adulterous Israel.  Enduring evil without complaint and loving those who are unlovable, and reaching out in love as a tool of change and power.  When we act in the God kind of love (see I Cor 13:4-8) we release as spiritual power that will have an impact on our lives and our loved ones, but, the only way to release this power is through the death of self, the possession of God, and acting as Love (which is God-I John 4:8) would act.

Given these principles, we must understand that divorce, while it offers an immediate gratification, offers no lasting effect.  If the condition of the soul does not change we will move from toxic relationship to toxic relationship incessantly wondering why we can’t find that perfect someone or will stand in confusion when the delusion that we found that “perfect person” disappears like the vapor of a lying vanity. (see the entire book of Ecclesiastes for complete details)  If the condition of the soul changes not, it offers, at best, immediate gratification, at worst, cause serious irreparable breaches between us and the ones that we should be loving the most.  These decisions have serious ramifications on children.  One need only look at the ramifications of the decisions of Adam and Eve to see that future generations can be tragically impacted by our selfishness.  One must consider these spiritual principles when considering divorce.  A woman that I knew from AA gave me some advice before I got married.  She was sober about 15 years and had been married for 30 years.  At an AA meeting prior to my wedding she asked me, “Do you want to know the secret to staying married?”  “Of course.”  I replied.  She looked around as if she was sharing with me a secret she had learned from an ancient Guru and was for my ears only.  I leaned in, ears and mind open praying that I could understand the deep spiritual truth that was about to be imparted to me.  She said, “Don’t get divorced!”  Then she turned and walked away.  At first, I thought she was just being funny, but there was no humor in her countenance as she looked at me before departing.  She believed that she had just told me a deep spiritual truth and I thought she was just joking.  It was just to simple.  I thought about for awhile, thinking I had been cheated by her flippant comment.  Later in that meeting as she shared her past experiences, I learned that she was an alcoholic and married an alcoholic.  She got clean five years before he did and that he continued to drink and do the things that alcoholic do.  They had separated five times over different relationships.  After another two years, he got sober.  That didn’t fix much.  They still separated yet again.  Finally, after overcoming their woundedness and dying to self, they had one of the happiest marriages that I had ever seen.  Indeed, she had shared with me a deep spiritual truth.  Simple yet profound.  If I want to know how to work on my car, I call my brother the mechanic and not my best friend the chiropractor.  If I want to take marriage advice, I don’t take it from divorced people.  I take it from those who have fought the good fight of faith and stayed when every logical impulse within them cried out to go but only the still small voice from within which said “Hold On.”  These are two great comments to close on.  First, “Don’t get divorced.” (separate if you must and live in the flesh if you must till these truth manifest themselves in your life)  Second, “Hold on”  Don’t quite 15 minutes before the miracle happens.

Endnotes

1.  Tozer, A. W. “The pursuit of God”  Wing Spread Publishers, Camp Hill Penn, 1982, page 29.

2.  Ibid 19.

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