Monday, February 23, 2009
Truth In The Inward Parts
Jesus enters with us into a kind of marriage relationship, and our earthly marriages are comparable to this spiritual union with Christ. This is why it's so essential for believers to try to salvage and work through problems in our marriages. We usually enter into matrimony wide-eyed, dreamy and full of hopes for the future. We gaze at each other and see mirrored in each other's eyes mutual wonder and admiration, but sooner or later we are faced with a dilemma – the faults and foibles that we have hidden so well inevitably become visible to our mate. Nobody likes to see what we like to keep hidden reflected in the eyes of a loved one, especially when s/he keeps bringing it up, exposing it to the light of scrutiny. Whatever happened to that gaga, blissful, you-can-do-no-wrong ideal of the honeymoon? In the harsh light of marriage, we are laid bare in the Petri dish of life, and our self-centered attitudes and childishness become evident. How do we behave in the nasty now-and-now of daily matrimonial humdrum, such as when we have to take out the garbage, clean up someone else's mess, take care of kids when we'd rather be doing something else, etc. etc. Many people these days want to walk away from their marriage when things just get too tough or irksome. Yet these are the very floodlights the Father chooses to expose the sin in our soul.
And, similar to a marriage relationship is our first encounter with the living Christ. We look into each other's eyes, as it were, and see reflected passionate, adoring love. As time goes on, however, we become aware that Jesus can see the perversion of our hearts, and we don't like that! We try to hide or even run away from his all-seeing gaze. We may become so uncomfortable with our soul's perversions being made bare and brought to the surface that we 'divorce' Him, rather than acknowledge that by Jesus exposing our hearts is the only way He can heal us. Remember He is revealing to heal us!
And the Lord is relentless in bringing our sin to the surface (please remember anything that is not of faith is sin). It's like a band-aid covering a wound. When it's time to remove the band-aid, Jesus doesn't pamper us by gently lifting the edge, asking permission to continue: "Oh, is that too uncomfortable? Okay – we'll try again another day". Instead, he rips that band-aid off, regardless of our howls of protest! Marriage is not supposed to be for hurting, but for healing…but first we have to learn to work through the hurting before we can access the healing. If both partners are willing, a marriage relationship is the perfect crucible for the Father of our spirit to be able to demolish, tear down, pluck up and uproot all that is contrary to Whose we are.