Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Who Finally Moved, God Or You?

A K-LOVE Story Piques My Interest

I was driving around the other day on my way into work and listening to K-LOVE as I'm prone to do. As a side note, one area that I think K-LOVE does an excellent job at is people telling their stories, especially related to how the radio station has helped in someone's spiritual walk.

So, I'm listening to this one particular story on the air with a lady talking about issues in her marriage. Apparently, this lady and her husband almost immediately ran into problems after only a few months of marriage. They separated and then this lady claims that the music played on K-LOVE started working on her heart and mind to bring about a reconcilliation of their marriage.

It's a great testimony of God's power and the use of Christian music to help bring healing (send your monthly gift in!). I'll give her and the radio station all of that. But, I guess the phrase that this lady used that really stuck out to me and honestly kind of bugged me was when she said something to the effect of "…and finally, God moved!"

Which Came First?

While I totally understand the lady's comments about God finally moving in their marriage, I would submit to you that her phrasing is slightly flawed. Maybe I just got bugged by the way she said the word "finally." I guess I'm just one of those weird people that believes that words actually mean things. I do think we need to be careful how we speak about the movement of God in our lives.

I would argue that God had been moving in this lady's marriage the entire time. The Holy Spirit was probably prompting both her and her husband during their separation that their marriage needed to be healed. They probably had counsel from Christian friends that told them the same thing. They probably knew exactly where to turn in God's Word to hear from Him directly on the sanctitiy of their marriage.

The "finally" part of this testimony, though, is that this HUSBAND and WIFE finally became obedient to God and His Word. THEY finally moved into a place of repentance and forgiveness in order for their marriage to be healed. THEY finally set down their sin and pride and listened to what God and His Word have to say about marriage. THEY put aside their selfishness and sought out a reconcilliation.

Was their marriage healed as a result of the power of God? Yes, most definitely God healed this marriage, but the husband and wife did play a significant role as they became obedient to Christ in order that the healing could take place.

Be Careful Of Your Words

So, why am I so hung up on the symantics of this radio testimony? I guess because that final phrase just struck me as almost blaming God for how long this couple's marriage took to heal.It wasn't God's fault that they were separated for months before healing was able to take place. It was THEIR fault for allowing sin and disobedience to enter their marriage. It was THEIR fault for not loving and honoring each other. The list could go on and on.

I'm not trying to beat this lady up. I'm not trying to criticize a moving testimony. I praise God that this marriage was healed as a partial result of this couple listening to good, Christian music.

What I am trying to do, though, is encourage each one of us to be very careful how we speak of the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. God is always at work in our lives, behind the scenes and even in the scenes! Each one of us does carry our own unique, individual responsibility in many of life's problems, whether it is a marriage in crisis, a financial meltdown, problems with our children, or a job loss.

As you worship the Lord this day, remind yourself of this fact. If you find yourself praying to the Lord, asking Him to "move" in a situation, then turn the whole thing around and ask God if you're being disobedient in some way. Ask Him if you need to make some changes, first, before things improve. Many times, the changes we're seeking happen when we change, first.

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