February 28, 2016

Marriage on Lent Day #14

New info: I am excited to announce that I have testimony's from several couples that are willing to share how God has redeemed their marriages. Look for those to be sprinkled in through the next couple of weeks.

I am hoping you will join us on our 40 day journey of praying for the marriage's of those around us. My sweet friend told me once, "wedding problems are always a spiritual battle," and so with our prayers to the Father, they will be our weapons to fight with God for the hearts and unions of those around us. So get your list and join us in prayer.  The guest posts will bless those who are praying and also those of us who are married or know married people. I love that each post is very different. Get ready for some wonderful encouragement and powerful thoughts and prayers. Enjoy these blessings. 

Many thanks to Richard Beck for his guest post here today.

Message from the Heart

I'd like to talk about the role of satan in marriages and the nature of satanic attack.

In Hebrew "satan" means "accuser." And when you look at the activity of Satan in the bible that is his main activity: bringing accusation. We see this in Job 1.16-12, 2.1-7, in Zech. 3.1-4 and particularly in Rev. 12.10:

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

“Now have come the salvation and the power

and the kingdom of our God,

and the authority of his Messiah.

For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,

who accuses them before our God day and night,

has been hurled down.

Revelation 12.10 echos Jesus' statement in Luke 10.18: "I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning."  The Voice of Accusation speaking against us has been cast out of heaven and it is replaced with the intercession of the Holy Spirit. This is a voice not of accusation and prosecution, but of a Voice of Advocacy as Jesus describes in John 14.16-17, 26; 15.26; 16.7.

The point I'd like to make in all this is that the Holy Spirit is poured out on the followers of Jesus. In John 20.19-23 Jesus appears in the midst of his disciples and brings the word of "Peace." Jesus then breathes on his disciples saying "receive the Holy Spirit." Peace--rather than satanic accusation--is the word the church carries into the world. In the midst of the church the peace of the Holy Spirit reigns. The satanic accusations against us have been expelled, exorcised, and cast out of heaven.

And yet, Satan continues to prowl our world, our churches and our marriages. The Voice of Accusation continues to break into our lives. Even worse, we are more than happy to do the devil's work. We bring, day in and day out, accusations against each other: Criticism, judgment, complaint, indictment, and accusation. We become satan. I become your satan and you become my satan. We bring accusations against each other. And because of this we don't experience the peace of the Holy Spirit. Instead of peace we create conflict, jealousy, rivalry, envy. When we become satan we hurt and injure each other, physically and emotionally.

So that's my question for marriages this Lenten season: How are you playing the satan in your marriage? How are you the satan for your husband or wife? How do you bring accusation, judgment, criticism and complaint?

When the Voice of Accusation reigns in our marriages our marriages are experiencing satanic attack. When the Voice of Accusation reigns our marriages are demonically possessed. But I don't mean this in any supernatural or spooky way. We are the satan! We are the ones who bring the satanic into our marriages through our words of judgment, complaint and criticism.

But Jesus calls us to be people of the Spirit, people who replace satanic words with words of peace, reconciliation, forgiveness and mercy.

So that's the question I'd like to put before you this Lent.

Are you the voice of the Spirit or of Satan--peace or accusation--in your marriage?

Prayer for Marriages
Dear Father,

May you help me expel satan from my marriage by replacing my words of judgment, accusation, criticism, and complaint with the words of the Holy Spirit, words of forgiveness, peace, mercy and reconciliation.