'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
In our world today many couples who wear the badge "married" seem to be only friends, albeit good friends, or simply acquaintances. not showing love, kindness, and a caring attitude is almost the norm.
The marriage, if it is at least civil, is simply friends living together. A couple may be following the letter of the minimum requirements to be considered by the world as "married". But the spirit of a real marriage of love is missing. There is very little of a sacrificial attitude. The marriage is in reality only a shell.
It is simply marital legalism.
This type of marriage is similar to the legalism in some Christian organizations. The letter of the law is rigidly adhered to. But the spirit of the law is violated by the absence of the love of God. There is religious legalism and marital legalism. In order to be genuine, both have the main ingredient missing. Sacrificial love.
It is truly amazing how many conditions and relationships in the human sphere are anti-types of the spiritual realm.
Many years ago, Israel committed adultery for forty years. It was not even faith in pretense. Israel was betrothed to God. After proof of their obedience and submission, they were to be "married" to their God, and live in the promised land. Of course, God knew what would happen. And the whole scenario was arranged for our instruction and benefit. Long prior to Israel leaving Egypt, God tested Abraham and others as to their faithfulness, long before the law. Abraham's heart was faithful - not because of a law that required the letter be obeyed. His obedience was from a heart of love for God and His ways were considered faithfulness, to which God revealed His faithfulness and love for Abraham - all without the letter of a law. It was the mutual law of sacrificial love.
But Israel could not be faithful consistently to a legal requirement. It was not even faithful in a legal way, much less a faithfulness borne on true love for God. Even when they were faithful, it arose not from love, but because they were forced by God to obey or die. There no love in their relationship.They died in the wilderness - all that generation, showing for all time the futility of relationship without genuine love.
The second generation, after seeing the loving actions of God on their behalf turned in spiritual adultery away from their God. In many ways, Israel in the desert for forty years pictures our sojourn as God's people in this world, in the church, and in our daily lives:
"Now these things befell them by way of a figure [as an example and warning to us]; they were written to admonish and fit us for right action by good instruction, we in whose days the ages have reached their climax (their consummation and concluding period). Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin]." - 1 Corinthians 10:11-12 (AMP)
If you are married, are you faithful in true love and devotion in addition to the legalities that bound you? Or, are you faithful only in the letter. Is your mind, desires, and affection for something or someone else? Are you a married legalist only? Jesus knows all about you and your relationships, and your relationship to Him (Matthew 7:21-23). Israel's sojourn for forty years, plus their history through later generations picture the marriage covenant between a man and a woman.
Perhaps you are single, and feel that all this doesn't apply to you. Perhaps you are not married now. But if you have given your life to Jesus Christ, you are "engaged" . Regardless of your marital state, if you are believing in Him, or if you will believe in Him and surrender your life to Him, and love Him and are faithful to Him, you will be married some day. No, not to one of the opposite sex, but to Jesus Christ. Your union with Him will last forever, in a bliss and happiness unimaginable, in a joy and splendor that passes understanding. And - unless you break off the engagement in some way - you will marry Jesus Christ, along with countless others forever.
Will you be there?
"Let us rejoice and shout for joy [exulting and triumphant]! Let us celebrate and ascribe to Him glory and honor, for the marriage of the Lamb [at last] has come, and His bride has prepared herself. She has been permitted to dress in fine (radiant) linen, dazzling and white—for the fine linen is (signifies, represents) the righteousness (the upright, just, and godly living, deeds, and conduct, and right standing with God) of the saints (God’s holy people). Then [the angel] said to me, Write this down: Blessed (happy, ]to be envied) are those who are summoned (invited, called) to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me [further], These are the true words (the genuine and exact declarations) of God." - Revelation 19:6-9 (AMP)
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