It’s always so exciting when the Lord brings new revelation and understanding through His Word; especially when He uses it to answer and confirm something we just happen to be pondering, which is exactly what He did this morning. I was considering what to write about and drawing a complete blank, when the Lord led me to read Romans 1. I had no idea what I was looking for, but was pretty sure I’d recognize it when I got to it…and boy did I…it’s ONLY BY FAITH that we EFFECTIVELY stand in obedience on the power and promise of God’s Word for the full and complete restoration of our marriages and families!
The FAM Fellowship members were blessed by another Restored Marriage Testimony Tuesday from a woman whose husband returned home last week; barely a month after she joined the fellowship! Yet, when she first came to the ministry, her situation looked just as bleak as many do and she was just as emotionally distraught and hopeless as most men and women are when they first get here. And no matter how much we talked about what she should and shouldn’t be doing, she initially had a difficult time changing her attitude and the way she was interacting with her husband. In fact, she recently shared her testimony about that and the changes God made in her, which was included in a previous Seeds Of Faith post, God WILL Make ALL THINGS New!
Needless to say, everyone is absolutely thrilled that another marriage and family are restored for the glory of Jesus Christ; but the fact that another fairly new arrival to the ministry has been blessed with marriage restoration, while many others who have been in the ministry for a long time “see” little or no change in their circumstances (which does NOT mean that it isn’t happening!) does not go unnoticed or even without comment. And that naturally leads to the question…Why?
Well, my response to that and just about every question or discussion in which FAM members mention struggling with “letting go” or being obedient is and has always been that we just don’t really trust God; that we have a “faith” problem, which most likely means that we need to spend more time in God’s Word so we can truly get to know Who He is and better understand His nature, character, power, and His UNFAILING love and faithfulness (Romans 10:17). Yet, having said that, it’s also important to point out that sometimes the “wait” is just a matter of God’s PERFECT timing, and that even our failure to accept, understand and REST in that indicates a lack of faith as well. When we truly trust God and give EVERYTHING to Him we realize that the details of when, where and how our marriages are restored just don’t matter because we KNOW that God has it ALL under HIS ALMIGHTY, SUPERNATURAL, SOVREIGN control and that He WILL do EXACTLY what His Word declares and promises (Isaiah 46:10-11 and Isaiah 55:10-11)! So knowing the details just doesn’t matter when we really trust God! Yet, even though I knew and understood the connection between faith and obedience in my own heart, mind and spirit, I still hadn’t ever found a passage of scripture that very specifically states that, even though there are many that come pretty close.
So it was really exciting when the Lord led me to read a passage of scripture this morning that I’ve read (AND STUDIED) COUNTLESS times before and revealed something that’s so plainly and clearly evident that it’s just hard to believe that I EVER could have missed it before; especially one that addresses something I had been contemplating over the past couple of days! The passage of scripture I noticed for the first time that clearly states that obedience comes by faith is Romans 1:5, which says Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And that’s further confirmed in Romans 1:16-17, which says I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
We often try to make things SO complicated; yet with God, things just aren’t all that complicated! And there’s NO DOUBT that throughout the Bible we have one amazing example and testimony after another demonstrating the divinely SUPERNATURAL power of GOD ALMIGHTY that is released ONLY BY FAITH! But we still struggle so much to TRULY live and walk by faith, despite knowing that it’s the key to all that we want. So as we stand for the full and complete restoration of our marriages and families, we really need to concentrate on developing greater faith in our Lord and Savior, Who in John 15:7, personally promised If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. And considering how we’re instructed to win and overcome the spiritual battles we face every day by taking EVERY thought contrary to the Word of God CAPTIVE and MAKING them OBEDIENT to CHRIST, it’s easier to more fully understand why Jesus told us that we have to “remain” in Him (the Word – John 1:1-3) and that HIS words have to “remain” in us if we want to be given WHATEVER we wish (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)!
The very next day after the following Restored Marriage Testimony was posted, a FAM members shared a devotional from Oswald Chambers, The Transfigured Life, which really struck a cord with many of us because we could SO relate to it; particularly the part that said “…when crisis comes you are the most amazed person on earth at the wonderful difference there is in you. There is no possibility of imagining that you did it.” And that’s something we hear time after time from FAM members when they learn to rely on the faith they have in GOD ALMIGHTY and walk obediently in that faith and are then blessed by God’s faithfulness to bless and reward their faith and obedience (Proverbs 3:5-6 and Psalm 37:4-6)! So read the following Restored Marriage Testimony from MNO (member name omitted) of how God blessed and rewarded her faith and has restored her marriage and family in response to what she has been able to do ONLY BY FAITH…and be blessed and encouraged!
As I praise God and give Him all of the Glory, I am so excited to share with you the amazing restoration of my marriage! God has moved so mightily since I joined the FAMM family on September 23, 2008. And I want to thank you, Linda, so much for all of your encouraging words. God is truly using you and this ministry to help others, and you are truly a blessing to us all! So please do me the honor of moving SNO (spouse name omitted) and me to the Restored Marriage list! In the past week, God has brought my husband home!
Last Tuesday night, SNO came by to eat dinner, as he has done for the past three or four weeks. Normally, he would get up and leave after dinner, but this time he sat down in his recliner and went to sleep. So I let him sleep and did not disturb him. But it was getting late and I needed to get the kids to bed.
So I put them to bed and decided I would go ahead and get my shower and then I would check back to see if he was getting up and going back to his place or what. I came back into the living room and he was still a sleep so I touched his arm and told him it was getting late and I was going to bed and asked if he was leaving or what his plans were. I was so shocked to hear him say, “I better get up and get a bath then.” Thoughts were going through my head and I could not believe what was happening, but I was still not sure if he was planning to stay once he showered. But guess what? He came straight to bed…but going to sleep was not on his mind! He stayed all night and as he slept, I lay there and praised God for all He has done for me. God is so amazing!
The next day, I was not sure what was going on, but decided I would not let any doubts or fears enter my mind, even though Satan was trying his best. Well, he came back that night and guess what? He stayed again and he has been home every night since then!
This is not at all how I thought or imagined he would come home, but I can tell you that when you least expect it, God will move and do amazing things you do not know. Linda and I had talked about this before and she had told me that sometimes spouses just ease their way back into the home and that’s exactly what SNO did. He did not ask if he could come home or mention anything about it; it just happened. He has stayed at home for the last couple of weekends; but only for one night, and now all of the sudden he is here every night. But after being here for several nights, we talked a little bit Friday evening about what was going on and he said that he was trying and that he does not plan to leave. He is still distant and quiet, but I know he is having a hard time dealing with the hurt and pain caused by breaking up with the NCP, and he said that he needs time to get over everything. He does not talk much about the situation with her and I have learned not to ask. I just thank God that he is at home with me and the kids.
In my talks with God this week, He has revealed to me that my husband needs to heal right now and that I need to back off and give him his space. And I have talked to Linda and Diane this past week about how I thought that the love and affection he use to show me would return when he came back, but it has not. And they told me that I don’t want things the way they were; that God has plans for so much more. So I have taken this to God and know that He will restore more than I could ever ask or imagine, and I can’t wait to see what He has planned!
As discussed in chat Friday night, if anyone thinks that standing for your marriage is tough at times, just wait until your spouse is back home, because Satan is worse than ever. He is truly out to kill, steal and destroy our marriages, so don’t think that the battle is over; it is just starting. I truly believe that while we stand, God is making us stronger and changing us, because He knows all about the battle that lies ahead once our spouses come home and knows what we need. But we have authority over Satan and by knowing God’s word, we can make him flee. God has brought us this far, and He is not going to leave us without the proper weapons; His armor, and He has been preparing us this whole time during our season of waiting.
I have had to eat a lot of humble pie regarding things with the NCP this past week, and have been shocked by how well I have handled things. Normally, I would have lost it and things would not have been good. So I am amazed when I see the changes God has made in me. I don’t want to go back to my old ways and I want to be the wife God has called me to be. And I have realized that I don’t want my old marriage back; I want the brand new marriage that God has for me and the marriage He always intended for us to have. I know that everything will be so much more than I could have ever asked or imagined. There is nothing too hard for God and He is able to do far more if we just let go and let Him have His way. So the next time you worry about the circumstances and don’t see things changing and are questioning what to do or want to give up, stop and praise God that it is on its way. God revealed to me this week, that my marriage was restored the very first day I asked Him; He just needed me to get out of His way and give it all to Him. We only hinder God and hold up our restoration when we try to handle things in our own way. If we will do it God’s way, we will get God’s results! And that will be so much better.
During my wait, God told me many times to be still and wait. Then in the last month or so, He said “Be still and wait, it’s coming!” God is faithful to do exactly what He promises, and His word never returns void. During our wait, we discover God’s purpose and then we are enormously relieved and blessed, and wonder “Why did I worry?” God had it under control the whole time. Also, through my season of waiting, I have learned that how my wait ends is not as important as the changes in me and in my heart during the wait. God has a plan for each of us and for our marriages and we know it is all for good. So let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
So I ask you to continue to pray for SNO and me. And I want to thank each of you for your prayers and words of encouragement. This is an amazing ministry and there is so much love and support here. Just know that what God has done for others, He will do for you also. It is so exciting to see how God is moving in FAMM and know that He will be faithful to restore all of our marriages! Praise God! Again, thank you so much!