Each week we share guest devotionals. The views expressed below are those of the writer and may not reflect the views of Rejoice Marriage Ministries or the Steinkamps.
Has the Lord placed a devotional on your heart that you would like to share with other standers?
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8 (CSB)
Last Sunday my children and I visited church in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic. As the guest minister began to deliver his sermon, I observed a couple sitting two pews in front of us. Based on the proximity of how close they were sitting to one another, there was no question about their love. They left absolutely no space between themselves. You could almost feel the intensity of their affection.
On this particular Sunday, the minister was preaching about worry. As he inexhaustibly mentioned matters of worry, the couple embraced one another more and more tightly. I could only imagine what they had endured or were currently enduring. But what seemed to be obvious was that they were enduring together. Not only were they drawing close to one another but they were simultaneously drawing close to God in their worship experience. Like this married couple, we need to habitually draw near to God just as written in James 4:8.
For many months after my prodigal left, we still attended church together as a family every Sunday. He and I sat beside one another as if there was nothing going on. No one could tell that anything had changed or that we were in a crisis. But as the days and months went on, he sat further and further away from me. First, he sat in such a way that placed our children in between us. Then eventually he sat away from our family, leaving enough space between us to seat at least three other people.
Ephesians 4:27 instructs us to not give the devil an opportunity. At that time, I did not fully understand the dynamics of spiritual warfare. But what I realize today, is that while there was room for other people to sit between us, it unfortunately also left room for the enemy. Room for the enemy to drive a much larger wedge than he had already driven between us. The reality is that we should have remained sitting as close together as the married couple I observed at church last Sunday. But the ensuing pain and anger left nothing but opportunity for the devil to drive us further apart.
… and don’t give the devil an opportunity. Ephesians 4:27 (CSB)
God is Omnipresent. He is never far from us. When it seems as if He is, then that is often a sign that we need to be still. It is a sign to draw nearer and spend some unadulterated alone time with Him. Romans 8:38-39 reminds us that there is absolutely nothing that can separate us from His love.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (CSB)
God doesn’t put us under duress. Instead, He desires for us to open the door freely and willingly let Him enter in. He wants to inhabit all of our space.
Whether we are currently standing for our marriages or walking through restoration, what remains the same is that we need to draw nearer to God. Our lives depend on it. Our spouse’s lives depend on it. Our marriages depend on it. As we expectantly wait on God’s promises to be fulfilled, let us remember to draw closer to God. My we stay alert, standing firm in our faith, remaining courageous and strong.
Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13 (CSB)
Ambre in Maryland