I was packing books at my Mom’s place last week, readying for The Move, when I was brought up short by the back of a book. I didn’t open it – I just glanced at the back, and apparently that was all the Holy Spirit needed to work with.
The funny thing is I have gone back to look at that book and still can’t figure out which sentence triggered this.
But then again, if God can speak through a donkey, He can certainly inspire through the back of a book.
It wasn’t even a ground-breaking, cutting edge new theology kind of thing. It was a simple book from the 80s talking about walking in the Spirit, taking authority over darkness and letting God’s power flow through your life.
And right there it hit me that this messy marriage situation is just not the point. I keep looking for an answer to the situation, as if to say, “Once I have settled down into a more respectable-looking, conflict-free lifestyle, then I can be happy and serve the Lord.”
And He is trying instead to get me to see eternity.
The next day I was reading in 2 Corinthians 9-10, where Paul was dealing with his own messy situation, having been accused of being two-faced while confronting sin in the church in Corinth. I had never seen that situation as a relational, personally hurtful one, but I immediately saw the correlation to my own – he was having trouble getting along with the people he was supposed to be partnering with.
So it really hit me when I read his answer to the situation. He said, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” (2 Cor 10:3-4 ESV).
I mean… I knew that verse. I’ve quoted that verse. But I hadn’t read the surrounding context with that verse in mind, so I never saw that Paul was applying that concept to relational issues.
I realized then that my focus needs to not be on buttoning up all the loose ends and defining the rules of how our relationship is now going to be and making declarations of independence and making everything tidy again.
It needs to be on God’s kingdom and what He wants me to do today.
Which is easy enough, this week, because it’s pretty obvious that this week is all about unpacking my Mom’s stuff and figuring out how to fit it into my already-crowded home, so that she feels like she lives here rather than being a guest.
And even then, I don’t need to let worry about that situation distract me from trusting in Him. It’s so easy to focus on the details of circumstances, and not as easy to focus on eternity, but honestly, even a year from now the trials of this move will be boiled down into a story that we will look back on with fondness and even laugh over.
Jesus told the parable of the sower, where some seed fell on hard ground, other seed on rocky ground, other seed on weedy ground and some on good soil. The weedy ground represents people who hear the word of the Lord but let the troubles of their day to day life choke it out.
I have certainly had my share of weeds and thorns this past couple of years. The last thing I need is to let those choke out the word of God from my life.
So I’m determined to walk out of the weeds and start letting the seed He has planted in my heart grow unencumbered.