Many of you may have opened this blog thinking it would be about your marriage to your spouse; please keep reading because it is even more important than that.
While in prayer this morning the question arose in my heart for the Body of Christ. Did you merely determine to be a Christian through belief in the name of Jesus Christ or have you married yourself to God?
Open your heart to understand what I am going to tell you; it will benefit you and those you love. Many people who say they are Christians do so because they believe that when they responded to an altar call or said the “sinners’ prayer,” they were saved. This ideology is not so in all cases. There are some who do these acts out of a sincere heart, and their lives begin to show it as they start to bear fruit worthy of repentance (Mat 3:8). Still, others only have an emotional experience that never leads to a genuine conversion in the Lord Jesus Christ.
For your Maker [is] your husband, The LORD of hosts [is] His name; And your Redeemer [is] the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. - Isa 54:5
Jesus is married to the Church, God has chosen a nation to be His family through His Son, and one day He will return for that Bride. A bride and bridegroom do not take their wedding vows of “I do until death do we part” for only one night. A couple take their covenant vows with the intention of being together forever, committed to each other and no other. Time and time again we read of God embracing His people as a bride, married to them in such a way as to protect and cover them.
Many times, a person who answered an altar call to receive Jesus Christ or have said a prayer, has done so out of emotionalism and not a changed heart. Unfortunately, the Church has sent a wrong message to many, often appealing to the emotions of a person without helping them understand the cost of salvation. A response to a good message that leads one to pray a sinner’s prayer can be a start towards salvation because they are making a decision for Christ, but it is not salvation. Salvation is a lifetime spent married to God and not a one-time decision to receive Him.
How Do We Marry Jesus? We know we have made a genuine commitment to God when we do these three things and we see the result of them.
We must (1) repent for our sins (Act 26:30), (2) believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord (Master) and Savior, and (3) confess with our mouths the same. But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. - Rom 10:8-10
When we believe with the new heart, we will begin to see a lifestyle change and the fruit of the Spirit will begin to be released from us. For some people, the fruit of the Spirit may take some time to come forth in various areas of their lives because wounded people often need to be healed so that the works of the Spirit can manifest. We will see a growth in the process of a soul that is being regenerated through a true conversion. However, with an emotional response to the preachers Sunday message we will see a continuation of an old lifestyle.
Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. - 1Jo 3:9
It is possible to honor God with an outward expression but never have a changed heart; this is a religious spirit. Jesus said, “In vain they worship Me, this people honors Me with their lips, but their hearts is far from Me.” – Mar 7:8 Some people may look good by holding their hands up in worship, performing well from the stage, and even doing good deeds, but doing so out of a wrong heart. We should be motivated by our faith to do good works and not motivated to do good works to show our faith.
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! - Gal 5:22-23 NLT
Life of Repentance And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. - Eph 4:30
Lastly, we will know that we have a changed heart because we will experience grief when we grieve the Holy Spirit. We will recognize sin in our lives and willfully repent of it. To repent means to change our mind, turn around, and go the other direction. When the wind blows, and we walk against it we grow weary, we get chapped skin, and it takes much longer to get where we are going. When we walk with the wind our destination is easier to attain, it is the same when we walk with the Spirit of God instead of against Him.
We are assured that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 Jn 1:9 We are also assured of healing when we confess our sins. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. - Jas 5:16 NLT
If we want to keep an open and flowing relationship with God, then we will live a life of reflection whereby we are open to change so that we may look more like Jesus. We are transformed into the same image of Jesus from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord (2Co 3:18).
Let’s Pray, Heavenly Father, thank You for the covenant relationship You have with us through Your Son Jesus Christ. I confess that I have taken Your grace for granted and I have lived outside of our covenant marriage. Today I want to rededicate my life to You. I want to renew my wedding vows to You and walk in a closer relationship with You. I choose of my own free will to forgive all those who have hurt me, and I ask for Your forgiveness for the sins I have done. I desire the fruit of the Holy Spirit to be evident in my life in all areas and am willing to give up anything that is hindering Your Spirit from having Your way in me. May I be found faithful to my marriage vows in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.