Question is, how does any true born-again believer think he or she can live in this present life without spending time at the feet of He Who created life; He Who gives you the ability to walk, talk, breathe, think, act, speak, etc?
Trust is, there is not a moment in our life that we are not desperate for God. There is not a moment in our life that we are not dependent upon God.
That’s a sign that should be posted on the front door of every married couple’s home . . . and never removed. Every marriage is a work in progress and must be worked on every day. Sadly, many marriages look like a run down, unkempt house. How did that house that once was fresh and new become one with windows broken, shingles missing, shutters banging against the wall, and many other signs of neglect and disrepair? It all started with a little neglect here and a little carelessness there. And so it is with marriage. How does that marriage which began with much fanfare and perhaps extravagance become like a broken down house?
You take each other for granted.
You stop talking to each other, face-to-face, like you did when you were dating; the terms of endearment are few.
You let the children take priority over your marriage relationship.
You permit the deception of busyness to create unhealthy separation between you.
You do not go to bed at the same time. (Understanding that work schedules can be a deterrent)
You spend more time with social media than socializing with your spouse.
You stop taking care of yourself. Remember how you tried to look good for a date? Why not now? You let yourself go physically, spiritually and mentally.
You expect to be served rather than serving each other.
You have not used the phrases “I’m sorry” and/or “Please forgive me” in a long, long time.
You haven’t held hands in a long time.
You live like a victim instead of a victor in Christ.
Your kisses are more pecks than “dating specials”!
So, how do you fix a run-down house? One room or area at a time. If you are hearing the shutter knocking against the walls of your marriage, humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and your spouse and start in one area at a time. You don’t repair a house overnight. Be proactive instead of inactive. Put the “Work in Progress” sign back up and by God’s grace, rebuild your marriage. (A good place to start is reading Ephesians 4:18-6:18 to each other.)
The recent cool temps have beckoned us to enjoy our backyard fire pit. Last Saturday night, we had 16 folks gathered around the fire sharing testimonies and singing under the stars accompanied by two guitarists. Monday night, our daughter and son-in-law joined us for some family conversation and ice cream around the fire. After they departed, my wife and I roasted marshmallows and talked for a while.
There’s something about a fire that draws you into some good fellowship. There’s something about a fire that also creates some good practical spiritual applications for life. Early on in the evening, the fire was full and burning bright. To keep it that way, I had to keep adding logs to stoke the fire, and I had to pay attention lest it die out.
As I write this post, our fire pit has no life in it due to letting the fire go out and the cold temps settle in overnight on the remaining ashes and burnt wood. No one is sitting around the fire. No one is attracted to its glow, nor warmed by its flames, nor sustained by the food cooked over its embers. But, when the cools temps roll around this evening, that beckoning call will return.
How careful we must be to keep our hearts burning for the Lord (Luke 24:32;Romans 12:11). Just as I have to keep an eye on the fire to maintain its blaze, may I tell you that the best way to keep your spiritual heart on fire is through intimate prayer. That includes your daily time of sitting at Jesus’ feet with your Bible and your eyes wide open listening and praying the Scriptures (Luke 10:38-42). Also that includes conversing with Him throughout your day (Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). Combined, that’s keeping your eye on the fire, the Lord Jesus Christ. All of genuine, authentic life comes from Him and abiding in Him (Psalm 16:11; John 1:1-4; 11:25; 14:6; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:1-4; John 15:1-17). As you pray, your heart will be warmed, your countenance will be changed, your life will be sustained, and you’ll find yourself wanting to be close to fire as you dwell in this cold, dark, sin-filled world.
Are you cold? Stoke the fire. Get closer to the fire. Keep your eye on the fire. Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer is the vital breath of the Christian; not the thing that makes him alive, but the evidence that he is alive.”