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“‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.” Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the LORD have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.'” Ezekiel 36:33-36
There are so many Scriptures like those above that God can use to speak to you in your Stand. And because of that, it might be helpful to a new Stander to know some of the language that seems to apply to us. I found it very, very amazing that other Standers were getting the same Spirit-led Scriptures and thoughts that I was so I knew then God was using the same “language” to speak to very probably all of those of us who are seriously seeking the restoration and reconciliation of our relationship with God, our homes and our Marriages.
In the Scriptures above we can hear God speak to our hearts when we read it like this:
“‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On the day I cleanse you [both you and your spouse] from all your sins, I will resettle your towns [home; Marriage], and the ruins [of your Marriage] will be rebuilt. The desolate land [of your Marriage and home] will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. They will say, “This land [Marriage; home] that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities [Marriage; home] that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.” Then the nations [people; family; friends] around you that remain will know that I the LORD have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.'” Ezekiel 36:33-36
These are just some of the many Scriptures that the Lord has given to me – and to other Standers. When I see something like this come through in my prayer time, I am so overwhelmed that God would take the time to talk to and encourage me.
Like King David in 2 Samuel 7, I can say; “Lord God, who am I? What is my family? Why did you bring me to this point? But even this is not enough for You, Lord God. You have also made promises about my future. . . . What more can I say to You, Lord God, since You know me, your servant, so well! You have done this great thing because You said You would . . . . . and You have let me know about it.”
And He does let us know about it in speaking to us through His Word. There are so many layers to God’s Word that we don’t know about – and there are so many ways that He can speak to us through His Word. And when He does, you will know that you know for certain that His Holy Spirit just spoke to you.
Let’s look at some of the language.
The Land. Whether it’s described as Canaan, the promised land, cities, towns or just the land; this is a metaphor for your Marriage and your home.
The Nation or Nations. Can be used to describe your Prodigal Spouse, you, your family and the people around you. All of the people around you can be good or they can even be wicked (like the seven nations of Canaan which I will blog about later).
In Deuteronomy, Chapter 11, God says
“So obey all the commands I am giving you today so that you will be strong and can go in and take the Land you are going to take as your own. Then you will live a long time in the Land that the Lord promised to give [you]. . . a fertile Land. The Land you are going to take is not like Egypt, where you were. There you had to plant your seed and water it like a vegetable garden by using your feet. But the Land that you will soon cross the Jordan River to take is a Land of hills and valleys, a Land that drinks rain from heaven. It is a Land the Lord your God cares for. His eyes are on it continually, and He watches it from the beginning of the year to the end. If you carefully obey the commands I am giving you today and love the Lord your God and serve Him with your whole being, then He will send rain on your Land at the right time.”
What a beautiful promise! I never tire of seeing His promises to me. The wait can be hard but when I see His promises, I know He hasn’t forgotten…
Notice Egypt. This is very obviously the land you are being brought out of to cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land. It is necessary for God to bring His people out of this land. Egypt is the land of slavery where you worked under your own power almost totally independent of God; where you were slave to sins that only you can name but that is common to man; a land where you struggled in a Marriage that is cold, harsh and unforgiving – and maybe even dead by the world’s standard. But God has other plans for you, your Covenant Mate and your Marriage. He will bring you into the fertile and Promised Land of hills and valleys if you will love Him and serve Him with all your heart. And He will watch over you to take care of your Promised Land from the beginning of the year to the end – every year to the end. (This, by the way, is another “conditional promise” like I wrote about in another blog post – saying if you will but follow Me and love and serve Me with all your being, *then* I will do this for you.)
There is also the Jordan River mentioned above. The dividing line between the land of slavery and the Land of Promise. It is a place where God can test your faith as He did His people. In Joshua, Chapter 3, we see the Israelites camped on the bank of the Jordan River. They are in sight of their Promised Land (Canaan) but there is a problem – the Jordan River is in their path. They can’t go around it – it’s flood season. The only way they can get to the other side is to go through it! We know that God could very easily make the waters subside but He doesn’t. He is testing their faith in Him. The Priests are commanded to take the Ark of the Covenant and go stand in the river. How strange to hear that? At first hearing that and processing it in our minds, we would surely think that what we thought we heard is crazy! So we probably wouldn’t do it. But in spite of the strangeness of the orders they received, the Priests had faith enough to go stand in the water. As soon as they did, the waters stopped flowing from upstream. The very thing that stood in the way of the entire Nation of Israel getting to their Promised Land was now removed and they could all walk through to the other side on solid ground. But notice God did nothing until they put their feet of faith right in the middle of their circumstances – taking the first step of commitment, faith, and obedience. It is so with us as well. Our test of faith in our Jordan crossing may happen differently but is the same nonetheless.
Here’s another – the Wilderness. Also known as the Desert. Just as the names imply, it is a barren place to be. This has a spiritual connotation. It’s a place where we can end up because of our choices. Just like Israel wandered in the wilderness (desert) for 40 years for their unbelief and disobedience, we too can end up wandering and floundering – going around and around the same mountain of our circumstance, because of our own personal unbelief and disobedience. It is a place we will stay – like them – until we get it right.
Did you ever watch the movie Groundhog Day? It’s very much like that in a sense though definitely without the hilarity. There is nothing funny about being brought back to the same issues in our lives to do over and over until we get ourselves right before God. These are spiritual issues He is correcting in our lives – disciplining us as a father does His child. It is the place where God brings us full circle each time we go around — back to the place where we messed up. The place where we can get it right – or not. If not, we go around again until we arrive at the starting point of our mistakes. God doesn’t deal in mediocre or average. He’s a perfect, holy and righteous God and He intends to discipline us and teach us until we get it to HIS standards.
Have you ever had to deal with the same personal issues over and over again? Might even be different scenarios and circumstances but it’s definitely the same spiritual issue. You are going around the mountain – again. We go around and around because we don’t correct the problem. We go through Churches, jobs and friendships – and marriages. Every single time we hit a rough place, we run from it instead of facing the problem on our knees. We don’t want to believe we can be a part of the problem – but we are the problem.
Being in the wilderness, we learn the lessons that God is patiently trying to teach us. It is where God makes us into the people He has called us to be. It is also up to us how long we will stay there… Only be willing to let go of the hurt, anger, pride and hatred. What you are willing to let go of in your wilderness will determine what God will bring you to in the Land of Promise.
How about the Night? This signifies the dark time you may be walking through. It is a time of weeping and despair. It is also a time of the testing of your faith. It is the time when there seems to be no light. It is the darkness in your eyes; your heart; your life and your Marriage. It is also the time where you decide whether you will hold on to God or walk away to make your own joy and light. Trust me, He will definitely let you do this but He’ll only let you go so far. I used to call it the School of Hard Knocks. What it really is, is Pride in its purest form. See the wilderness above…
The Morning or the Day. This is the glorious time when the Light shines through your circumstances. It is the time of your healing; the healing of your Prodigal Mate; the healing and restoration of your Marriage. It is the joy He promised after your night of weeping and despair. Another Scripture that would be appropriate here would be Romans 13:11 –
“The night is almost finished and the day is almost here.”
God would be telling you that the salvation of your home and Marriage – the good things He promised you are almost here!
The Sea, Waves, Storm. These are what seem like insurmountable and stormy circumstances that threaten to pull you under. The storm and the waves are what Peter and the other disciples were focused on when Jesus came walking across the water. It is what Peter focused on after he took Jesus by the hand and climbed out of the boat. Peter started to walk on water, hand-in-hand with Christ and then began to sink when he took his eyes off his Savior. It is what we see when we take our eyes and focus off Jesus our Savior. We start to sink beneath the waves that seek to swallow us up. These are the very things He calms when we cry out to Him in our misery.
An easy one – Prodigal. The Prodigal is the one who left home. Reference the Scriptures on the Prodigal son & his Father. While there is literal meaning to those Scriptures, there is also Spiritual implications with regard to our own relationship to our Heavenly Father. You see that the Prodigal leaves home, squanders all he has of his inheritance – and then God allows reality to hit hard. He realizes he has sinned against his Father and starts the journey back home. While he is still a long way off, the Father sees him coming and runs out to meet him. Is that not so true with us in our relationship with God? Note that the Prodigal can also turn into a Stander. I am one. And now my Beloved Covenant Husband has become my Beloved Prodigal. Oh what awesome plans the Lord must have for him!
If you are trying to be attentive to prayer and are committed to doing the right thing, God will use His Word to speak to you! What an awesome feeling to know He is there with you. He honors the fervent prayer of the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry!
Praise your God because He has chosen YOU to KNOW Him and hear Him speak. He has called YOU for such a time as this. He is giving YOU the opportunity to become a nobler and stronger character IN Him. He is the Author and Finisher of your faith and He will see it through to perfection IN Him. The more you acknowledge Him, the more He will speak to you and guide you.
Your faith is the root of obedience. Your obedience is the soul of the knowledge He imparts to you.
Herein is the beginning of the language of the Spirit to the Stander.
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