Getting Over The Hump

Marriage is a journey. The logistics of this journey are different for every two people that join hearts and hands and choose to take this journey. The journey begins with each person packing their own bags and then they meet up and set out together. She has her baggage. He has his baggage. She has her GPS programmed her way and he has his programmed his way. She has her dreams and expectations of what the future should hold and he has his own dreams and expectations of that very same future. They have discussed these dreams and expectations as best as they can, but what they have not yet learned is that discussion is different from actually walking it out.

In this baggage we carry all the experiences of our lives that we are trying to pack away in order to step into this new future together as well as all the things we want to use to build this new future together. When we both show up to the wedding dragging a 26 foot U-haul behind us… the journey is going to be a lot tougher than if we both show up with a lightweight backpack. Sometimes one person shows up with the U-haul and the other has a backpack and this can make the journey just as hard and just as frustrating.

When we stand up there at the altar and say “I do” and “I will”, we are both so full of adrenaline and bliss that we don’t even care about the baggage, because we are young and strong and fresh on the journey. The baggage doesn’t seem heavy or burdensome. We both are convinced that we can handle it all just fine. However, we are not aware that there will be times when we will have to carry the others baggage nor do we realize that there will be baggage we will also pick up while we walk the journey.

Along the way there will be baggage that is handed to the both of us and in order to carry it we will most likely have to stop and choose to either leave behind the baggage we brought with us, or quite the journey because we refuse to drop the old baggage in order to be able to carry the new. This can be a hard decision, especially when some of the baggage we might have to discard has not been opened in years and most likely never was wanted to be opened again. Perhaps it was  brought on the journey for the simple fact that we wanted to make sure it remained safely tucked away, hidden, and forcedly forgotten. I understand, I really do… and so does God.

Therefore they inquired further of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?” So the Lord said, “Behold, he is hiding himself by the baggage.”

(1 Samuel 10:22)

When God called Saul to be the first king of Israel he chose to hide by the baggage. He didn’t want to step out into the unknown and move forward on this journey that God had called him too. He wanted to stay hidden. Yet, in this life we don’t get to remain hidden or stagnant anywhere. We will move, it will either be forward or it will be backward.

Then David left his baggage in the care of the baggage keeper, and ran to the battle line and entered in order to greet his brothers.

(1 Samuel 17:22)

In marriage we will either leave our baggage in the care of the baggage keeper or we will hide by it and be drug backwards by the weight of trying to keep hold of it.

Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

(Psalm 55:22)

David chose to leave his baggage and ran to the battle line. In doing so he was able to enter into the future that God had for him. David knew that he couldn’t carry all his baggage into this new journey. He couldn’t fight the battles he needed to fight and lend a hand to those who needed a hand if his were already both full, and neither can we.

We come to marriage with our bags packed. We come programmed with the way we think things will be. We come ready to take each other hand in hand and we don’t realize how many twists and turns and detours and hills and mountains will lay before us. Life brings us to the foot of a mountain time and time again and in order to get over the coming hump, you often have to leave baggage behind. If you choose not to, then this is when the hand in hand stops. You either leave the baggage and take old of the hand, or you grab tightly to the baggage and push the hand away.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

(Hebrews 12:1)

My husband and I entered our marriage both dragging 26 ft u-hauls behind us. We have both had a lot of unpacking and casting away in our nineteen years of this journey. Many times we have come to a mountain that seemed to high and too hard and we held in our hands baggage that we really didn’t want to get into and didn’t want left behind. The baggage of opinions, personality, and habits can be even heavier and harder to leave behind than the baggage of carefully packed away pre-journey sin, but if we want to get over the hump we have to deal with the baggage.

In the beginning we usually just start discarding our own baggage, because we realize it was like our favorite old t-shirt, comfortable but not really that important. We don’t even discuss what we are casting away with the other, we just do it and move on. Then we come to the foot of a mountain when the other looks at us and we literally have to choose the baggage or them. This is where it gets hard. However, if we will just trust the Baggage Keeper and leave our burden with Him… we will realize that what looked like an unclimbable impassable mountain, was really just another hump.

Once we get over this hump the decision of the baggage no longer is a choosing of his or hers. Once we get over this hump when the next mountain comes we have lightened our load and combined our bags. Now we are able to sit down and go through the baggage together and lighten the load by combining and dividing according to each other’s strength at the current moment. Now we do not look at the mountain with fear and anxiety, but with hope and determination.

Beloved, I don’t know where you are on your journey. Perhaps you have not even began the journey of marriage yet, or perhaps you are reading this and you are standing there staring at that mountain that is forcing you to choose your baggage or your partner in the journey. I know it’s scary… but precious one, once you lay that burden down at the foot of the cross and take their hand and turn to face that mountain… you will discover it was just a hump.

Once you get over that hump, yes, there will be more mountains to face, but you face them together… carrying only the baggage you both have decided is needed for the next leg of the journey.

I’m Not Breaking Up With Beth Moore

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And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
(Luke 4:16-20)

And now Jesus sends us… Notice beloved where Jesus closed the book. He closed it at “proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” Right here, right now, we are called to preach the gospel, to proclaim release, to give sight, to set free, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.

It’s simply our job today to let people know that there is a way with THE WAY. Yes, the day of judgment is coming, but it’s not today. Today we tell of the judgment to come, but we offer hope. It is between people and God whether or not they take hold of the hope that is being offered.

Today we preach and when they believe we teach and we keep teaching and teaching and teaching and we trust the Spirit of God to do the rest. This is why, no, I’m not breaking up with Beth Moore… and you know why? Because Jesus told me to, that’s why.

John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you.”

Luke 9:49-50

***

By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

1 John 2-3

This is the plumb line. Do they preach Jesus as the Son of God coming in the flesh to die on the cross for the sin of mankind, buried and having rose again on the third day defeating death and the grave, making a way so all that call on His name, His name alone, because His name is the ONLY name given to man by that we may be saved, shall receive forgiveness of sins and be justified by God and declared righteous in His sight and therefore have eternal life? If this is what they preach, then they are with me and I am not breaking up with them.

 

Here’s the thing. Judas sat down with Jesus and the rest of the disciples regularly. He ate with them and heard all the truth right from the mouth of THE TRUTH, yet he didn’t believe and betrayed Him.

 

I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.’ 

John 13:18

No one saw the reality of the heart of Judas except for Christ. All the disciples thought Judas was one of them and was with Jesus. Yet in Luke 9 they wanted to condemn and stop a man who wasn’t one of them but was indeed with Jesus. They judged by their momentary encounter and by the flesh, not the heart. Therefore they judged wrong.

 

Here is what I have learned, I can’t judge the heart of Beth or any of the myriads of others that spend their lives proclaiming Christ. I don’t know the motivation behind what they do, and I don’t know what demons they are fighting that are trying to bring them and the name of Jesus to ruin in the process. Therefore as long as they proclaim the favorable year of the Lord, as long as they stand on the foundation of the gospel, I’m not breaking up with them. No, instead, I’m going to pray HARD for them.

We live in the United States of America where Bibles and Bible studies abound. If we are not living our Christian life in right doctrine it’s not on any of these public figures… it’s on us.  If we stop our ears and if we stop seeking the face of God at having our own feel good button hit, that’s on us. Pointing a finger at someone else and saying it’s their fault is not going to work when we stand before God. A true believer isn’t following a man or woman’s voice, they are following the voice of Jesus:

 

But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”

John 10:2-5

 

You see, I’m writer and a teacher and a speaker. I understand the fear that comes with every blog post and every book and every lesson and every conference because I understand the responsibility attached to the fact that I am handling the very Word of God. I also know that I am human and sometimes my mouth and fingers works faster than my brain, sometimes auto-correct changes things, sometimes I wasn’t able to explain my tone, my context, my background in that 3 second clip you caught. Sometimes I simply am still growing and haven’t learned it all yet.

 

When all you have is social media blurbs and books and articles that were written in different stages of a believer’s walk with the Lord, believer’s who were sharing what they knew to be true at that particular time in the hope against hope that through what they shared someone might come to know Jesus and be saved, how can anyone stand and judge and condemn them? Especially those who go days, weeks, and years… and have not even led one person to the Lord, and have not preached the gospel or proclaimed the favorable year of the Lord to possibly any one.

 

In the book of 2 John we are given some excellent advice…

The elder to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth, for the sake of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father. Now I ask you, lady, not as though I were writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. 

2 John 1:1-11

 

The thing is, so often I see people condemn the Beth Moore’s of the world, but they welcome the Sheldon Cooper’s, Dr Oz’s, and Katy Perry’s right on in to their homes. Are we so deceived that we think someone has to be standing on a stage quoting a Bible verse to be a false teacher or false prophet?

 

Here is the thing, as long as they are declaring that Jesus Christ came in the flesh and that He is the only One that can save. I am with them. I will love them and give them grace and pray. I will not condemn them to the world. I don’t have to agree with them on every point. I just have to agree with them on this one, Jesus is ALL.

 

Now, the moment they start promising blessings for sending them our money, the moment they start exalting themselves (and/or experiences they claim they can give us) above Christ, the moment they start denying that Jesus came in the flesh, died, and rose on the third day, the moment they deny His deity and the fact that He is the ONLY Way to the Father, at that moment– I break up with them.

 

Our Pastor shared a wonderful spirit filled message this past Sunday. In this message he spoke from John 7:37-39 and shared how Jesus is not a little sprinkle but He is a fountain.

 

He is the Living Water, He comes in our life like a gushing river or a flood not a trickling creek. He then shared four ways that you can know if you are Spirit-filled.

  1. There is a cleansing in your life.
  2. There is consistency in your life
  3. There is a power that comes forth from your life.
  4. There is depth to your life.

 

When I first wholly surrendered to the Lord I was full of zeal. I was full of zeal and ignorance. I thought I had experienced life in my massive twenty-four years here on this earth. I thought my daily Bible study time and having read through the entire Bible several times over made me an expert on the things of God. I had no clue what all I still had to learn.

I thought I was an expert on a relationship with God at that time because of what He had healed me of and taught me in my life. I thought that through my experience I now had answers for everyone in every experience. I didn’t realize that I really had no clue how deeply the heart can hurt and how dark the wilderness can get. I had no clue the demons that others had to fight and how sneaky that serpent really is. I’ve learned a lot. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that I still have A LOT to learn. So I simply try to keep learning.
So, no I’m not breaking up with Beth. I’m not breaking up with her because I have heard her speak on the fear and reverence of God that she holds for the simple fact that she is a public figure handling His Word. I am not breaking up with her because I have watched her grow and go deeper in the Lord. I’m not breaking up with her, because I see the evidence of changed lives all around her. I’m not breaking up with her because I have seen and heard her publicly repent for wrong things said and done.
I’m not breaking up with her because she is a sister in Christ and she needs my prayers and my support in this fight against the spiritual forces of darkness and the prince of this world.  I’m not breaking up with her because the same Spirit of God that is in her is in me and I trust Him to be victorious in her life and mine.
I’m not breaking up with her because my God is perfectly capable and big enough to bring down and expose anyone who is a fraud. He will not share His glory with another. He will humble the wicked. He will bring down the ministry of those who lead His people astray. He will remove His lampstand and He will diminish their impact on the world. He will do it.  He has always done it. He watches over His Word.
But when they heard this, they were cut to the quick and intended to kill them. But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time. And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered. So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”
Acts 5:33-39