Divorce, Endurance, God's Power, Spiritual Warfare, Temptation

Don’t Be Complacent

They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.

Psalm 53:5

If you are standing for your marriage or have experienced the Lord miraculously restore the relationship between you and your spouse, there may come a point when you become comfortable or lax in your walk with Jesus. If you are like me, the desire to possess an intimate and close fellowship with the Savior can be a struggle. Far too often, the very things that should rightfully occupy the inner parts of our hearts take a back seat to what is fleshly, temporal and fleeting.

Recently, I’ve become aware of areas in my own life where complacency has taken hold. What has become clear and glaringly apparent is the fact that this attitude usually is a result of our unwillingness to be proactive and intentional in our pursuit of righteousness on a routine basis. Unfortunately, deviation from deliberate efforts to fully submit to God have the potential to put us in situations where our hearts can become vulnerable to the attacks from the enemy. It’s a dangerous place to be and an environment we as believers should always seek to avoid.

So vitally important to understand is that none of us are above reproach and what exists in our hearts will never come close to being good. In fact, what is there is described as deceptive and wicked by the Word of God. This should serve as a sobering reminder should any think he or she is beyond scrutiny and incapable of turning astray. I’m reminded of the story of Peter and the circumstances that led to his denying Christ three times. Surely if any person had a right relationship with the Lord it would be Peter, right? One can easily assume this, but if we view this apostle from a lens focused squarely on his human imperfections and sin nature, it becomes easier to understand how this event likely occurred.

Before Peter’s outward denying of the Savior, there were already failures at the heart level. In other words, the spiritual battle Peter was in had already been lost long before the infamous cursing came from his lips. As Scripture tells us, it is out of the abundance of the heart, that our mouths speak. This is also true of what we do with our hands, think in our head, or look upon with our eyes. It all begins in the heart. It is due to this corruption that the sinful and ungodly actions of the flesh are born out and made manifest.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

At this point, you may be thinking to yourself that if someone like Peter who was so close to Christ fell so easily, what hope do we have? The answer is simple. The hope you have is not in yourself or in your ability to fight the enemy on your own. Your hope is in Jesus. He is the one able to strengthen and equip you. His Word is what prepares you for battle and provides you the armor to withstand the attacks of the evil one. We must rely on Him completely and not leave ourselves vulnerable by assuming anything concerning the virtue and integrity we foolishly think we possess.

There were times in my stand when I did feel extremely confident about my walk with the Lord and the work He had done in my life. But even in those moments, there was danger lurking at every corner seeking to lead me astray. It was only by the grace of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit that potentially harmful situations and opportunities were kept at bay.

The challenge we all face is clear. A relentless enemy is on the attack. He will use anyone and anything to lead us down the path of darkness. Be constantly aware of these dangerous snares and entrapments. Don’t let your vulnerabilities during these valley experiences allow the evil one to gain access to the doors of your heart. Purpose now to cling to the cross. May we all remain broken before Jesus and understand the importance of our full and complete submission to Him. It is only through Christ that victory will be found.

In Christ,

Tommy Larson

Divorce, Faithfulness, Forgiveness, Healing and Reconciliation, Marriage, Spiritual Warfare, Suffering, Waiting on God

The Divorce Delusion

In this episode of the Purposed Marriage Podcast, Amy and I address common questions individuals struggle with when contemplating divorce. Our discussion is focussed on finding Biblical answers that are in line with Christ’s teaching and design for marriage.

Christian Walk, Divorce, Faithfulness, Forgiveness, Healing and Reconciliation, Marriage, Spiritual Warfare, Suffering

Finding Freedom from Your Past

As a biblical counselor, I consider it a great honor to serve and walk alongside individuals that are struggling to find their footing. It wasn’t long ago that I myself was striving. I had lost sight of the cross and was lured in by the enemy who planted doubt and confusion in my mind specifically related to events from my past. (Remind you of Genesis 3 by chance?) I had allowed Satan a foothold into my life and he cleverly twisted my thoughts and skewed my view on reality.

I eventually gave in to the enemy’s temptation and started running in the opposite direction from the Lord and from my husband. I had communicated to Tommy that I had forgiven him, however, I neglected to connect the dots between forgiveness, repentance and reconciliation. Instead of accepting his sincere apology and addressing our marital issues, I paved the road to divorce with bitterness in my heart and wrath on my lips. My words were damaging and were intended to bring about vengeance. Reminding Tommy of his past failures was motivated by my desire to elicit sympathy for myself and inflict pain on him. I felt completely justified in my actions because my heart had grown hardened towards him and I felt he deserved harsh punishment for the way he had treated me over the past 10 years.

As I reflect back, I’m so thankful Tommy was receiving sound biblical advice. Several godly men directed him to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and disregard mine. He was not bound by my words because the soft whispers of the Spirit drowned out all the accusations I hurled at him. With time, I realized my words were no longer effecting Tommy or his stand for our marriage. I could have attempted to use other weapons in my arsenal, but thankfully God’s plan and pursuit of my heart came to fruition and the veil was lifted from my eyes. With clear vision, there was nothing left to do but turn to the Lord and address my past biblically.

But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18

Did you hear that dear friends? Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is FREEDOM! Aren’t those sweet words that we need to hear and be reminded of time and time again? We are not hopeless victims that can never recover from our past. We have the power of the Holy Spirit working in us to set us free and break the chains. Behind our bondage and every bad habit or behavior is a lie. When we speak falsehoods to ourselves and play untrue thoughts frequently, we convince ourselves that they are true. Commit your mind to the Lord so the lies can be eradicated and the Spirit can do a powerful work in your life. Christ made a way for us to find freedom from our past, in Him and through Him by His death on the cross.