Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The Covering - Part Four
Fresh Manna 2008© by Pastor Tim Burt
1 Cor 6:20 “You are not your own. For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.”
In September of 2001, Governor George E. Pataki of New York signed legislation that made it a felony offense for a criminal to wear a bulletproof vest while carrying out a crime using a rifle or a shotgun. They did not want criminals to have this kind of protection when committing crime. If caught wearing one in a violent crime, they are guaranteed prison time. They want a covering of protection for police but not for the criminals.
Over the years in working with people through marriage difficulties, there have been times where I thought the husband and wife should be wearing a bulletproof vest. Actually, not a bulletproof vest but a wordproof vest. I have heard some deadly 'word' - shots and character assassinations fly randomly like a drive-by shooting.
I've been talking about God's divine protection - His covering over us. The Lord's covering is intended to be a supernatural covering of blessing and protection supplied by the promise of God's Word and accessed through faith in His Words. Upholding relationships with God’s love helps keep that covering intact. This kind of covering by faith has always been God’s will for each and every one of us. Gal 5:6 says, “…Faith which works by love.” Psa 18:30 says, “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield (a protector) for all who take refuge in Him.” I want you to see that although God has a covering, the devil attempts to lure us into another kind of covering - a covering of aggression.
Most people that fall in love and get married initially cover each other with much prayer, love, and grace, and with much kindness and forgiveness. God's people did not always reverence God or regard and honor His ways. Many times they'd stray from the Lord and become selfish and self-centered instead of remembering they were God's children. They would no longer be focused covering their families and those endeared to their hearts with prayer, love, and selflessness. What should have been a covering of love instead became a covering of aggression and violence.
In Malachi 2:13-16, we see this. We see the Lord was chastising His people about covering each other with thoughts of evil and schism. He was upset with them about it. The Lord no longer wanted to accept their tithes and offerings because their hearts had become evil. They were no longer giving from a right and willing heart. The Lord said that He Himself was a witness as to the way they were treating the wife of their youth. They may have married making the commitment as "two becoming one flesh”, but somewhere along the line they become independent and selfish. They quit loving and pursing the Lord together. They began to cover each other with a covering of violence ending up in divorce. Let's read these verses.
Malachi 2:13-16 “Another thing you do: You flood the Lord's altar with tears. You weep and wail because He no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, "Why?" It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are His. And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. "I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel, "and I hate a man's covering himself with violence as well as with His garment," says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith."
The purpose of marriage was for a man and a woman to be united in love, in heart and in purpose - together pursing the plan of God in the earth. That means that in their love, they would receive the forgiveness of Jesus Christ for their sins and then let that same forgiveness flow from one to another. It meant that they would grow spiritually and let their lives be used to be representatives of God's love in the earth. If they had children, God wanted a man and woman to dedicate and commit themselves to raise them to learn of and know of Him and His ways. He wanted families that would represent Him in the earth. As Jesus said, they were to become the "salt of the earth.”
Without the focus of His love and purpose, you drift to self-interest, personal purpose and agenda, and personal gratification. All of this resulting in selfish lives outside the will and pursuit of God. A life without God's purpose leads to a void of frustration and dissatisfaction. Couples begin to express feelings of their own dissatisfaction in numerous ways and a covering of aggression and violence creeps in. Eventually hurtful words and actions destroy what were once hearts in love.
When you live in the world and get caught up in the world's ways, you lose sight of these things pursuing your self-interest instead of the wife or husband of thy youth. You forget the words of today's Fresh Manna that says, "You are not your own. For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." In most cases, the person you loved is still in there. The person that you don't like, you may have helped create through a wrong covering. How can you help get back the person you fell in love with? Be a covering of love!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.