19 And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!”
As I read the following words from Oswald Chambers this morning, my heart ached and my eyes began to water, as I reflected on the season of my life when my marriage was falling apart…
“We show how little we love God by preferring to listen to His servants only. We like to listen to personal testimonies, but we do not desire that God Himself should speak to us. Why are we so terrified lest God should speak to us? Because we know that if God does speak, either the thing must be done or we must tell God we will not obey Him. If it is only the servants voice we hear, we feel it is not imperative, we can say, “Well, that is simply your own idea, though I don’t deny it is probably God’s truth.”
Am I putting God in the humiliating position of having treated me as a child of His whilst all the time I have been ignoring Him? When I do hear Him, the humiliation I have put on Him comes back on me- “Lord, why was I so dull and so obstinate?” This is always the result when once we do hear God. The real delight of hearing Him is tempered with shame in having been so long in hearing Him.”
Because of the shame I was feeling, I told no one what was going on when I was contemplating leaving my husband. Day after day I ranted and raved and wept alone. I was desperate for help, but too stubborn to ask for it. Months later, when Doug invited me to join one of his counseling sessions, I finally relented and went along. During the hour long appointment, I sat on the sofa, hearing the counselor speak to us, but I was determined not to listen. I was convinced that Doug was the problem- not me, therefore I didn’t need to speak to anyone…including God. Many sessions and months later the Holy Spirit broke through my stubborn pride and my marriage began the road to restoration in which we are currently still traveling. What I have since discovered has been a key in understanding how to deal with conflict with my spouse:
-FIRST, I must speak directly to God, or areas of my soul (mind, will and emotions) will remain “dead.”
-THEN, I must obey what He says.
-IF I am unable to hear Him (because of sin or deception by the enemy), I must seek godly counsel.
22 Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed.
Even in the midst of this season in my life, as I am reaping the blessings of God’s restoration of my marriage I still speak and listen to my Father about “issues” with my husband. Sometimes I hear Him very clearly and His Spirit brings confirmation….or conviction. But sometimes, He is silent, or what I hear sounds a lot like what Jodie wants and it doesn’t quite match His character, which is reflected in His Word. In those times I speak with one or more of my mentors. Then, after I have listened to their wise counsel and guidance I go back to the Lord to seek His Truth. It’s a genius communication system our God put in place long before I was created to be His daughter, or Doug’s wife. Prayer has radically changed my life as a follower of Jesus and it has become one of the keys to oneness in my marriage.
If your marriage is dead, and you haven’t been hearing God speak, I encourage you to go ahead and ask “Lord, why was I so dull and so obstinate?” Then listen……and obey what the Holy Spirit whispers. If He remains silent, seek counsel from a godly friend or mentor.