There are seasons of Babylonian exile in marriage. The Lord’s presence seems far away. We yearn for comfort.
Ezekiel is a prophet living among the exiles in Babylon. His message is from God to the exiled nation of Israel. Worshipping false gods has brought catastrophe. Their land has been destroyed, including the beautiful temple King Solomon built for Yahweh. God’s presence is no longer with the people. His glory has been withdrawn.
Even though his presence is hidden from them, he is aware of their plight. He has provided a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone (Ez. 11:16). They will endure the consequences of their actions. But, it will not last forever. There is a need for a new personal relationship with God. Ezekiel tells them that God wants a new covenant of peace with them.
“They will return to [their land] and remove all its vile images and detestable idols and I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my law. They will be my people and I will be their God,” Ezekiel 11:18-21.
For Dave and I, the Lord’s presence was far away from our sexual intimacy until we quit blaming each other for pain. We removed the vile images and detestable idols by taking ownership of our individual sins.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit’s characteristics living in our hearts, we had the strength and desire to be less sensitive even though it wasn’t intuitive. When something hurts, you really do have the ability to stop, drop, and shut up.
We began to see each other’s actions from love, not spite. This didn’t happen overnight, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be miraculous to restore the undivided heart of your marriage.
God took our hard hearts and softened them toward each other. I won’t deny there was sin in our lives. But, some of our hardness was from ignorance not just sin.
Not all people are wired with relational understanding after the newlywed high wears away. The blessing is that anyone can learn simple relational tools. Prayer can help you find exactly the right resources.
If you’ve followed me for any time, you’ll know I’ll be the first to tell you, “I’m far from perfect.” (And my hubby will quickly be the second. *wink*)
Being far from perfect, my frantic heart is stilled by awesome relief. There’s no need for perfection, only a choice. You can either continue with nasty and defensive behavior, or you can choose to let Christ’s love out of your heart. Christ’s grace covers us both.
At the end of Ezekiel there is a fabulous promise. “…And the name of the city from that time on will be: YAHWEH SHUMMAH (The Lord Is There),” Ezekiel 48:35. God’s presence will return.
Jesus said, “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him,” John 14:20-21. YAHWEH SHUMMAH walks with me.
Ezekiel 48:35 came to pass in a personal way the ancient Israelites could never have imagined. YAHWEH SHUMMAH is in my heart.
Not only is the Lord Jesus here in my heart through the Holy Spirit but YAHEWEH SHUMMAH is in my bedroom. The Lord Is There in all His Glory.
“For where two or three have gathered together in my name, I am there in their midst.” Matthew 18:20.
As two believers who are in the covenant of marriage, an intimate moment could probably be considered, ‘gathering together in my name.’ Who’s to say making love isn’t a form of worship?
The Lord Is There, living in unapproachable light (2 Timothy 6:16). The soft dewy glow of sexual intimacy pushes away many of Satan’s dark schemes.
Low-drive or high-drive, it doesn’t matter. We all need to understand how God’s glory is in our bedroom.
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