Well friends, we are half way through this study. If you've made it this far I am giving you a heads up, the next 10 days will be the most challenging. After day 30 you will be able to look up and see the difference these many days of prayer and studying God's Word has made on your marriage. You may even already see a difference. I encourage you to keep running this race until you reach the flourishing end. Today we are going to to start in Colossians.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you are called to walk in peace.
Does peace rule in your marriage? It's a simple question but I want you to be honest. Do you feel as though you are always in the middle of a mess? Does chaos seem like part of your everyday? I am here to tell you that our Father has something much better. Jesus came to us to bring us something special.
A friend of mine pulled me aside one day after a good cry I was having and told me a story. I had heard the story before but let me share it with you too. She said, "remember the Bible story about Jesus and his disciples in the boat during the storm. The waves were crashing and the disciples were afraid. They went to Jesus in a panic, not believing he could calm the storm, and woke him from his peaceful nights rest for fear they were about to drown. When they did, Jesus got up, calmed the storm and when all was calm he turned and said 'Where is your faith?' They were shocked. The could not believe that even the wind and rain obeyed Him." (Luke 8:22-25) My friend said, "just get in the bottom of the boat with Jesus and lay next time him in peace". Whoa! Point taken.
Jesus was ruled by peace. His heart was never in fear of the storm. He could sleep straight through it with no fear of drowning. He paid it no mind. Jesus said...
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, do not be afraid. -John 14:27
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. BUT take heart, I have overcome the world. -John 16:3
Jesus says all this. We get the impression that He came to this world to hand out peace freely like tossing gold coins in the air, we would collect it like the treasure it is. However, Jesus wants you to know that the peace He gives is actually a Sword. He wasn't bring you peace, He was bringing you the power to receive your peace in such a way that it was a weapon for the enemy.
What started this whole search for answers on peace and the sword? During my study time I followed a few side notes around in my Bible before landing on ...
Do not suppose that I have come to bring you peace to the earth, I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
What? Wait a minute. I thought all that talk about having peace for myself was just a given. It was just handed over to me. Boy, was I wrong. Jesus said some things too that made me keep digging...
For all who draw the sword will die by the sword. -Matt 26:25
What is your weapon? When there is a struggle in your marriage, when you are fighting, when you're not speaking, when you are pushing buttons...what is your weapon? Ephesians 6:17 instructs us to use one weapon and one only. The Sword of the Spirit.
The Sword of the Spirit cuts through the mess and the chaos. It is sharper than a double edge sword. The sword is both offensive and defensive. It is a weapon belonging to the Holy Spirit. It is used to protect and defend. I don't know about you but if I am trying to rescue my marriage or learn to be a more prayerful wife. I want something at my disposal that I can use to defend and protect. However, with such a weapon comes a great amount of training. You have to know how to handle your Sword (Word of God, the Holy Scriptures) 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Evil requires us to know. The Sword is used offensively to demolish evil strongholds in our marriage. It is used offensively to correct errors and falsehoods that have been spoken over our marriage. 2 Corinthians 10:4 & 5 tells us that the Word is living and active. The Sword is double edged. When a sword is double edged it has the ability to cut in every way, to easily penetrate. It reaches straight to the heart. Knowing this, I go all the way back to Matt 26:25. For all who draw the Sword (or live by the Sword), die by the Sword. What that means is...
We will open God's Word daily and die to our self.
Dying to oneself is a concept that can be hard to understand. If you are struggling with this, maybe I can help. To die to self is simply the act of setting aside what we desire in that moment and focus instead on loving God with our whole hearts. We value others as much as we value ourselves. (Matt 22: 37-39) We are no longer focused on ourself and self-centeredness but are open hearted, ready to follow Christ who cares more deeply for others. Matt 16:24 is where Jesus explains that we must deny ourselves (die to self) and take up our cross and follow Him.
The Sword of the Spirt, God's Holy Word will penetrate your heart, it will reach it and when it does, by simply opening His Word. You will die to self. In order to have the peace Jesus left for us, you must take up the Sword he brought to us.
To truly want what is best for your marriage you have to train yourself on how to handle such a powerful weapon. You will die to self daily so that you can have the view Christ has for your marriage, for your husband.
You're in the army now ladies. The next 20 days will be full of God's Word and prayer to protect your marriage. You will be equipped and your eyes opened. You will gain strength in Christ Jesus and become an influencer in your marriage through prayer.
Father, I cry out to You that you will make me a house of prayer for my marriage. I believe that within my identity of Christ is to also be a house of prayer. Holy Spirit, fill me with Your knowledge of Your will. Give me all that I need in wisdom and spiritual understanding. Lord, let me be a vessel that you can use for your glory. Fill me up with all of You so that I will overflow with your glory onto my husband. Give me grace to become a laborer of intercession for the release of power over my marriage, to win my husband to you, to give my marriage to you. All that is on earth belongs to you, Revive my marriage and impact it with your gospel daily. As I yield to the Holy Spirit daily, teach me to pray. Give me a unbroken, focused spirit to intercede for my marriage. I offer my life as an offering to You. Let the days of my life and the days of my marriage serve Your will and purpose. Amen
I am married to my high school sweetheart. We've been pressing ahead together for over 24 years. We have 5 beautiful children; 3 by my own body and 2 through foster to adopt. I wrote this Bible study in 2009, years ago, for myself and shared it on my blog. It is very dear to my heart. It's been tweaked and edited many times and I'm proud to be bringing it back to you. Over the years I received countless emails from women who credited this study with changing their marriage for the better. Since removing it from my old blog I have received just as many emails asking when it would return. I hope you enjoy spending your time in God's Word with me.