Sometimes individuals who want to stand for their marriage wonder if they can because of something they have done. Perhaps they have committed adultery or filed for divorce or been the abuser. Maybe that was you. And now the Lord has changed your heart and your life and you want to stand in the gap for your marriage. Yet since you blame yourself, you aren’t sure if you can truly stand.
If you think about it, that’s kind of like shooting yourself in the foot and then wondering if you can get medical care. Wouldn’t it be sad to sit home and bleed to death because you felt you weren’t qualified to ask for help?
That’s how we are with the Lord sometimes. We make mistakes and then convince ourselves that what we have done disqualifies us from asking God for help. In fact, those are the very times when we most need to run to Him and cry out for His grace and mercy.
That’s why we need Jesus. If we could fix things ourselves or if we never made mistakes or if we always did the right thing today so that tomorrow would have no problems, we wouldn’t need His redemptive love and power. As it is, though, we take a lot of wrong turns in life and far too often only hindsight is 20/20.
The thief on the cross said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” That is God’s standard. Those who seek forgiveness, are granted full pardon. There is no longer any debt due to sin.
Are there still consequences in this world? Of course there are. You may be walking through some of the consequences of past decisions and actions right now. That doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t make good decisions today that God will honor.
So if you made poor choices in the past, if you said or did things that you now regret, there is one simple solution. Repent! Ask God to forgive you and then repent also to those who were affected by what you said or did.
I remember when I was standing every time I lost my temper or did anything that was contrary to the Lord’s direction for me, He would remind me to repent. That meant not only asking the Lord for forgiveness, but also going to Michael and asking his forgiveness. There were many times when I struggled with that. I had a hard time asking forgiveness of someone who said he didn’t love me, didn’t want me around, and was in open adultery with other women. I felt like my “little” sin wasn’t much by comparison.
On top of that, Michael never received my repentance with any kind of loving acceptance. He would either make fun of me or just laugh in my face. I used to wonder why on earth the Lord would have me do something that seemed so lacking in meaning to my husband.
It wasn’t until years later that Michael shared with me what happened to his heart every time I repented. He said it was the one thing that would break through his hard heart and cause him to feel sorrow. Although his outward reaction was always negative, each time I asked for his forgiveness, the Lord softened his heart a bit more. One day Michael was finally able to repent and receive the forgiveness of the Lord for his own life.
So no matter what you did yesterday or even today, the important thing is that you repent and receive the forgiveness of the Lord. He will then direct you as to what you need to do regarding others. Repentance keeps your heart soft and malleable on the potter’s wheel. It also demonstrates the love and kindness of God to others. And it takes away the condemnation the enemy tries to bring when you stand strong in faith.
So the next time the enemy reminds you of what you have done, just remind him of what Jesus has done. Then stand firm on the Word of God and believe He will do what He has promised! Love, Marilyn
“But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Matthew 9:13
“I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:7