Everything Changed This Side of the Cross

Years ago we made some really terrible financial mistakes and lost everything we had. Included in our loss was a beautiful home my husband had built for us in Evergreen, Colorado. He had put our home up as collateral for a loan from a friend of ours. When we couldn’t pay him back, our friend got our home. That was bad enough, but very shortly after that he sued us for several million dollars. It was really a ridiculous suit, fueled by his anger, but it meant we had to hire a lawyer and go to court.

Since we had lost everything, we had no money to pay a lawyer. Finally we found one who would let us pay $10 here and $25 there when we had the money. It was our first year of ministry and that year we made $8,000 the entire year, so finding even small amounts of money was pretty difficult. We were trusting God daily for food and other necessities and I resented greatly that we had to put out money to fight a ridiculous lawsuit.

One day I was reading the Psalms and decided to pray as David had regarding the man who was suing us. I began to call for the Lord to remove him and to take him out of our life. In the midst of my heated prayer, the Lord very clearly asked me, “Do you want his life?”

I was shocked! Why would the Lord ask me that? Then I realized that David had indeed been asking God to take the life of his enemy. The depth of what I had asked overwhelmed me and very quickly I decided that the man’s life was not what I was seeking.

The Lord reminded me that, unlike David, I was not fighting against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities. That man was not the problem. David had prayed and fought his enemies as best he could, but everything changed this side of the cross.

In the Old Testament the punishment for adultery was stoning to death. There was no other way to remove the sin from the family line than to kill the person who had sinned. His or her death removed the generational sin from the family. The punishment for a rebellious child was also stoning. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and to remove it from the family required removing the rebellious person.

Jesus became sin for us and on the cross He changed everything. The adulterer no longer must be stoned, for the blood of Jesus cleanses not only the sinner but the sin from the family line. His blood also redeems the rebellious one and restores the prodigal to the family. The cross changed everything.

Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we don’t have to beg God for provision, or healing, or victory. Jesus paid the price and when we receive Him, all that He purchased for us is ours. Because we have been given life, we are now empowered to pray for life. We can take a strong stand against the enemy, but when we pray for people, we need to speak life over them. The cross gave us the blood of Jesus that heals and restores.

Now as we walk through all the pain that divorce brings, we are again reminded that we can stand firmly against the enemy and his works in our marriage and family, confident in the power of His name and His blood. We speak life and liberty to those held in the enemy’s clutches and we anticipate the day we see the fullness of the victory in their lives.

No matter what is said or what is done, people are not our enemy. Jesus gave His life for them as well. Many times our flesh wants to strike out, to retaliate, to get even, or to make it fair. It’s at times like that we must remember that Jesus forgave in the midst of His pain. When He lives in us, He makes it possible for us to do the same. Today as I write these words to you, I speak them to myself as well. Many times it is hard to love the sinner, but if Jesus could do it when He was sinless, then how much more should we who are not. Love, Marilyn

“…who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”  1 Peter 2:23,24