Thursday, December 02, 2010

Part 8: Jezebel vs Sarah - How Goes the Battle?

Continuing from Jezebel and a Follow-up to the "Adorning with Gold" Challenge, I encourage you to continue to be patient with this work and let it unfold with a meekness before the Lord. [updated: 12/3 with a clarification]

If the Lord has been challenging you with an invitation to a place of abiding that at the present moment feels like a short leash and a choke collar, you are blessed indeed. (I highly recommended reading the expanded context of the following.)

5) And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Hebrews 12:5-6

This blessed relationship is counterfeited by Jezebel's cursed relationships. If you have any confusion about this, it may help shed some light to continue familiarizing yourself with the attributes and character of Jezebel and control spirits. (some resources here)

Some of you may be tempted to shy away from such matters as I'm addressing because you don't like confrontation. Where I have a choice, I will choose peace, yet it must be acknowledged that Jezebel is a warrior spirit that aggressively prowls and seizes captives to expand her domain. Our choices are two: Either resign to being dominated, or resist. One of these will go well for you, the other won't. If you tolerate Jezebel, you lose. If you can't even recognize her, you have lost long ago.

Some of you find yourselves at the present time married to someone with whom a gulf is widening in your relationship. Very early in this series of posts about Jezebel I shared my own story about a crisis I faced. I was determined not to divorce my wife, and I'm convinced that was done in obedience. She was no longer willing to abide with me, and, as I discovered, it was acceptable to the Lord that it should be so. I gave my consent to her divorcing me. I related to you how the cause of distress that weighed upon me as an almost unbearable burden was due to my having accepted the lies promoted and modeled by the church. It may be that whatever stress you are feeling about your situation is related to the same. The Lord Himself is available for counseling, no appointment necessary, but at his invitation only. Petition Him for it, my friend.

Let me offer here some practical wisdom that may inspire you as you seek the Lord's mind and heart in these matters. If what you are dealing with involves control spirits and your eyes are open to perceive the ploys wielded against you, be gentle in your response and neither be defensive nor offensive. Yet, be steadfast in your action when you have discerned the proper course. No abuse by men or women is legitimate, neither physical, verbal or emotional. Yet, resistance to control will be emphatically labeled as abuse, lies will be told and spells will be cast that will "paint you black" in the sight of most who will be watching.

What recourse will you have? First, it's essential that you accept that, for what disobedience there has been on your part, you may be required to suffer the consequences. Humility and repentance begins with you, and it may be that you will be the only one redeemed out of the sum total involved. If others are redeemed, excellent! Praise the Lord! Accept that you are not likely to "escape" this engagement with your dignity or reputation intact. If you've counted the cost of taking up the cross appointed to you, let such as that go.

There are few options for corrective action regarding a spouse, and men in particular in America today will find little community support for exercising any of them. Yet there are some options, and scenarios within a marriage relationship that are not often considered. Something of an example is given in Matthew 1:19, where we note how Joseph planned to send Mary away secretly so as not to disgrace her, even though he had discovered that she was pregnant by another during their betrothal. Exercising control over the purse strings is a potential avenue for corrective action. In any action, be fully mindful of and subject to the Lord's appointments of authority between the genders. I haven't yet begun to address such things directly in this blog, but you'll note that I have referenced relevant studies on in the past. Be aware, also, that the risk of any action you take backfiring is high, and if you engage on any point after the manner of the carnal flesh it will most likely blow up in your face.

The Lord may be testing you, proving you, probing your character and resolve, your faith and obedience.

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:26

Oh My! Would the Lord ACTUALLY test you on that basis? Well, yes, yes He would! Should we start being mean and cruel and abusive towards the members of our family or our own selves? Sorry, I have to pose that question because this presents to some an irresolvable conflict with how we are told to hate on one hand and told to love on the other. [update to expand and clarify: We should not be mean and cruel and abusive. As to the manner of hating, I'm going to say, and really, no pun intended, it's a relative thing, comparing the degree of love.] Who do you love? When it comes right down to it, who do you love most? Is there any one or any thing that competes on any level in your heart and mind? Got idols? Let them be discovered through whatever challenging means the Lord chooses to bring.

Idolatry and adultery are closely related. There is a sense in which this intersection is Jezebel's domain. (Revelation 2:20-23) If you and I will be free we must submit to the Lord as He exposes us, even in plain sight of the enemy. When the Lord was beaten and crucified, this was not done in the context of a private humiliation and execution. He went before us and continues to lead the way. He didn't go to the cross so we won't have to. He went to show the way. Trust Him. Pray for me, that I might do the same.

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