A popular rock song from the late 1970's sets the tone for this week's featured blog. The words of the chorus as as follows:
Torn between two lovers,
Feelin' like a fool.
Lovin' you both,
Is breakin' all the rules.
- Mary MacGregor
There is some controversy over the issue of exactly what or who is the Bride of Christ. Setting aside this issue for the moment, there is still very clear evidence that the Scriptures widely uses the word picture of marriage as the means to describe the kind of relationship our God is pursuing. Of course, He is encouraging us to do the same. Along these lines, Romans 7:1-4 (NIV) sets the stage for this illustrated relationship, saying:
Do you not know, brothers, for I am speaking to men who know the law—that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives?
So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to Him who raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.
For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage.So ten, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.
Torn between two lovers is a constant reality for a believer. Apostle Paul spoke about the warring (Romans 7:23) that goes on in our flesh. But Romans 7:1-4 gives an additional twist on this reality and shows the consequences involved.
We, the Western Church, tend to remove from the spiritual equation the issue of adoration; we seem to be a bit uncomfortable with displaying love in public. Public display of affection is discouraged – understood – but what about how we display our affection to God in public?
Romans 7 paints a colorful picture of relating to God like in a marriage. Could it be that we are uncomfortable with displaying affection to God publicly because our hearts have not fully turned to Him? You've felt the tug-of-war in your own heart and life. But one lover must die. We can't be married to both the self-serving sin nature and Almighty God. Got it?
If you're feeling a bit uncomfortable with this article, perhaps you need to revisit this issue and settled it once and for all. The law Paul refers to here is legal and binding, but if the first husband is pronounced as “dead”, you are free to pursue the “lover” you really desire. If so, get the horse in front of the cart (a popular western expression, meaning: get things in proper order). Flesh is not to be perfected. Often, believers act out a popular scripture in reverse order. The scripture is Galatians 5:16 (KJV):
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
We tend to act out this scripture, rewording it to say:
...if I do not fulfill the lust of the flesh...then...I can walk in the Spirit.
The change in emphasis is placed on “what man can do”, instead of “the work of grace God has provided”. Our flesh can be harnessed, if we “walk in the Spirit”.
It's time to “starve out” the other lover. It's really tough to be in love and enraptured by Christ, when our hearts are chasing another lover. Selah!
Posted on Thu, March 19, 2009
by Bill Faught filed under