As a young adult, I thought I knew everything. I was a soldier in the army without a care in the world. What was so tough about life? You get up, go to work, come home, hang out with your friends, go to bed and then get up the next morning and start all over again. What's the big deal? I can handle this was my mentality. Then "life" hit me with a couple of left jabs followed by a right cross and my knees began to buckle.
After a few episodes of this, I stubbornly realized that life was not as easy as it seemed. There were trials that all people had to endure. There were responsibilities that all successful people had to maintain. There was past hurt and pain that all people had to address.
Unfortunately, I did not deal with my inevitable issues properly. I was avoiding my parental responsibilities by hiding behind the honorable confines of the military. I ran from trials and tribulations by sweeping them under the rug and hoping they would go away. I protected myself from past hurt and pain by erecting a steel plated barrier around my heart. Like many of you, I combined these coping techniques with a steady escapist diet of drinking and partying.
As you may imagine, things looked good on the outside but they were a mess on the inside. I was hurting desperately as I sought purpose and peace in all of the wrong places.
Then one day, as I was riding in a VW Bug with a friend named Joe-Joe, he asked me "Have you come to a point in your life where you know for certain that if you were to die today you would go to heaven". Baffled by the question, I said "No". He briefly shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with me but I did not lower the steel barrier protecting my heart so that the words could sink in. I heard him but I did not hear him.
A few months passed and Joe-Joe invited me to go to church with him. A revivalist had come from the states to Vilseck, Germany where we were stationed. I lackadaisically said "Sure". Once there, the choir sung, the man of God preached and I cried uncontrollably like a little baby. After service, they took me to a small room and lead me to a saving relationship with Christ. This time I lowered the barrier low enough to receive Jesus into my heart.
While purpose, joy and peace did not instantly flood my life, it was the starting point. I had humbled myself enough to receive help from the One who created me, died for me and yearned to cleanse me.
In James 4, we are challenged to "submit therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hand, you sinner and purify your hearts, you double minded…Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord and He will exalt you in due time." (James 4:7-10)
In order for me to find purpose in my life, I had to humbly submit myself to the Lord. I had to realize that I did not have all of the answers and that there was someone willing to help me. I did not have to fight the various trials of life alone - the Father was there! I did not have to avoid my responsibilities – the Father was there to help me fulfill them! I did not have to hide my heart behind a steel barrier, the Father was there to heal all old wounds as well as the new ones to come! Therefore, it was my job to submit myself unto Him.
The same principle applies to our marriages. We do not have to endure the various trials and tribulations of marriage alone. The Father is there to help us. It is our job to surrender ourselves as well as our marriages to Him and resist the devil. Will it be easy? No! But I would rather fight my personal and marital battles with the Lord on my side than try to fight them alone. I would rather wage war against the true enemy, Satan, then verbally and/or emotionally abuse my spouse. Jesus said "in this world you will have trials and tribulations, but take heart I have overcome the world". (John 16:33) He has overcome the world for us. Have you surrendered yourself to Him? He has overcome the world for our marriages. Have you surrendered your marriage unto Him? Try it and watch Your Marriage Succeed.