Ephesians 4:1-6 (NIV)
4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called ;
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
God has called us to have One Faith and One God. As I was going through my notes in the Bible today, I came around a note with the scriptures and a word of God that He told me 11 years ago. This scripture in Ephesians 4 was one of the places where God showed me my future calling to endure in my marriage. Being single back than, I didn`t understand a full meaning of it until now, when I am actually going through this persecution over my faith in God.
God wants us to have one faith, one Spirit, peace, humbleness, and unity, and these are essential components for the marriage which I was an am continuing to lack. God showed me yet again that without unity in the Spirit, my marriage cannot thrive and be rebuilt. There was no peace in my family, no unity, no patience, no genuine real faith; there was no God in my marriage but dead religion where we went to the church and randomly read some bible separately with my husband never praying together or committing our lives to God completely. Without that a house will not stand (Psalm 127), and God confirmed it to me over a few scriptures today again. He also pondered on my faith and to stand firm on His word to believe that God would do the impossible to touch my husband's heart.
Paul wrote in Philippians 1:27 (NIV)
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit,[e] striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.
Paul is referring to the relationships in the church, but God showed me this scripture in my application to my marriage and my relationships with my husband. This was a personal word of revelation from God to my specific situation; something that I have been praying for the past 6 days. I must continue to stand firm in the Spirit, and God will have room to move to perform His word. God knows that my intentions are to serve Him and to bring my family together under His word.
Some other scriptures He showed me to stand firm in my faith were:
13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14 NIV)
God doesn't compromise with the sin or carnal lifestyle, and this is what He continues to show me every time I grow weary or start doubting. I have no right going back to what brought my life and my marriage to ruins because there was no place for God. I choose to live for the Lord and walk the narrow path leading to salvation. That path requires utmost faith and looking at things that are not seen. Regardless of the days when I struggle, I commit my circumstances to God over and over again until He resolves them and brings forth His victory.
I was watching one of my favorite movies called "Faith Like Potatoes"; it's a Christian movie that was based on a true story about the farmer in Africa who went through the struggles and hardships, but he chose to commit his life to God and trust in the Lord. In the end the Lord honored his devotion and blessed him.
Here is the link to the movie title for those who would like to watch it; I highly recommend it especially for those whose faith starts to spiral down and doubt like mine started doing yesterday after I saw my husband bringing more of my boxes with my possessions from our house claiming the house all to himself.
This movie encouraged me the way God transformed the heart of the angry husband whose marriage started to die in the middle of all financial hardships and being unsaved. If God could do a miracle with the heart like that, He can do a miracle with my husband's heart as well.
Another important point that God reminded me is that He uses specific character traits in people that He chooses to complete specific tasks. I am a very blunt and zealous person, and I am used to be a warrior fighting through all the hardships that I went through in my life. God reminds me of Joseph (who was arrogant and spoiled until God did some major work through the circumstances), Mosses (who killed a slave watchman and than was taken to desert for 40 years for some major heart circumcision before God used him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt), David (who was a mighty warrior, very passionate about God and even killed for the truth), Peter (who hacked out the ear of one of the guys who came to arrest Jesus), Paul (who was killing and arresting Christians before God called him to serve Him), and the list goes on and on. I can see how God used all these passionate zealous people who didn't always have the right motivations at heart and needed to change by God before He used them in services, but God used specifically their character traits to reach out the people. I know that although I'm zealous, but I'm not always wise and patient, and those things God has been working with, but He is using my stubbornness and zealousness to serve Him.
Sometimes I get desperate thinking that everything I do is wrong, but God shows me His mercy and love in those moments taking me to the places where He unfolds the circumstances being what they are based on my and my husband's character traits. I must continue to keep my faith and know that God is using what He needs to resolve my problems in His right time.
17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty's hand. (Daniel 3:17 NIV)
We all know the stories about Daniel and his three friends, and the way his friends have been thrown into the blazing furnace for their belief in God. We also know that the outcome of that situation was God's faithfulness to save them from the fire. All three friends stayed alive and served as a major testimony of God's glory. This is the God I believe in, so He would deliver me out of the hands of my enemies even when they try to destroy my family and my life. Even if I don't see the victory yet, I choose to trust the Lord to be faithful to the end.
If you doubt today whether something that you stand for is right and worth suffering for, check it against the scripture. Just like God has been faithful to show me all these endless scriptures to guide me and to sustain me, He will do the same for you if only you will trust Him; I encourage you to be strong and courageous and you will see God's glory just like I can account for endless amount of instances where God has moved the "mountains" for my sake.
The reason why I love this movie "Faith Like Potatoes" because the farmer chose to be obedient to God and to plant potatoes on his farm during the drought season. All farmers called him crazy, the pastor at his church sowed doubts in his mind, but Anges persevered and stayed obedient to what God told him to do, which was to plant potatoes during the drought season to bring forth God's glory. This is a true story and not a fiction, so this makes it even more valid for us to realize that God doesn't nap or is busy with something else, but He always watches over us- His children whom He loves to no end.
In Isaiah 49:16 (NIV) God said:
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
This is how much God loves us, that He engraved (didn't just write it down, but engraved it permanently) on the palms of His hands to see it constantly in front of His eyes. The other translation states that He engraved "your name" on the palms of His hands. Does it not worth being faithful to keep His faith, and His truth regardless of the circumstances? I choose to keep my faith and to keep my Spirit in unity to continue to pray that He would unite my family to serve Him forever with the major testimony of what He's done. I pray to be like Joseph who said to his brothers:
19 But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:19-20 NIV)
I pray that I am able to say the same words as Joseph said to praise the Lord for using my circumstances and afflictions to save many lived and bring glory to God.