Welcome to the Marriage After God podcast.
We're your hosts. I'm Aaron.
And I'm Jennifer.
We've been married for 14 years.
And we have five young children.
We started blogging over 10 years ago. Sharing our marriage story in hopes of encouraging other husbands and wives to draw closer to God and closer to each other.
We have authored over 10 books together including our newest book, "Marriage After God". The book that inspired us to start this podcast.
"Marriage After God" has a message to remind all of us that God designed marriage with a purpose.
To reflect His love.
To be a light in this world.
To work together as a team.
Using what He has given us...
To build His kingdom.
Our hope is to encourage you along your marriage journey...
As you boldly chase after God together.
This is Marriage After God.
Welcome back to the Marriage After God podcast. We're your hosts, Aaron and Jennifer Smith.
What are you drinking there?
What are you drinking?
I made chai tea.
Tea. I'm drinking a rooiboss. And it's really good.
I did actually-
You saw me sneak in here with tea.
No, I actually saw you with tea and I was like, "I'm going to go get some tea."
It's cold, 'cause I was taking care of the baby and then I didn't get to drink it when it was warm. That's okay. Curious, how many people have the whistling stuck in their head from last week? Did you, Aaron?
I've actually.. I've actually been whistling it.
No, you haven't. Really?
Yes I have. I don't know if that's exactly right but...
I don't know if that's going to sound good to everyone else.
High key... And it was like high-pitch. Yeah, no, I really liked the whistling and the song. I hope they do too.
All right. I have to apologize because I re-listened to our kickoff episode from last week and I say 'um' a lot.
Are you sure 'um'?
We both said it a lot. I guess I'm just really rusty or I forgot how to podcast with you. Maybe I'm nervous. I have no idea what the problem was but I don't ever remember saying 'um' so many times. It was so many times we couldn't even edit them out because...
I know you asked me like, "Can't we just like cut all of these um's out?" I'm like, no. I mean we could, but then it'd be like really choppy.
Choppy, yeah. So for those of you who suffered through it, I am sorry and I promise to get better. Bear with me, bear with us.
Mmm. There's probably some, like speech coaches out there they're are thinking, "Oh, we can help these people." Yeah, right.
We can help them.
Yeah, there's one.
We are going to try and not say a bunch of uh's and um's.
Well, you know, when you take a handful of months off, you just...
You lose all ability to speak.
We're working on it.
Apologizing is kind of a part of this episode. So that's a..
That's a good one.
That's a good way to start.
Don't give away the key. Okay.
What else were you...
Well, last week we mentioned routines. Just as a little update. And being the first...
Week of the year. Second week of the year.
Yeah, a couple weeks of the year, I would say that we're on the right track. I'm not going to say perfect. We're on the right track. I've been trying to get up in the morning to work out again. Which also helps me get up earlier and be ready for the day and so that's been nice.
It actually helps me too because I feel like when you get up early and you're very enthusiastic about how the day feels. It really impacts my heart and it actually motivates me to also be ready.
Well, and we both have goals to do that. So when-
one of us sticks to it the other one feels more obligated to. So it's like-
helping each other out. Speaking of others helping, I actually convinced one of my friends to start working out with me at 5:00 AM in the morning. I don't know how I did it but he's been enjoying it. But having him do it with me has made me a ton more consistent. Which is pretty awesome because if I know he's coming, it's that much harder for me to stay in bed. The alarm goes off and I think to myself, "Okay, I can't text him right now 'cause he's probably all ready on his way." So I have to get up.
You don't want him standing out in the cold.
Exactly. And I also enjoy working out with people. I'm a people person. So having-
I don't know if anyone knows this.
You're a people person?
It's a surprise.
I get it. But it..
Aaron, you're not a people person, you need people like you...
You can't live without people.
Everyone does. Don't you?
I think I can get by with little, less. Yeah, you got... That's that introvert in you.
Yeah, no, it's actually helped. There's something incredibly powerful about having someone who has a similar goal as you, like we were just talking about with each other. A friend of mine that wants to do this with me and how incredibly powerful it is in helping you meet your goals, helping you grow and mature and move forward, be consistent.
And so that's been a huge help. It's something I actually noticed. 'Cause I was trying to evaluate why I lost my routine that I was in for like three years. Well, why also it was easier for you to get to the gym, but when it's the home gym, it's a little bit...
Yeah. Yeah, it's weird, 'cause my home gym is like right here.
More of a challenge.
Right, you gotta get in the car and drive but there was something... There was things missing that just disappeared, that helped me. Things like the cheers from the other people at the gym. People that have become friends. Anytime I had a new PR or accomplished something new. They recognized when I wasn't around.
And so they would reach out, "Hey, how's everything going? Missed you at the gym." Tracking my progress. The gym has a way of tracking, you know, your weights that you've been lifting and...
It's like that accountability.
Yeah, well, it's not just accountability. It's the rewards. The way our brains work, we have a reward system that tells our... When our brain gets a reward, it knows, "Oh we should do that again." And all of those things that were so important for sustaining my pattern disappeared pretty much overnight. And with it, my pattern, my routine. So once they disappeared sort of the growth and the consistency, but there's something interesting about that concept especially when it comes to our spiritual walk. We need people, we need the Spirit of God. We need relationships with fellow believers. And that helps us continue on. We actually can't do it alone. And that's a deception that a lot of believers have. Is that, "Oh, I can do this by myself. I don't need anyone. I'm just gonna do my thing and..." But having partners, having fellowship, having other brothers and sisters to walk with and especially the Holy Spirit is how we grow. Yeah.
Is how we move forward, Its how we stay consistent. It's how we have our mind in the right place. So I thought that was a cool..
It's a good little analogy.
Yeah, correlation, yeah.
Yeah. Very cool. Well, as we move into today's episode we wanted to encourage you guys. If you haven't had a chance yet to please leave us a review. This just helps the rating of the Marriage After God podcast. So that through the algorithms and all that people can find the Marriage After God podcast. The more people that know about it the more marriages are impacted. The more we're over here cheering. So we also just wanted to ask if you have time to leave a written review. Not only does this also encourage people to take a listen but it encourages us and it's an incredible blessing so...
To have written those.
just wanted to ask you to do that.
Yeah, and I actually want to make a little note on the first episode of the year of season five I'm incredibly blessed because out of the last like seven episodes it all ready is one of the most downloaded episodes.
Yeah, our listeners just-
I guess there's people out there really hungry.
missed us. Yeah. Hungry for A and Jen.
So I just want to thank everyone. And I also want to thank everyone that, we did a call to action at the end of last episode. Just encouraging people to share the episode on social media.
Thank you guys.
Email it to a friend. Send it in a text message. Tell someone in person. And I think you guys are doing it. And I just, I really thank you. So would you just keep doing it if this episode blesses you today. Tell someone about it.
Speaking of sharing something with someone. I really wanted to insert just a little food for thought. You like that?
Thought for food.
Thought for food. I was making dinner tonight and I was thinking about you guys and what I did... This is super random. I wanted to encourage those of you who cook in the kitchen because it's been a huge learning curve for me to know how to cook and how to meal plan and so hopefully this benefits someone listening I don't know. My goal was to make spaghetti and I had zucchini and bell pepper and onion. And so I chopped it up really small not like pureed style, but just small enough and added it to the meat and the sauce and everybody ate it and it was so delicious. So if you're a family, you know, if you're looking for healthy ways to add in those veggies and your family loves spaghetti it worked really, really well.
And our kids had no idea.
Well, they didn't like complain or anything. They didn't say one thing-
I actually didn't know they were in there until you...
Yeah, you couldn't really tell.
So just a little tip when you're cooking for your family.
That was a good little tip.
Everyone's gonna have spaghetti tonight.
Yeah, or tomorrow.
Or this week.
So as always, we want to offer something to our listeners. We like to create free resources that will benefit you, encourage you, inspire you and we talked about it last week. And it's the marriage prayer challenge. It's completely free. You can go to marriageprayerchallenge.com. It's all one word. And it is a 31 day challenge where every day we'll send you an email, either for the husband or for the wife, with a prompt for something to pray for that day for your spouse. And over 100,000 marriages have all ready taken this challenge and we just want to invite you to do it. If you haven't signed up all ready go to marriageprayerchallenge.com. You can do it at the end of this episode, if you'd like or whenever you want. It's completely free. And our thought is like, why not start the year off in prayer with our free prayer challenge? And also these prayers, all of our prayer emails that we send daily, are helped to be brought to you in part by our faithful prayer team patrons. And so we want to thank you if you're on the patron team
All right, we're going to jump into today's topic which is, what we titled, God's Not Donne With Us. He's not done with us. He's not done
He's not done with you.
with you. You took my line.
I was going to say the same thing.
That's funny. I didn't know you knew I was going to say that but it makes sense that I would have done that.
He's not done with us.
This is a good reminder for all of us that, you know, the idea that God's not done with us because there's times that we make mistakes, we mess up, we did it again, those sorts of things and it just makes us feel like, you know, how could God continue? How could He, you know, forgive me again? How could He deal with me? Like I would like... 'Cause we look at our own lives and we say like, how many times we want to be done with something or someone because of, you know, it oh, there..
Yeah. But he's not. He doesn't he's patient with us. And that's kind of what we're gonna talk about this episode.
Yeah. So something happened the other day that I thought would make a good story, a good segue, into today's topic. So it's just one of those kind of everyday situations that happens in marriage. It's something simple. I kind of don't want to share it, but it's a good example of what we're going to talk about today. We recently got a new rug. Aaron came home from Costco with it.
It's one of the really, really soft shag rugs.
Yeah, it's super-
I love it.
He plays a lot with the kids on the floor and so he likes the thicker... And the last rug we had was so thin. It would like hurt when I'm on the ground
Yeah. So anyways, changing a rug out in the living room is kind of an ordeal 'cause you have to move all the couches. You have to roll up the old rug, clean underneath it. Which is gross. And then put the new one down. And so during this whole process, Aaron, you suggested let's take our old couches out and put them in the garage and bring the ones that are in the garage, which are nicer, into the house and...
Yeah, they've been in the garage for a while 'cause we were just been waiting for the kids to get a little older. Yeah. We didn't want them to get destroyed. But one of them is like a smaller leather couch. And then we have this blue one. Longer, more modern looking. Anyways, I have actually really enjoyed the way the whole setup looks 'cause it looks so much different than what we had going on. But-
It's Fresh. It's a new year.
New living room.
So morning time is happening and we all sit down for family Bible time, which we've shared on social media before. We talked to you guys about it. It's a Holy time, not really a time to let your sin show. Right?
Or the perfect time.
Yeah. Aaron, you sat down, like you usually do, with a cup of coffee in your hand. Wyatt's sitting next to you and Truth's on his way toward you. And I just remember thinking it's going to spill. Like this is disaster waiting to happen. But instead of just, well, I'll just tell you what I said. I kind of looked at him cross-eyed and said, "Strange you would sit there on the leather couch with coffee like that."
Yeah, it was a little more animated. It was like a..
Yeah, I had a little attitude behind it.
A little attitudey. Yeah.
Sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm embarrassed to share this. It's just, it came from a place of not wanting the coffee to be spilled, but...
But you were bothered that I didn't think about it or...
I don't know what I was bothered by
But yeah. but it wasn't nice or effective. It wasn't an effective way to share it with you. And you were really calm and actually really nice in your response but you looked up at me and was wondering, you know, next time just simply asked me to move the coffee. Like just put it on the counter.
Yeah, I think I said, "Was it necessary to like question me like that? Like with like an attitude??
Or say it like that, yeah. It wasn't..
Like can you just ask me to go sit it down on the table?
Yeah, It just wasn't nice and I recognized that and I apologized but, you know, I didn't even realize that I had said what I said and said it that way. It was just something that kind of happened and came out. And the problem in that moment for me was I saw that it was an unbecoming way for me to act toward you. But I also recognized in that moment how regular, not often, but other times that I... It wasn't a one-off it, it's-
It's a way of communicating.
It's a way of communicating when I'm bothered or frustrated that I do and so I got to repent for that also.
But today this is the, here's the segue, all right. Sometimes there's stuff in us that comes out. Things that we're not aware of or not expecting, you know. It just kind of is like it's in us and it comes up. Ways of being, choices we make, ways of communicating. Stuff that's been there for awhile, right.
Mm-hmm, walking in the flesh.
Walking in the flesh.
The sinful nature flourishing. Yeah. So we just really wanted this topic today to encourage you because we know this kind of stuff happens marriage. Well, it happens in ours.
Mm-hmm. But you know, God desires us to change. And he's so patient with us and He uses our spouse, He uses friends, family, people, children to show us our ways of being. So that we can repent, so that we can change.
And it's called sanctification.
Just like I was talking about at the beginning of this episode. How valuable and powerful it is to have someone walking with you to keep you moving forward. That's what our relationships do. That's how God uses other believers. He uses non-believers. He uses our circumstances to draw out of us sin. To draw out of us, the old man, the old nature. The way we walk in the flesh when we're not in the Spirit. And it's a process, it's sanctification. That's why the title of this episode is God's Not Done With Us because this is the life of a believer.
So he's not done with us. He's not done with you.
Yeah, and so this episode is an encouragement of sanctification is going to happen. God hasn't given up on you. If you're being sanctified, if God's drawing things out of you, pointing things out in you, convicting you in the Holy spirit, that means God loves you.
Yeah, so I guess..
And that means He's working on you.
So today's episode also kind of highlights how should you respond when he does that. Are our eyes open? Are our hearts humble?
To do that.
An example of this, something that happened early on in our marriage before we had kids, that was one of the early on things that showed me some sin in my life. Some sin, a way of me and Jennifer can cave.
It challenged us.
Yeah, it challenged us. One of those things that God loved us and so He allowed someone to challenge us and encourage us.
I think I might say He always uses people
to do things like this, it's cool.
And so we're driving I think we're leaving the mall. We're with a couple... Another married couple friends of ours, good friends. Went to church with them. And I'm sitting in the backseat with my friend and Jennifer's sitting in the front seat with his wife driving. And Jennifer and I are talking across the car and we think we're talking normal and as usual...
it was normal for us back then to talk this way.
It was very normal for us. And my friend looks over and very strongly says, "You need to stop talking to your wife like that." And I'm like, it just stopped me. I'm like "What?" I like looked at him. And this is like the nicest guy.
He's so loving, so gentle.
Super mellow, yeah.
Super mellow. This was like the most stern I've ever seen him be. But he was utterly offended by the way we were talking to each other and the way I was talking to you.
We were bickering and being rude
and disrespectful and just snapping back at each other and just snippy and the whole... I can imagine
these two super gentle, calm people sitting between us. And, but he looked at me, he's like, " The way you're talking is-
It's not okay.
He's like, that is not how you talk to your wife or anyone. And that was like a pivotal moment. Now I didn't, from that moment on, start perfectly talking to you but man, that stuck with us.
Yeah, and our friend said it, not just because he was uncomfortable in the car in that moment-
He did it because he genuinely loved us and wanted to see that area of our marriage grow and be better.
And he didn't like what he saw.
And it was wrong. We realized from that point on because our eyes were opened by our friend, through the Holy Spirit, to that sin in our life of wrongful, rude, arrogant, snippy communication.
And because of that, over the years we've been able to actually really grow in it. Recognize it. Ask friends of ours, " Hey, if you see us talking this way would you just let us know?" Yeah.
Because whether we learned it from the way our parents raised us, whether we learned it from just the kind of people we are,
It was a part of us. It was something that God wanted out of us and he used a good friend of ours to point it out on us,
Help us see. to help us see. And that was a huge thing for us. And now, this is just another example of just one of those things that we may not necessarily recognize as sin or sinful but it's walking in the flesh. It's not having self-control-
over our language. It's not having self control over our communication. It's not communicating with love and patience and gentleness.
And God wanted that change in us.
And He's been doing it ever since, like I said, we didn't just snap our fingers and boom we were like different people, but that was actually-
It was a huge impact.
That was a huge impact. We made strides in that area. Although we still-
It's like something we focused on for..
Absolutely. We would notice it.
Yeah, that time. We would hear like, "Oh we're not talking very nice."
Doing that thing again.
So those kinds of stories are in all of our lives
Ways of being, things that we do, that God looks at and He's like, "I want you to be more like my son."
I've given you my spirit to help you walk like my Son.
So follow the spirit not your flesh 'cause when we follow our flesh that's when-
we ask rude questions rather than just encouraging our husbands to get up off the couch and go put the coffee down. We talk to our spouses rudely, arrogantly. We get angry when we shouldn't. We lose patience when we shouldn't.
And so this is what it looks like to be a Christian. Not that we just, you know, 'cause we can have one perspective of, Well, I'm just a sinner. I'm going to sin all the time and, you know, thank God I'm saved. And I don't think that's the biblical perspective. The Bible says that we've been set free from the bonds of sin and death. Which means we're no longer slaves to it. Which means when we do it, it's because we're either choosing or we're being willfully ignorant. We're walking in a way that's contrary to the way that God's created us, and as the new creature, to walk. Just the thought for us, you know.
It's good. Two things that I wanted to share about confrontation of our sin is that sometimes in cases like the story you just shared
God uses someone to clearly spell out the reproof, you know, that this is the problem.
This is what I see going on.
This is how you should change.
And other times it's more of a response. A deeply felt and acknowledged response by someone who's been affected by our sin.
Maybe it's sadness, anger, frustration.
Those are all cues for us to stop and go, okay, something's going on-
that I need to address." And like you said, being a Christian means we're going to look at it. We're going to address it. Not just put it on the back burner and avoid it or pretend like it doesn't exist. And the other thing that I want to share with about confrontation with our sin is that God uses people. I shared that all ready.
And so sometimes he'll use you, like he used our friend. Sometimes Aaron he'll use, you he'll use our listeners.
In the lives of people that we love. And this is just a small encouragement to say when the Lord prompts you, when you see something, when you feel that ache in your soul, because you know it's going to be uncomfortable to walk it out in love but do it because that situation that we experienced with our friend changed our trajectory of the way we communicate. It didn't make us perfect, but it radically made us look at our life and go, we can't bicker anymore. We, can't talk to each other like that.
So if God can use you as a change agent in somebody's life, let Him.
And that's something that we'll talk about as some of the postures that we should have-
in receiving these corrections from the Lord. I just want to bring in but another example of how God's been working in me over the years and maybe the husbands that are listening could relate to this. The Bible tells us to walk in an understanding way with our wives. And this is something, Jennifer, I'm sure you can attest to probably in many ways, that I struggle to walk with you in understanding. I'll often be quick to push you to get over the emotions that you're dealing with. Or to quickly answer the question. Or to find the solution. Rather than slowing down, listening.
Real quick, I just want to say this is, 'cause we talked about God's patience earlier, and I feel like you walking with me in an understanding way is one of those areas of our life where I can see God's patient with you because it's not just understanding in this one particular area, it's understanding in a lot of different ways. And so we've seen it kind of flush out in a lot of different areas as you've walked and matured
and grown in your relationship with God. Does that make sense?
Exactly. Yeah, and me not walking in understanding with you or even trying to understand, right. Like, I'm going to make efforts to walk in the Spirit and I'm going to be slow to speak and quick to listen. Right. And slow to anger. And I'm going to try and understand. What's going on? Why are you feeling this way? Why are you communicating this way? Why are you, you know, what's going on?
And that's loving, right.
So me not walking that way is sinful.
Yeah, and I think the hang up there would be, sometimes you treat me as if I'm emotionally at par with you, like at equal with you, when I'm not.
So you respond to me or you communicate or you address something or you...
Like you should be able to respond the way I'm responding. And I get impatient with you.
Yeah, and I'm sitting over here going, " Whoa, what's going on."
Yeah. So anyways...
Well and that's something that comes up often. I mean, we're married 14 years now. So that we've had-
There's been some opportunity.
A couple times. But as husbands that's our job. It's a command. It's also comes with a promise and a warning, you know, and I should be walking that way. This is one of the things that God, by His Spirit, has been teaching me over the years.
A lot of the way, a lot of the time by you. You saying, You're not trying to understand. You're not even listening. You're not... You telling me, communicating to me. Often the most fruitful times that you communicated to me is after the emotions have died down but still you communicate to me. You speak to me, you share with me. But none of the change happens in me. None of those things grow in us unless we're willing to listen and receive and desire it. So just because you've been married a long time, you know, it doesn't mean we have a perfect marriage. We're all a work in progress.
You could be married 50 years and you still need the Holy Spirit to sanctify you and your marriage. You can be a Christian your entire life.
And guess what? We're still sinful creatures that need a savior. We're still in the flesh and need sanctification. Right.
It doesn't just stop. You don't reach perfection. The Bible actually tells us that, it says this in Philippians 3, 12, Paul says this, he says, " Not that I've all ready obtained this or I'm all ready perfect, but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own." Like Paul, the great apostle, wrote two thirds of the New Testament. This is how he saw himself as someone who needed Jesus, needed the Spirit of God to sanctify him. And that's what we need.
Yeah, I think that this is something that I've struggled with as a Christian is just the expectation I place on myself.
For perfection. Because I truly do want to be and walk perfect and I struggle with myself and I'm frustrated over the fact that I still sin or I still make bad choices or I'm still wrestling with that thing that I said I repented for, you know.
Do you feel like that's something that God's been really drawing out of you recently? Like revealing to you.
That expectation? Yeah.
Yeah, He has. It's just this desire that I have to want to be perfect but the hardest part is making all those little choices to make change. That striving to be like Him, that I wrestle. It's kind of like, you know, you want the nice body but you don't really want to work out or eat healthy. It doesn't work. You know, so..
I've seen programs that do that.
My point is, it doesn't just happen. It's something that we're enabled to walk in and we can choose because of what Christ has done and what he has given us. But it is, like you said, it's a process of sanctification and we need Him. This is where reliance comes in. We have to rely on the Lord.
Every single day and...
Yeah, I remember saying in last episode that God's been drawing things out of us. Sometimes really painful, you know, but I want him to keep doing it because the more He does it, the closer I get to be like His Son And I'm not doing it to earn anything from Him, We can't earn anything from God. I'm doing it 'cause I love God. You know, so when I look back on, you know, my friend calling me out for how I communicated to you and how unbecoming it is. He wasn't just doing it so that me and you had a better relationship.
We're Christians. And he's thinking like, this is not how Christians talk.
We have a message to share. A different one than what we were sharing.
So that's another aspect of this is God's not just walking us through sanctification, and His son Jesus, for our sake, but for His sake. We're Christ's bride. And the Bible also describes us as the body of Christ. He's sanctifying the Body. We're, if you think about, I just thought about this, the priests before going into the temple wash themselves. And so that's what Christ is doing. It tells us in Ephesians 5 that he's washing his bride with the water by the word. So we're being sanctified. We're being cleansed. It's a process, but it's to bring Him glory. It's to make him more beautiful. Not necessarily us. And I think that's incredibly encouraging and powerful.
You know, I wanted to share... This is going to be a little bit chunky, I don't know if it's going to come out perfectly because sometimes when we're learning something it's hard to verbalize, you know, retell it. But I knew that we were going to be talking about sanctification and so sometimes I'll take certain words like sanctification or purification or pure-
and look up like the Hebrew word for it. And so there's still a lot of learning involved with all this, but I was reading something that was talking about how this one word that means to purify in Hebrew, communicates the idea of causing something to go from unclean, sometimes shameful, to pure.
So it's that process that draws from being unclean to pure. And I liked that they brought in the word shame. Because I think what makes me frustrated about this I want to be perfect and that I'm not, is that I have to address the things that I do, the sin in my life and then I feel shame.
Yeah. And I think that's the pattern for everyone, every believer that recognizes sin in their life. Often our fleshly response to the sin is shame.
So when we are confronted by our sin and we repent
but we still feel shameful or that shame,
How do we move forward in that sanctification process?
Why and that's a great question because we do deal with that. And often that shame and that condemnation keeps us there. It keeps us from God. Makes us feel like, well, we're not worthy. Well, believe or just know this, none of us are worthy and the only reason we have anything in us that's worthy to go to God is because of Christ. Romans 8:1, is the thing that we should run to, to remember this is. Yes it says, "Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." So that shame, that condemnation we feel is just that, they're lies from the enemy because the only reason we're saved is because of Christ Himself. Not because we're good, right. And so we can rest in Christ. Now that means we should, like, if we're truly repentant and we desire growth, like we are forgiven.
Like God has forgiven us of our past present and future sins and desires us to walk in light and holiness. And so that shame... I mean, says when Christ died on the cross he despised the shame. Like he's taken it. And the condemnation is no longer there. We have been made right with the father in heaven because of what Christ did. And so we run to Jesus with a repentant heart knowing that he's all ready forgiven us, knowing that he is transforming us with a desire to grow and mature. And then there's also this thought. You've struggled with this, Jennifer. About... Actually I have, and I think everyone that's listening has felt this way. God, why won't you just change this in me right now? Like this thing I have. This way of being. This desire I have.
Yeah, I have to never worryabout it again.
This lust. This, yeah. Can you just, like snap your fingers, Lord, and like make it disappear and I won't like, I won't even crave those things anymore? What's funny about that is, he has. The Bible tells us that He's given us all things that pertain to life and Godliness in Christ Jesus
We actually talked about this in a different kind of context but we were talking about this very thing in our relationship and personally things that we were dealing with but remember we brought up the story of how you... We were trying to get rid of this school debt that we had and how you prayed and you were like, God, just take care of it for us. And it was a faithful prayer. Like you...
Well, we know God can.
We know he's...
We've seen Him do it to other people.
He's got limitless resources, right. Like, and he's all powerful and all knowing.
So take this debt.
Yeah, just take it.
We're praying in faith. Take this debt.
And what actually turned out to happen was we worked really hard to pay off the debt-
for a few years.
Well, he gave us the drive and the resourcefulness-
He gave us opportunity.
and the ideas and the skill-
and the opportunity and people coming to us and saying, hey, would you take take pictures of our wedding? We're like, what?
Yeah. And things like that. And so at the end of it, the debt was paid off. The prayer was answered,
But not in the way-
But not in the way we want it.
Yeah. Thought it would.
And so what the point I'm getting to is we can sit and do nothing and pray that God changes us or we can trust and believe that what he's given us is sufficient to change us. Meaning you can change. For me, I can get up out of bed. I can learn and walk and understand with my wife.
I can stop asking Aaron snarky questions.
It not funny.
It doesn't just happen. It doesn't just happen. It's... Oh man, I just... I thought of a really awesome story.
Better than mine?
No, this is one of the Bible's, so yes, but it's not my story. So do we all remember the story of Jesus going to the tomb of Lazarus? Okay. I want you to go back and read it. It's in the gospels. And he comes to the tomb and Lazarus had been dead for over three days. Where's there some significance there. It was four days and everyone was like he's going to smell. This is bad. Don't do it. Don't open the tomb, right. And Jesus is like, "Can you open the tomb? Open it." Roll the stone away." He rolls it away. And then Jesus says, "Lazarus come out." Okay. So that's the call. This is the... Jesus's words go forth and it makes Lazarus able to come out. Guess what?
Did he, like float out? Did he like hovered up and like you see like a mummy floating on the cartoon. No. He waddled probably because he's wrapped up. Waddled out of the tomb. And so he was made able by Christ and then he walked. This is how we we've been made able by Christ to walk. We were once dead and now we are alive. Now here's the cool part of the story. You need to go read this story again because you'll read it with new eyes. Then he tells those around him, "Go unwrap him." Okay.
You need people in your life.
Well, this is what's amazing is that without those people he wouldn't have been able to get out of the wraps that were wrapped around him. Christ calls us and makes us able. Christ gives us the ability. Christ brings the life to us and puts it in us. He's given us his spirit and his word and draws us to his voice. He says, "My sheep know my voice," right.
And he prompts other people to help.
And then he also has given us his church, his body that are also filled with the Holy spirit to come and to unwrap us. As we become unwrapped we can be more able to unwrap others and to slowly peel back the layers.
That's really good.
Right, and so it's not something that just happens. It's something that's happening and it's a choice and it's decisions that we make to walk in the spirit. It's something that we're enabled to do and choose because of what Christ has done and given. In the new Testament, over and over, it tells us to put to death the old man. To walk in newness of life. To grow in maturity. To seek that which is above rather than what is on earth. To keep in step with the spirit. To not walk in the flesh. Okay. All of these callings, all of these these things that the believer is called to do they're necessary because we still have flesh that we live in. We're not yet in our glorified bodies. That's what the Bible says. It says, we're not not yet there but when the perfect comes, we will be perfect. We're not there yet. These are all action words, okay. Put to death. Keep in step. Seek
Grow in. These are all actions. We don't just lay down on the floor and say, okay, Lord, transform me. No, he sends us out into the field and we get stronger as we dig and plow, right. And that's what we are as believers. So as God's sanctifying us in his son, Jesus, we should long for it and desire it and look for it. That's what a wise believer does. Or we can, what the Bible says, kick against the goads. That's what Jesus told the Paul. He was Saul at the time. He says, "Why are you kicking against the goads?" Like we can kick against the thing that's drawing us and fight or we can go with it and receive it. So what do you like, Jennifer, what does it look like if we, like to not receive it? 'Cause like this is... We don't always perfectly like, oh, cool. Yeah, I'll take the correction or I'll take the rebuke. So like what should we avoid and like what could...
Well, I'll tell you what's happened in our marriage.
No, no, no. Don't go there. No, them. The people listening. No, I'm just kidding.
I can see how over the years the times that we have truly, and honestly, repented there has been change made because we were determined in our minds and in our hearts to act differently-
Not just say it.
and the other times where, say, a conflict or something came up or sin was confronted and there was acknowledgement and there was even apology and reconciliation, but not true repentance of like desiring that change. It got pushed aside and not thought about. That thing always came back up over and over and over again in different ways. So...
So what you're saying is if we protect our sinful way, like this thing. No, that's just how I am. Oh, that's how I was raised.
Justify it, yeah.
No, that's just my personality. No, like that's not exactly what you think it is. Like justify and protect and shield then never... It's...
It's never going to be healed. It's never going to be fixed. Put back in place.
That's good. And we shouldn't do that. We should be... We should release. Like we should let go. We're like, okay, if we recognize where we're sinners then it's easy to admit you're a sinner, right. And by the way, if anyone listening wants to hear some example, an in-depth understanding of repentance, we have a couple of episodes, a couple of seasons ago, where Jennifer and I talk about our journey with lust and pornography and those kinds of things in our marriage and we go pretty deep into what it looks like to have a true repentant heart. So if you want to go check those out. But I just want to... I want to read a scripture here in Galatians five 17. Puts the idea of this thing that's happening in us this way. It says for the desires of the flesh are against the spirit and the desires of the spirit are against the flesh. For these are opposed to each other to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
I've never felt that tension before. Have you ever-
felt that tension-
I always feel-
of those two
opposing each other within?
No, this is... Every single time... The idea what this is saying is, and this isn't saying, hey, you're never going to do the thing that you want to do. You're never going to walk holy. You're never going to walk in freedom. That's not what this is saying. This is just literally saying the reality is that there is a flesh. Any sin nature that is still in us while we're in the flesh but we have the spirit of God in us and so we can, as the Bible says, walk in the spirit. We can keep in step with the spirit. We can run to the father in heaven and ask for strength. We can put on his armor, right. That's what the believer is supposed to do to help us combat the flesh. To put the flesh to death, as the Bible says, but man, it's a battle when you know you should, you know, get into the word but you want to be on social media instead. You feel the tug. You feel the struggle.
Sometimes it's like whiplash.
Yeah. When you know you need to apologize to your wife for how you're communicating but you are-
Oh, it's an ache so deep.
But you're mad because you want them to apologize because they also didn't communicate well. It's the struggle you feel. The tug there again. Your flesh is against the spirit. The spirit of God is saying, go do what's right. She's your wife. And you're saying, yeah, but she should go do what's right first. That's the flesh talking, right. So when you're sitting in that spot, you do nothing, but when you say no to the flesh, you go do the right thing but it takes humbleness.
Humbleness. That's good. Yeah, I was going to share that none of us are exempt from this sanctification process, you know, that the Lord is walking us through when we're believers. Our responsiveness to God in the sanctification process matters and you just use the word humble. and that's what like, that is key because if He's faithful to show us and confront the things that we need to repent and change from then how we respond in those times truly does matter. And the only times I've been able to truly honestly repent and be determined to make change in those areas is when my heart is humble.
The good news about all this is that, like the title of this episode says, God's not done with us. Philippians on, six says, "And I am sure of this that He, God, who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." And what that saying is, is the part-
Not completion now?
No, no. This is the life we live. The walk we get to have now and the sanctification that God does in us. The washing that He's doing is going to be completed when the Lord returns.
So that's where the acceptance of I'm a sinner and I'm not perfect today. It's okay. Not that we... That doesn't give us justification to continue in our sin but to not feel the weight of that shame.
Right, and it's recognition that...
He's working in us.
When we have sin in our life, God, because he loves us, is going to deal with it-
and we need to let Him. The problem comes in when we don't. Like you were saying. Like if we don't humble ourselves. The Bible puts it this way. "Don't quench the spirit." It's a warning. It's literally... That's the sentence. "Don't quench the spirit." And the warning is, when the spirit speaks, when believers come to you and the Holy spirit they've seen something in your life and they encourage you and they say, actually, this is dangerous. How you're walking or this thing that I see in you. We could get defensive and fight back but that's not us being humble. And we want to be humble 'cause God's not done with us. He's transforming us, renewing us, refining us through Jesus Christ, which is amazing. It shows that we're His. Just one note on the fact that we're His, just like gold, when it comes out of the ground is not pure. It's mixed with all sorts of things but when it's put to the fire, when it's put in a crucible and intense heat is added to it, it purifies and the way it purifies is all those impurities float to the top. And that's what God's doing in us because we're treasure to Hm. We're His treasure because we're in Christ. Christ is His son. So it's a beautiful thing. It shows that He loves us. We're His to be refined. He's making us more pure daily, moment by moment, second…