Well, this morning I am laughing at myself because I misread my notes and jumped back a few chapters in my reading in Matthew. It seemed like I had written about those verses before, but I thought that maybe I was confused because re-reading Matthew during the Community Bible Experience. But when I began to read on in chapter 16, I knew I had written about those verses! Of course, when I double checked I saw that yesterday I was mistaken! Sorry about that; however, I have to say that it was a great message I personally needed. But, let's move forward today and start back where we left off nine weeks ago! Please read Matthew 19:1-12.
Something that God has been showing me is that often we are missing the main point and focusing on the wrong things. For example, one discussion I found myself in was whether or not a person can lose their salvation. I don't even want to participate in that discussion because once we are a child of God it shouldn't matter. We should be living a life of purpose each and every day and doing everything we can to live a life that pleases God. We are given warnings to remind us the importance of purposefully choosing God. If we are doing that, we will not even have to be concerned about whether or not we can lose our salvation. The main idea is to press on and keep living the life God wants us to live (love God and love others).
In these verses, we see a similar idea. The Pharisees wanted to test Jesus about the idea of marriage and divorce. They wanted to know if it was okay to divorce. Jesus pointed out to them that they are forgetting the main idea of marriage - it is a gift from God and two become one. Jesus concluded with, "Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate," Matthew 19:4 (NIV). But the Pharisees pressed further and asked why the Law allowed for divorce. Jesus explained that Moses permitted divorce because of the hard hearts of the Israelites not because that was what God wanted for us. Interesting. Just because divorce was permitted for sexual immorality doesn't mean it is what is best for us. God wants our marriages thriving.
Once again, the main idea gets missed by us! The idea of marriage was a gift and join two into one, but we humans often are sure we have a better plan. In our hearts, we question what God has given us and want to know how close we can get to the line. It is kind of like the little toddler who is always testing the limits to know how far they can go before getting into trouble. But God has so much better for us! Instead of wanting to know how bad we can be before condemnation, we should be looking for how much good God wants for us when we please Him. Do you see the difference in views? It is not always the easy way, but it is the better way.
Are you looking for the line to see how far you can go, or are you looking to God to see the better way?
This post is linked with Soli Deo Gloria.