Imagination in Marriage

February 22, 2013 at 10:11 am | Posted in Biblical Marriage, I Corinthians, II Corinthians | 7 Comments
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Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

I Corinthians 7:2-5 (emphasis added)

Previously, I have shown that Satan attacks the fortified walls of marriages with craftiness and deceit. We are to be ready for various types of attacks by:

1. Not being ignorant. Satan is going to attack in this area.
2. Facing up to the fact that his attack is going to be a fierce attack.
3. Realizing that this attack could come at unexpected times and from unexpected angles.
4. Preparing to recognize infiltrating spies, in which Satan utilizes worldly lies masquerading as common wisdom.
5. Preparing to recognize attacks in the form of burrowing under the protective wall around your marriage, in which Satan seeks to utilize our God-given sensual appetites to his own nefarious advantage.

Now, we will see that we must also:

6. Prepare to recognize attacks coming over the top of the walls.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

II Corinthians 10:3

The Bible does not say that Christians do not wage warfare. Just because our warfare is spiritual and not physical, it does not mean that our warfare is any “less real.”

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

II Corinthians 10:4-5 (emphasis added)

If I cast something “down,” that implies that, before I get to it, it is something “higher” than me. When I think about my marriage, I need to be careful to identify things that might be sitting in a “high place” in my mind where they should not be. “Imagination,” in the sense we normally use that word, is not a bad thing. In previous lessons I have advocated using our creativity and imaginative thinking in making the romantic aspects of our marriage enjoyable. But “imaginations” as used in these verses are a reference to human speculations that cause us to wonder about or doubt things on our own that might already be resolved, revealed, or even restricted in Scripture. Those “bad,” speculative imaginations can easily include things like sexual thoughts – thoughts that seem to be so sudden and secretive that they come to us unbidden.

And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

II Corinthians 10:6

Impure thoughts should make us downright angry and vengeful – if our minds are captivated by obedience to Christ. This is the “hard work” of spiritual warfare, and Satan does not believe that you are going to put up a good fight when it comes to how we think about sex in marriage. Therefore, he is very bold. He is trying to send these “exalted thoughts” right up and over your battlements. Next time I will identify three assailants that he will send to try to scale the fortifying walls of your marriage at the area we call “sexual fidelity.”

The Grudge-Match of the Century: The Lion of God vs. Double-Wicked Cushan

July 7, 2009 at 9:30 am | Posted in Biblical Violence | 5 Comments
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In the land of Canaan, in the days of the Judges of Israel, God’s people often failed to act like God’s people. As their priests failed to instruct the people in the keeping of God’s law, and as a new generation of parents failed to hold their children accountable for their sins, the people of Israel began to intermarry with the pagan idol-worshippers around them. When this happened it wasn’t long before the Israelites began worshiping the false gods of their spouses, and began to “do evil in the sight of the Lord” (Judges 3:5-7), including sacrificing their own children.

Therefore, to chasten the people whom He loved, but whose sin He hated, the Lord God allowed the king of Mesopotamia to enslave them. This king’s name translates to the charming moniker, “Double-Wicked Cushan.”

God heard the cries of His people, however, and raised up Othniel to deliver them. It was the “Lion of God” versus “Ol’ Double-Evil.” How did Othniel win the victory and restore the freedom of God’s people for 40 years? Not by having the largest army or the sturdiest weapons. Rather, the key to Othniel’s success is found in Judges 3:10: “And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war…”

Othniel responded to the power of the Holy Spirit, and he had a willingness to fight for God. Most Christians today are not commanded to be in a military war, and we are forbidden from using carnal weapons. We are in a war, but it’s a spiritual war, and our main weapons are prayer, the Word of God, love, and, like Othniel, a willingness to serve. What a waste it would be to have the empowering gift of the Holy Spirit residing in the temple of your body, but to refuse to walk in His strength, and to be enslaved to the enemy’s strongholds.


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