Earlier today I posted a loooong post over at my other blog on some of what I hear the Spirit speak in my ear as I walk with God day by day. The Spirit really urges me not just to privately journal the things I hear Him stirring in me, as I meditate on His word through the day, but to, as Jesus said to, "...what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops." (Matt.10:27) And the first place He applies this to me is not in the blog world, though I tend to shrink back from passionately sharing what God burdens my heart with boldly in the blog world too. The first place is in my own home.
I was thinking about this tonight as my precious husband was called away to work and I shift into "ministry mode" as soon as he's gone.
It's not just that he doesn't worship the Lord with me, but, like Paul wrote to the Corinthians, when you're married, your thoughts are towards pleasing your spouse, not just the Lord. Though I've argued that Spirit inspired statement from Paul (a foolish thing to do I suppose-duh!) in the past, believing a man or woman doesn't have to divide their service and relationship with their spouse from their service and relationship from the Lord, but rather doing everything in every relationship as unto the Lord. And I do believe that, but I think I'm hearing more and more what's being said by the Spirit through Paul there: just what I'm experiencing. Though God would have me speak the things He puts on my heart to my kids, whether my husband is around or not, and though He would have me be fearless in doing good and speaking the truth in love to our boys, training them in the ways of the Lord and modeling a living faith in Christ for them in my own life without hiding, I know there are many things my husband does, wants, says, experiences converses with me about...etc., that distract me from my desire to serve the Lord in all I do.
When my husband is present I do tend to shrink back from speaking little things the Spirit speaks in my ear as teachable moments for the boys and that is not God's will or plan for me or any of us. If we have freedom to do anything it is to speak God's word by His Spirit with boldness and love.
My pastor taught from Acts 4:23-31 the Sunday before last and it really struck me that after Peter spoke so boldly by the Spirit, before those who were in positions of authority, who demanded that he stop preaching in Jesus' name, Peter didn't shrink back at all, but instead he prayed with his brothers and sisters in Christ for boldness to speak God's word despite their threats.
My husband doesn't threaten. Occasionally he'll poke fun or cast doubt on what I'm talking to the boys about, but in the past he's fully rejected me for bearing Christ's name in my words and life (though I'm amazed that he's seen that pure witness of Jesus in me in the past at all), and many times the enemy uses that to threaten me.
But, just as Jesus taught in Matthew 10:27-33, speaking those things which the Spirit speaks in my ear, and which Jesus has taught me in dark times in my life, openly, is what keeps me free from the fear of man and healthily fearing God alone. For He says, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven."
Every time I've shrunk back from speaking what the Spirit whispers in my ears to tell my kids while my husband's present I've felt the grieving of the Spirit in me and it's terrible! I don't want to grieve the Spirit! I want to be bold.
Maybe you've experienced this in your life too, whether it be with your own spouse, family...anyone. I just wanted to encourage you to be bold and trust the Lord. When I do obey the Spirit's leading to share something with my kids, while my husband's in ear shot, I'm always filled with joy and blessed.
The other day we were at the table eating grapes and my husband was standing nearby in the kitchen. I heard, "Tell them about how I am the vine and they are the branches, and that if they abide in Me they will bear much fruit." So, I looked around, like you see those people in the movies looking for where that voice came from, or if anyone else heard it, only I knew Who was speaking to me. I scanned the room to see how bold I was about to be, that is, how close was my husband standing. He was right behind me. So God gave me boldness...
"Boys do you remember what I told you about what Jesus said about grapes and vines?"
4 year old: Yeah, it's like Jesus....Yeah, Yeah, He's the vine and the treeeeee!
Me: That's right babe. Jesus said He is like the vine and we are like the branches (pointing to the piece of branch he was holding). And He said if you abide in Him, if you make your home with Him, if you build your life on Him, if you obey His words and love Him, YOU'LL have much fruit in your life...like these grapes. And God takes one of those grapes (I grab one and start munching on it dramatically) and says, "MMM! MMM! MMM! Boy, this fruit in Connor's life is deeeelicious!"
3 and 4 year old: Yeah! Yeah!....NUH UH! God don'ts says dat!
Me: Yes He does. It's like eating delicious grapes to God when you love Jesus and obey His words.
My husband: Do they even know what it means to abide in Him?
Me: (Picking my chin up off the floor. Steadying my excited, joyous, shaking voice as I realize...HE'S LISTENING!) Yeah, they learn more than you'd think from great stories like the vine of grapes. That's why Jesus told stories...even kids can picture it. (Husband walking away saying, "Hmm." Me trying not to jump up and down at the work of God in my silly, little faith life.)
God blesses us with great joy when we speak that which is of His Spirit. I pray for increasing boldness at home and wherever I go to speak those things the Spirit whispers in my ears at different given moments.