Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
On this date in 1975, the twenty or so saints who had gathered at Grandma’s farmhouse to worship the Lord felt led by the Spirit, at the end of the meeting, to gather around me and Barbara Myers and pray for us. When they did, I felt the Spirit put her into my left side, and I knew that God had joined us together. Shyly, I spoke up and said, “I felt something go into my side!” Uncle Joe, standing behind my left shoulder, leaned over and loudly said with a chuckle, “That’s your rib, boy!”
I had never heard of such an experience of being joined together by God when that happened to me, and I have not heard of such an experience since. But I know it happened that Sunday afternoon in Grandma’s living room. It can happen; it happened to me. I am a living witness that there is such a thing as having an experience in Christ in which God Himself really joins a man and a woman together. I do not demand that anyone else’s experience of being joined together by God be like my experience, or even close to it. That is up to God. But in doing that to me, and for whatever reason, God made me a witness that there is such a experience in Christ. And so, I pass that information on to you. Apparently, by doing what He did to me that day, God wanted me to know it so that I could let someone else know about it, and so I confess His work among men.
When Jesus said, in speaking of marriage, “What God has joined together, let not man put asunder”, he was saying that what God puts together, man cannot divide. The world’s religions all have ceremonies whereby religious leaders claim that God has joined a man and a woman in marriage, and I am glad that the world has those ceremonies; sin would multiply greatly without religious restraints on carnal man. But the claims of man do not make anything true; nor do they make a marriage secure. A marriage is not a marriage unless God at least approves of it as being a marriage.
Paul said that a believer is free to marry whomever he or she wants to marry, “but only in the Lord.” In other words, a child of God may simply choose a mate instead of having an experience like mine of being joined together with a mate by the Spirit. If you do choose to marry, if you find someone in Christ that you desire to marry, and if that other person feels the same way, then marry. Do not do as the heathen do and make a big religious show out of it, as if doing that makes it a marriage, but do make it official and then go live your lives together in peace.
Whether by a spiritual experience or by choice, always remember, marriage among the saints is to be done according to the will of God. Otherwise, it is as Uncle Joe used to say: Unless a marriage is meets with God’s approval, there is no “man and wife”; there is only “a man and a woman”.