The King's Gardeners Ministries

Reverend S. L. Gardner

Spokane, Washington US

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Greetings in Christ brothers and sisters in the Lord.

I felt some things on my heart that I just wanted to share with my fellow standers. It's really funny how God can use circumstances in our lives for purposes of our growth. I have been through a rather sudden trial the fast 3-4 days. (no details are necessary).

This trial hit me like a 2x4 and caught me completely off guard. It helped me to realize how weak we really can be in our faith, yet at the same time, it also showed me the level of God's grace and his willingness to go that extra mile to help us, if only we look to him. Remember, in order for metals to reach their purest form, they must go through the refiners fire. We also must be refined by fire to bring us to a place of purity and holiness in our faith. I have been pretty down and confused the past couple of days, especially last night.

Well, this morning I was able to drag myself out of bed a little earlier than normal and to pray for a while longer than usual. I took some advice on prayer from a good friend and fellow stander that really helped me (Thanks Katrina! :) ) and my prayer time just exploded. I really let loose for God and took authority over some areas and praised God for all he is. When I was finished I felt refreshed and revitalized.

Then, in chapel today (our Christian school that I teach at has chapel on Fridays) I was listening to the speaker, and a bunch of things started pouring into my mind. So, I wanted to share them before I forget them, as I can tend to do that. First, we as Christians have basically two citizenships.... We (or at least most of us in the group) are citizens of the United States. With that position comes certain rights that we enjoy. The freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, the freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly, etc. However, we also have another citizenship. We are all citizens of the Kingdom of God. And as such, we have relinquished all our rights.

We have become slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:18). Often we come to God with the same mentality that we think of ourselves as Americans. We like to petition God based on our emotions, more so, we liked to interpret scripture based on our emotions and our situations rather than simply trusting God's word. Do we feel that we as Christians 'have our rights' when it comes to our lives and how we live them? Do we really? Or are we servants of the King, living to serve, honor and worship him, denying ourselves, picking up our cross and following him. How often have I said to God regarding my stand things like "I don't deserve to be alone." Or "I have changed, isn't it time my spouse came back?" or a hundred other comments or questions.

Do we actually have the "right" to demand anything from God? No, however, we have a God who loves us, and wants to bless us in ways we could never imagine, he wants to bring us to a level of growth in him and maturity that we could have never dreamed of. He wants to bring us that peace that passes all understanding. As I was pondering these things, I said to God in my head. God, I love my wife, and I will stand for her return the rest of my life, and it is my prayer that you restore us. But, if for some reason, I am to live the rest of my life alone, then I accept that. For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

The concept of spending possibly 50 years alone (for I am 29 now) is scary. I often wonder if I sowed so much discord in my marriage, that now I must reap the consequences, which may involve a prolonged stand or even a life alone. So, does that mean I have laxed my stand, not at all. What it does mean is that God has brought me one step closer to a goal I think he has for all standers. That goal is complete and total surrender of our lives and situation to his lordship. I have stated before that I do not believe God will restore our marriages until we have made God #1 in our lives.

Our faith in him MUST NOT be contingent upon his restoring our marriage, otherwise the restoration would fail. The Bible says that if we delight in the Lord, he will give us the desires of our heart. (Psalm 37:4) We need to get to the point where our fears about our marriages are shadowed in comparison to our delighting in God. When our feet are firmly established on Christ as our foundation, then God can begin to use us to help heal the covenant marriages we are standing for.

I am trusting God for the healing of my marriage, and I believe he will, and I have seen signs of his working. I cannot let setbacks affect my faith. God's actions are not determined by life's circumstances. We must press on and press in to Him! For those of you who are in situations where your stand is at a place that causes you some real pain, or you are considering giving up.

May I suggest an alternative?

Put your marriage on the back burner. That's right, don't worry about it. You say that's impossible? Well, quitting a stand and accepting a man originated divorce isn't going to bring you peace, only more pain and heartache. Instead, put it all aside and instead, learn how to delight in the Lord. All Christians should do this, not just us standers. So, delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

I pray this message brings encouragement to you, God bless you all.

In Christ, Dave C.

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