Thursday, September 15, 2011

In Sickness and In Health

After reading an article enumerating Pat Robertson's emotive justifications for divorcing a spouse with Alzheimer's, I feel compelled to measure his dangerous admonitions by the Light of Scripture.

During the call-in segment of the show, Pat Robertson addresses whether or not a husband should remain faithful to his Alzheimer's-stricken wife. "But I know it sounds cruel, but if he's going to do something he should divorce her and start all over again. But to make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her."

Wow. This is chilling for so many reasons. Thankfully, his co-host Terry Meeuwsen points out, "But isn't that the vow we take when we marry someone? That it's for better or for worse? For richer or poorer?" (Christianity Today).

Marriage is inherently sacred and binding. Marriage was fashioned by the Designer as a type and shadow of our personal relationship with Jesus Christ--the body of Christ as the glorious bride, our LORD and Savior, the Bridegroom. This is why marriage exists. Thank the Lord he does not desert us in our weakness. He does not forsake us when we forget His promises. His love for us is unconditional and everlasting.

Mr. Robertson has unknowingly stepped into the enemy's camp of relative ethics. To abandon a commitment in the face of hardship does not line up with the powerful prophetic Word, "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death." (Revelation 12:11, NAS) Marriage is a beautiful testimony of laying down your life for the sake of your spouse daily. As Christ gave us the Ultimate Sacrifice willingly, our Christian walk is voluntarily making decisions for Him because of His love through us. Christians have eternal life in Christ and once that decision of surrender is truly made, John 10:28 (NAS) says, "and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand." Doesn't it make since then, that the enemy will seek to "snatch" a Christian's testimony?

To make decisions regarding marriage on the basis of feelings is not only a slippery slope, it is ethically toxic. Robertson continues, "...I can't fault him for wanting some kind of companionship. And if he says in a sense she is gone, he's right. It's like a walking death." There are so many times that Mr. Robertson has prayed in faith for people's healing on the show. By denoting Alzheimer's as "a walking death" he magnifies the power of disease over the power of Christ. Just because he has not witnessed the miraculous healing of Alzheimer's, does not mean that it will not happen in the future. We serve a living God with no limitations. Let us always walk by faith and not by sight. Isaiah 43:18-19 (NAS) says, "Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.

I cannot help but recall a great man of honor, the late President Ronald Reagan. He is one of the most beloved presidents of all time. In November of 1994, Reagan formally informed the nation of his fight with Alzheimer's. "I now begin the journey that will lead me into the summit--sunset of my life." In Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan, Morris gives us an inside look into this illness. "I think the single most shattering story I heard about him was the fact that a friend put a white ceramic model of the White House into this fish tank that he had in his office. And he took it home in his fist," Morris continues, "And when Nancy pried his fingers open and said, 'What's that, Ronnie?' And there's this this little wet White House in his hand. He said, 'I don't know, but I think it's something to do with me." Staying by your spouse's side during his/her darkest hour is an opportunity to bestow honor on earth as it is in heaven.

Could we also remind Mr. Robertson of the power of love? Perhaps the mind has decayed, but the heart has not. Christ can fill every empty space. May we have courage to love our spouse just as much in the sunset as the sunrise.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Anoint Your Home

"You shall make of these a sacred anointing oil blended as by the perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil." ~Exodus 30:25 (ESV)

Recently God pressed it upon my heart that we should anoint our home with oil. I felt a strong desire or unction in the Spirit to do this. In fact, it seemed that almost every Christian article I read throughout the week spoke on this topic. I shared this with my husband, who agreed that this is something we needed to do.

We purchased some oil at the store. Adam prayed over it and consecrated it to fulfill God's purpose in our home. It was the most simple and yet beautiful ceremony, and I could tangibly feel the glory of God and His presence as we walked together along the internal perimeter of our home. Adam smeared the oil along each portal of entry including windows and doorways. When we paused at the front and back doors, Adam commanded in the name of Jesus that two guardian angels always be posted at each of the doors. I asked Adam if we could anoint each room, too. We even anointed the bathroom! After all, it is a place designated for individuals to rest and relieve themselves. Why not let go of spiritual junk, too, while you are in there?

Since we do marriage counseling, Adam anointed the love seat in which our honored guests sit. He prayed that the healing presence of God would invade every marriage that we encountered. He also anointed our own marriage. With an oil-dipped finger, he drew the figure of the cross in his palm and mine and held our hands together as he consecrated our marriage to the Lord.

This ceremonial blessing touched my heart so deeply. There was nothing special about the oil itself. In fact, it was purchased at Walmart. God can use anything you give Him. To us, it was an external symbol or manifestation of our faith in Jesus Christ. However, God can specifically lead and instruct you to buy specific fragrances and ingredients if you ask Him. Be sensitive to His leading. Anointing our home demonstrates the following connotations:

1)It is a divine anouncement that any spirit other than the Spirit of God is not welcome and must go in the name of Jesus. (II Corinthians 10:4)

2)It is professing that Jesus lives in us and through us. Jesus Christ means "Jesus The Anointed One." Our bodies are a temple of Christ (I Corinthians 6:19-20)

3)It represents God's protective covering that rests over us (Deuteronomy 33:12)

4)Just as Exodus 30:25 says that the anointing oil is to be "blended as by the perfumer," it is a recognition that any good thing rising from us is from God alone, our Perfumer, who was broken and bruised for our transgressions.

5)It is a line of demarcation in the Spirit delineating that our home is under His rule and Kingship. We are His humble servants (Joshus 24:15)