Welcome to Week Three of Enhancing Your Marriage! This online study is based upon Judy Rossi’s study of the same name. All quotes, unless otherwise noted, will belong to her.
Take your time as you read through this. Pray as you read the scriptures and answer the questions. Be honest with yourself. This is between you and God. And if you feel like sharing something that might encourage another sister in Christ, please do. You may comment below OR ask to join the Enhancing Your Marriage Facebook Group. This is a safe place where ladies can ask questions and encourage and mentor each other as we work on our marriages.
Defining the Problem
Paul wrote the letters of 1 and 2 Corinthians to Christians who were struggling with things of the flesh. SKIM THIS and think about how the days of the Corinthians are similar to our society now.
Now think: What are the similarities of the Corinthian church and our churches today?
“The carnal believer is one who’s converted to Jesus Christ but who, like an infant, is still following the inborn human nature, with its emphasis on pleasing self. He or she is not walking in full fellowship with Jesus Christ and has not fully surrendered to the Spirit of God. The spiritual believer, on the other hand, has a more mature relationship with the Lord, being led by the Holy Spirit and drawing from His attributes (or fruit) within. ” (page 47)
What are the practices of the carnal nature? Galatians 5:19-21
Can you remember the fruit of the Spirit?
Are you being ruled more by your passions than by the Holy Spirit? I’d have to say YES…and NO. There are passions that I fight against that certainly can rule over me, but I know that there are some weaknesses that I have that I do not allow to conquer me anymore. Spiritual growth is a choice and we must be willing to allow God to work in us and transform us.
That means surrender.
The Disobedience of Unbelief
Read Numbers 13:1-33. What were God’s commands?
Read Numbers 14:1-38. How did the Israelites react?
Have you ever wanted to “go back to Egypt”? Since we started this adoption process three months ago, I’d be lying if I didn’t say it would be easier if we were back to a family of four. But I know that isn’t what God wants from me. When we are faced with a scary report we have to remember: The land is exceedingly good! AND that the Lord will be with us.
What was God’s response to the Israelites? God was ready to kill them all and start a new nation from Moses. But Moses was able to change God’s mind. (THAT blows MY mind!!) And God had that generation wander in the desert and die. The Israelite children would be allowed to enter into the land.
What impact does your own sin have on your husband? your children?
What caused God’s anger? Read Hebrews 3:7-19.
Do you see disobedience in your own heart? Unbelief?
Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-12. What warning are we given?
What encouragement for our marriages do we see in 1 Corinthians 10:13?
Love the Lord Your God
Read Deuteronomy 6:1-25. Make a chart that lists the Commands and Instructions in one column and the reasons for those commands in a second column. “God is seen establishing himself in the hearts of His people as their one and only God. And He wanted them to do the same in the hearts of their own children. Why do you think this was necessary?” (page 56)
Have your children asked about God’s activity in your life?
God is a jealous God. (Isaiah 42:8) He wants us to love Him first and foremost. He refuses to give His glory to anything else. Is He competing for your allegiance?
Our obedience is evidence of our love for Him. (page 58)
The Disobedience of Compromise
Read Deuteronomy 7:1-26.
Why did God want the Canaanites and everything destroyed?
What were the consequences if the Israelites didn’t carry out the instructions?
What does God promise to those who are obedient?
Why were the Israelites afraid of the Canaanites?
How will God deal with enemies of the Israelites?
God told His people He would send the “hornet” to find those who are in hiding of the Israelites. Either God really used hornets to kill the enemy, or He is speaking of terror that will go out like a hornet and terrorize the enemy. Either way, God would take care of the enemies of Israel. Psalm 81:13-16 reminds us who would subdue the enemy. BUT what would the victory depend upon? Their obedience.
Embracing the Solution
“Just what tempts us away from God and causes us to sin? Satan’s goal from the beginning was to get us to focus on self. Anything that has us focused inward distracts us from focusing upward – our sin, weaknesses, bad habits, conditioned responses, negative attitudes and behaviors.” (page 61)
Think a minute and list your Canaanites. What sins are you currently dealing with. Be honest with yourself. Anger, doubt, guilt, bitterness, superiority, lying, foolish talk, materialism……….what are your enemies?
How are these sins hurting your walk with the Spirit?
Like the Israelites…what are we to do with these enemies of ours?
The enemies make you look bad, feel bad, could hurt others…but most importantly they OFFEND GOD.
I don’t want to grieve the Holy Spirit. I want the freedom that comes from allowing God to transform me into the image of Jesus.
Ask God to begin a work in you to deal with the Canaanites you have identified.