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Miles Apart In The Same House Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
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November 18, 2020 1:00 am

Miles Apart In The Same House Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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November 18, 2020 1:00 am

Adam and Eve tossed paradise aside when they disobeyed God. Like them, we manipulate each other to meet our own needs, not realizing that loving our spouse is the real key to marital happiness.

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.

Adam and Eve tossed paradise aside when they disobeyed God. Like them, we manipulate each other to meet our own needs, not realizing that meeting our mate's needs is the real key to marital happiness. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, today you're addressing rejection, a crucial point in time where one mate or the other feels it's really over. You know, that's right, Dave, and of course as a pastor, I've always said that it's never really over. If both are committed to the marriage, there is always hope, but there's a lot of difficult marriages out there. And this message is preached with a heavy heart and with the intention of helping people to understand that the difficulties of marriage don't necessarily dictate divorce. I know that there are many marriages that are in trouble, and many of those who are listening to these messages are in great difficulty and don't know where to turn. My intention is to help them, to help them to navigate all of the experiences that are negative, but also to give them hope.

I believe that the gospel does change people. And you know, people are blessed as a result of the ministry of running to win. As we frequently say, we're here to help them all the way to the finish line.

And you, my friend, have a part in that. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner? Endurance partners are those who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. If you want to know more, here's what you do. Go to

That's Click on the endurance partner button, or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337. People will thank you in heaven for helping us even as running to win continues to minister to their needs. And now we go to the pulpit of Moody Church where we continue our discussion of marriage, talking frankly about some of the difficulties that some marriages experience. You know, if you feel rejected, all that you can do is to retreat into the silence of your shame and your grief and your anger, and you can live in that terrible, terrible private world.

That's all you can do. Or, if you really feel rejected, what you can do is what many people do, and that is make it impossible for other people to accept them. You've met rejected people, and so have I. And what they have done to us is they have made demands of us that nobody could ever possibly keep, because what they are trying to do is to prove that nobody will love them, that everybody will reject them, and the minute somebody shows them love, they will begin to make demands that will inevitably lead to failure. This is absolutely necessary in the mind of a rejected person. And that's why rejected people sometimes in marriages are so incredibly hard to live with, because they are making demands of their partner that no partner could possibly meet.

They are out to prove that nobody really loves them, and they will make it as hard on you as they possibly can to prove their point. Some of you are struggling with homosexuality, and you've kept that hidden because you say, you know, if I expose that, think of the rejection that I would receive. And I understand what you're saying, but I also want you to know that there is no such thing as real healing until you share with at least one other human being who can be a part of the solution who you really are.

Because there is no prison that is as terrible as that prison called secrecy that says there's a part of my life out here that I will not share. Like that man I told you about several years ago at a conference. It was raining outside, and he said, I want to take a walk with you. And so we walked together. He said, you don't know who I am. You're from another city.

You're leaving town tomorrow. But he said, I spent $400 a month on pornography. Help me. See, there is no prison in Illinois or any other part of the world that is as wretched, that is as debilitating as that prison that says I will keep my life to myself and not share my need. Now, what do Adam and Eve do once God lifts the cover? Well, the first thing, of course, most people do is lie. But how are you going to lie to God? It's not worth it because he knows it. He knows the truth.

So this is what happens. Verse 11, and God said, who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat? Now, the man could have answered in three simple words, yes, I did.

We'd have expected that from Adam. But, you know, he didn't. He said, and watch my hands now, Lord, the woman whom thou gavest me, thou gavest me, she took of the tree.

And then what's a guy supposed to do? I want you to notice that first of all, he blamed God. He said, God, I wasn't even awake when this woman was made. So you can't blame me for her.

That's number one. And number two, it is she that took of the tree. It's this weak-willed woman whom you created. Well, I want you to notice that Adam blamed his wife even though there wasn't a chance in the world that he had married the wrong woman.

Did you notice that? This is everlasting proof, if proof is needed, that the best of marriages have problems. This idea that if you meet the right one, you're going to go through life and be wonderful and happy and never have any disagreements. Well, all that I can tell you is that Rebecca's marriage to me has not been nearly that boring. I want you to know also that we are happier than I think we've ever been in our married life.

It's just great. But you know, we had some difficult years. There's no such thing as everybody just getting along so-so. But isn't this interesting? Adam and Eve want to pass the buck. You know, Will Rogers says there was the passing of the buffalo and then there was the passing of the buck.

Well, notice this now. God says, oh, oh, okay, it's the woman's fault. So he says in verse 13, the Lord God said to the woman, what is this you have done? The woman said, well, I was tempted and I ate.

Oh, no, no, no, no, no. The serpent deceived me and I ate. The man blamed the woman, the woman blamed the serpent and the serpent didn't have a leg to stand on. And the whole blame game that we know so much about today all began here.

The failure to take responsibility for your reactions and for your actions. And I want you to know today that no matter how much responsibility your parents may have had, and it may be considerable, ultimately there does come a time when we all must take responsibility for our own reactions. And when we begin to do that, God begins to give us help. Now let me ask you something. What does God do in this situation? Does he say, well, you know, you guys blew it. I put you together. You disobeyed me.

That's it. What you need to do is to wait 2,000 years until they have talk shows and then go on one of them and spill out your guts and try to get some help. Well, I don't object to talk shows where there is a lot of sharing. Some of that today is good because people are beginning to realize that it is important to talk about dysfunctional past experiences. But you know, God goes way beyond that. I want you to know today that God never leaves people on their own and says, you've messed it up, now let me out of it, do the best you can.

No. Verse 15, I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise you on the head and you shall bruise him on the heel. This is the first prediction of the coming of Christ. God says, I'm going to put hostility between you, serpent, who represents the devil, and the woman, and her seed is going to win a battle. And the woman's seed turns out to be Jesus Christ. And Satan is going to do his best to conquer Christ, but all that he will be able to do is to nip Christ's heel. Whereas Christ, the seed of the woman, is going to crush the serpent's head in the dust. So Christ is saying that somebody is going to come who is the seed of the woman, who's going to put Satan in his place and bring redemption to at least a part of humanity. And then, as if that isn't enough, it says in verse 21, and the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. What he said to them is, you don't need your fig leaves, what you need is some garments of skin. And if these were garments of skin, obviously God must have killed some animals to make these clothes for Adam and Eve. And Bible commentators for years have seen in this the prefigurement of the coming of Jesus Christ, because animals were slain in the Old Testament, all pointing to the coming of a redeemer who would die on a cross. And then when Jesus died, he became the Lamb of God, which takes away the sins of the world.

Now listen to me carefully. God is saying, I will cover your shame. I'll cover your shame. It says in the book of Revelation to the church at Laodicea, the Lord said, he says, come by of me and I shall give to you white clothing so that the shame of your naked ness might not appear. Those of you who are living today in that prison of shame, God can cover you. Come now let us reason together says the Lord, though your sins be a scarlet and though there are those ugly sores, I will send a snowfall and you'll be covered so that your shame will be put away. It says in Psalm 25, they that wait for thee shall not be ashamed. There's a covering for your shame. And also because your shame is covered, that's actually also the answer to your fear. Despite our need and despite our helplessness, we can come to God as we are knowing that there is a redeemer to cleanse us and to forgive us and give us a standing before God that can never be earned but is ours through his matchless wondrous grace.

And when we do that, we begin to have the security to be able to communicate because now we know that we're accepted by God, we're forgiven by God, we can let others know who we are and take that risk without fearing the rejection and without the pain of the shame overwhelming us so that we can not only be loved by God but feel loved because the guilt is gone, the shame is gone, the fear is gone and now we can begin to love each other. There are some of you who are listening to this message who are single and you've had some terrible experiences in your relationships. The minute someone has begun to love you and there's a relationship that has been developed, you immediately back away because you fear letting someone know who you really are. And all of your relationships have to be kept at a distance. You cannot let someone into your world. I urge you today receive the cleansing of Christ, receive the covering for your shame and let someone know who you really are. There are some of you who are married and your communication lines are incredibly frozen. Every month more hostility, more anger, more shame is stacked on the walls that you have built around you.

You have dug those foundations, yes, you have put up the barricades, you have cemented your life in, you have folded your arms and you have said no one is ever going to get inside my world. And that's why your marriage is in such bad shape because no one can love you unless they know you. Let me tell you a true story. The names are changed but the story is totally true.

We'll say that the man's name was Tim and the woman's name was Ann. Both accepted Christ as savior brought up in a fine evangelical church, became Christians in their teenage years and married but became disillusioned with Christianity. Looked at the promises of Jesus, you know if you come to me you will never hunger, if you believe in me you will never thirst. And they were hungering and they were thirsting and they were looking at the promises and they asked their friends and they received sympathy but no real help. So they just decided to drop out of church.

Christianity does not work. Ann began to watch soap operas. They became a part of her day there at home as she was bored with a husband that lacked excitement. And as she began to watch those soap operas she realized that there was a part of her life that she thought had been missing, brought up in a fine Christian home.

Why? There was a whole life out there in the world that she had never experienced. The life of excitement, the life of the possibility of a new partner. And so she had an affair. Her husband would have left her but pride kept him at home because they were known in the community and he just simply didn't want to walk out on her though she had this relationship. When it seemed as if their marriage could not take a single strain that would break it totally, Ann discovered that she was pregnant.

The problem was that it was not a moment of rejoicing because she was unsure as to whether her husband was the father of the child. They decided to attend a meeting where some couples had gotten right with God. Some worldly couples had actually so yielded themselves to Christ that their lives were full of joy and they were communicating. And as this couple shared their need, get this now, the sharing of a need is so important because they had to break out of that wall of secrecy and anger and hostility and unforgiveness that they were living in. As they broke out of that and they shared a need to these couples, they said we need prayer. All the couples got on their knees and prayed for this couple that had that great need. And during the prayer, Tim took his wife's hand and squeezed it and said I forgive you. And it was those words that suddenly took all of that hostility and guilt and shame and anger and it penetrated those walls that she had so carefully nurtured and built. And that night when Tim and Ann got home, they did something they should have done early on in their marriage. They talked all night. Amid tears, they shared their expectations, they shared what they liked about one another, what they didn't like, all the disappointments that their marriage had brought. But in the midst of it, they were communicating finally for the first time, really communicating. And then they ended that long marathon talk in prayer. Six years after that experience when their little daughter was six, I wrote up their story that occurred in a book I wrote many, many years ago. And they told me that during that six-year period, first of all, the little girl that was born to them did turn out to be their child.

But secondly, they said that during that six-year period, they could not remember having one serious argument of any kind. Why? Because they said Jesus Christ is really the best marriage counselor.

Why? Because in the process of communication, in the process of allowing one another finally to enter into each other's world, the Bible says that where two or three are gathered together for the purpose of reconciliation, that's the context. Christ said, I am there to make sure it happens.

You will never sense the presence of Christ more than when you honestly and openly communicate. You say, but wasn't it painful? Oh, yes, believe it is painful. It's as painful as slicing an ugly sore and getting the pus out so that it can heal. That's how painful it is.

But without it, it can't happen. Some of you in your marriage, you will never be healed unless you talk, no matter how much you cry. And tears are important, no matter the pain. Some of you are hiding from one another. You're hiding from God.

And I say to you today, in the name of Christ, in God's name, get found, get found. You're playing hide and seek. God knows where you are. It's time that somebody else also knew exactly where you are. Because without communication, there cannot be love. And God is willing to clothe your shame, set you free, so that finally the great stone face can begin to talk.

Let's close. Now Father, I have spoken only words. Unless the blessed Holy Spirit who has been poured out to his people does the work, the message falls on deaf ears. I cannot penetrate the barriers.

I cannot get behind the walls. The words that I speak fall dead to the person who says no one will ever find out who I am. But Lord, you are the God of the heart.

I have done the possible, but the impossible. It is holy and totally up to you. I pray for singles who are here today, a history of smashed and painful relationships, unable to communicate. I pray for couples that are here today, unable to really, really talk. Now Lord, would you come to us sinners who need you so desperately? And would you heal us?

Would you wound us and then let us heal? And do the work that you need to do for your glory. In Jesus' name, Amen. Well my friend, this is Pastor Luther and I hope that you understand that this series of messages was preached with conviction but also a heavy heart.

I'm well aware that there are many marriages that are in trouble. If you have benefited from this series of messages, let me ask you a question. Do you know some people in your inner circle who need to hear these messages? If you do, for a gift of any amount, these messages can be yours. Now I need to say that today is the last day that we are making these resources available to you.

So here's what you can do. Go to That's or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now I'm going to be giving you that contact information again but I need to say it is so critical for us to listen carefully and at the same time be given hope even for marriages that are in such great difficulty. The title of the series is, Till Death Do Us Part.

As I've mentioned, for any amount, this series can be yours. Here's what you do. Go to or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Perhaps you have benefited from this series of messages but you also know those who would also benefit from it. Today is the last day we are making this offer to help you make it all the way to the finish line, or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. Everywhere you look, the Christian faith is under attack. Many ask, is God really in charge? Next time, Erwin Lutzer begins a series from the Psalms that tells what happens when God shows himself. We'll find that despite all we see, God is still in control. Thanks for joining, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-26 21:52:43 / 2024-01-26 22:00:56 / 8

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