Wednesday, August 20, 2014
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The Mississippi River flood of 1993 was a nail-biter if you had a home or business near the river in St. Louis. The flood had already done unprecedented damage up river, and St. Louis was holding their breath as the crest on the Missouri River and Mississippi Rivers rose.
Several years prior to that flood, St. Louis invested a lot of money in a levee. A big one; bigger than any they ever thought they would need. They built it thick and they built it high. They built it 52 feet high, which is many feet above the highest flood crest in the history of the city.
Well, this was the 500 year flood. Who could ever know that it would ever get that high? The tension was mounting. You could hear it in the news reports, because they were coming live from there. The predicted crests were rising through the 40's and now toward the 50-foot mark. And then the moment of truth came, and the river crested at incredibly high record levels, but under 50 feet. Were they glad they had built a wall that was strong and high!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Build Your Levee High."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Malachi 2. Let me tell you, there is a flood out there that is affecting a lot of people; a lot of married people. There is a deluge of forces breaking down the walls around marriage after marriage. You could probably think of some, and maybe you're in one.
Are you ready for Malachi chapter 2, beginning at verse 13? God says, "You flood the Lord's altar with tears. You weep and wail because He no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. And you ask 'Why?' It is because the Lord is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you've broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Hath not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are His. And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. 'I hate divorce' says the Lord."
Well, one thing is very obvious from this passage. God is serious about marriage being for life whether we are or not. If your marriage breaks down, it sounds like your relationship with God breaks down and your children, it says here, are affected. They're scarred by it.
Now, the Devil knows that, and he does everything he can to get into your marriage. Right? I mean, there's a flood of forces threatening even the healthiest marriages. Many times both people are working and there's less time and energy left for each other. There's the lure of infidelity. It seems to be more acceptable today, justifiable. It's everywhere around us. There's financial instability. Of course, how common divorce is, which seems to make it easier to get divorced.
The Devil is trying to get over the wall, and he's trying to get into your family. That's why God says here, "Guard yourself. Build a flood wall that's high and strong around your marriage. Anticipate all the places that flood could get in, and then you build a wall against it. Like lack of communication for example. You've got to schedule regular time to catch up with each other. That's got to be a non-negotiable so there's not a hole in the flood wall.
What about that resentment that keeps building up because you don't deal with things when they're small? Ephesians 4:26, "Don't let the sun go down on your anger." Don't stuff your feelings. Those feelings are going to affect your mate. They just won't know why or what's going on. So deal with issues and feelings when they're small. You're building a flood wall.
What about living in two different worlds? You've got to do whatever you have to do to be together more, even if it means sacrificing financially. Sexual temptation is a hole in the wall. Don't be in any private situation with someone from the opposite sex. Focus all your desires and all your needs on your mate and don't even flirt with getting some cheap strokes for your ego from someone of the opposite sex. You've got the idea.
Look for the places the flood's going to get into your home, and you build a high levee there. There might be strain on the levee and a few sandbag nights. But if you've built your wall tall and strong, you're got a marriage that is flood proof.