Saint Ambrose of Milan wrote, “We do not seek to impose anything on the world; we propose a most excellent way.”
A most excellent way was exactly what Ellen Dykas of Harvest USA proposed at our Sexual Sanity Seminar last weekend. As Exhibit A’s of God’s grace and purity, we were given some very practical steps for being IN the world, but not being OF the world. Going to the heart of the matter, Ellen quoted John Flavel:
When Christ ceases to fill the heart with satisfaction, our souls will go in silent search of other lovers.
Those other lovers make all kinds of promises—promises of feeling admired, desirable, promises of love taking us from the ordinary to the extraordinary realms of fiery passion. But those lovers (idols) in the end will always prove to be unsatisfying and ultimately unfaithful.
Ellen reminded us that, in holy love, God goes after us to deliver us from the false lovers we’ve chosen for ourselves. Through Colossians 3, Ellen spoke of the new identity we have in Christ Jesus and the call to “Set your minds on things above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:2-3)
We were given three steps to making this hidden life a reality:
1) Courageous honesty: Walking before God in the light of His Word. Isaiah 5:24 was given as a reminder of the devastation that results from neglecting God’s word: “… their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom go up like dust, for they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”
2) Having the humility and honesty to call sin “sin,” growing into WHO we are in Christ, putting away immorality (thought or behavior outside God’s design); impurity (moral filth and pollutants such as pornography, sensual books that stir up evil, etc.)
3) Walking the walk of faith and repentance daily, believing and acting upon the Gospel. Because our hearts are naturally resistant to the Lordship of Christ, Ellen challenged us to come out of hiding and to engage sisterly community in our walk before the Lord, calling one another to come up higher in pursuit of the holiness of God.
For those who could not attend, we will soon be posting the audio version of the seminar online. Ellen’s books and other resources from Harvest USA are available at www.harvestusa.org.
As an excellent resource to those who are struggling with sexual brokenness, Lilian Werner shared briefly about FirstLight, Inc. It is a ministry in the St. Louis area that is dedicated to helping people who are struggling with sexual integrity issues. Lilian may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We at Hidden Heart Ministry are about supporting women in their desire to embrace their identity in Christ Jesus and in finding that place of fulfillment and joy as life-givers in their marriages and families. God said, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all …” (Hebrews 13:4)
As for “proposing the most excellent way” in your marriage, here are some suggestions:
- Check the website hiddenheartministry.org for details about The Cry of the Hidden Heart classes and small groups that are now forming.
- Consider starting your own small group of two or more. Our DVD makes facilitating a group much simpler, as it provides a ten-minute overview for each of the thirteen chapters; instructions for leading a small group are included in the workbook.
- Introduce your church leadership to Hidden Heart Ministry and ask if they would be willing to sponsor a class on a study that is so foundational to the purposes for which God created us female.
- Send us your prayer requests (email@example.com); it would be our privilege to hold your concerns up before the Lord.
Together let us get back to building our lives, marriages, families, and culture on the solid Rock that is Jesus!