Sunday, February 8, 2009

I should be planning a wedding...but He's divinely jealous

My dearest siestas,

I would love to grab your sweet hand and take you on the walk of my last two months, but time simply does not allow me to do so. I'm going to post a puny little update after this one regarding my personal life. If you would just cover me with grace though, I'm entering into blogworld tonight with a bit of audacity and rusty writing skills :) I know I left 'your' worlds, but I have felt your prayers, realizing that by Jesus' sweet grace, you never left mine; I think of you often, wondering if you are getting to know and love Jesus more.

My current status: Nashville, job-less, just moved into mine and Nate's new place (applause to Jesus please), celebrated my 26th birthday in Jan. (gasp!), and feeling overwhelmingly hunger about every three hours (Nate doesn't know what to do with me!)

I have such a myriad of emotions these days, it is unfair for me to recount them to anyone but my sweet Jesus. He would be the only One that would not be left dizzy! But, I feel like I just must get this one affection out to you. In this present season of substantial transition, and in preparation for marrying my man, I have not been able to deter from a particular truth about my God: His divine jealousy.

It has consumed me. I think of it all throughout my day, with a lump in my throat. Even right now, I am taking a deep breathe to keep these brimming tears suppressed! I ... cannot ... get ... over ... it.

His divine jealousy. Exodus 20:4-5 provides us with the first mention: "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God,..." In essence, YHWH's jealousy denotes a great eagerness and zeal.

Pause just a moment girlfriend, and let this one sink into the self-protective layers of our hearts where we fear His discipline and avoid the all-knowing gaze of our El Roi. Any time God's jealousy is expressed as wrath in the OT, it is because of idolatry and the breaking of the covenant. The God of the Universe, the God who fashioned you with His very hands, has promised you Himself. Exodus 6:7 reads "I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God..." The Giver and Sustainer of Life must breathe a deep sigh of pain whenever He sees His children turn to another god. The heart of God must swell in pain upon our misplaced affections when He so longed to be your God that He disrobed His majesty and became flesh. He is divinely jealous for you child. This divine jealousy, that can take the form of discipline and holy anger, is the very part of His jealousy that I have come to love. For it is this holy passion and eager zeal of His that keeps this wayward child bound to His grace and will.

When I have been out of His will, it is then that He allows me to be dissatisfied and discontent. When I have walked outside of His laws of liberty, He has at times allowed me to be given over to the fleeting passions of my flesh. As painful as those times have been, it teaches this stubborn daughter of His a lesson: There is no One (or thing) like my God. I frequently ask Him to make me flat out miserable over any area of my life where my heart, mind, or soul is not entirely His. For you see, He is jealous enough over me and you to want every ounce of you. And because He is who He is, He's allowed to demand it. If we realize that His divine jealousy is a gracious holy zeal that keeps watch over our affections and emotions, sheltering them from wrong, we would willingly submit ourselves. As a matter of fact, we would probably be begging for His jealousy to be active in our lives. He already is the Jealous One for you, so He can't not be; but we can fight Him over it every misplaced affection on the way.

Isaiah 9:6-8: For to us a child is born; to us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

That's the divine jealousy of God girlfriend. If His holy zeal can establish the enduring kingdom of Christ from everlasting to everlasting, I bow myself in absolute humility before His divine jealousy for me, so that He may be my only true love and establishing His enduring kingdom in me. His Glory is worth it; I can promise you that.

And so I close, foregoing the exegetical details that the nerd in me would love to share with you if I had the time. I am doing this subject a pitiful service to how wonderful and mind-blowing it is, but this is all I can offer y'all at the moment, in this season, 5 days away from being married. I trust God through His living and active Word to spur you on to discovering this for yourself. And I ask the Holy Spirit to soften your heart to the wonderful reality of God's protective, beautiful, and accomplishing divine jealousy over you. For it has saved me. It has redeemed me from a pit of despair, depression, and insecurities. It has set me free from disorders and addictions. It has broken paralyzing chains of fear. It has kept me saved for Nate. And it has kept Nate in his position as the imperfect love of my life. And it has changed this heart of unhealthy desires into one that says instead, "I delight to do Thy will" (Ps. 40:8). It has caused me to love my Jesus more than anyone else in this world.

I pray you come to praise Him for His divine jealousy. And I ask that He would develop in us a godly jealousy for Him, and for one another, for the sake of His Great Name. He is worth it sister. 


Lisa said...

My goodness how I have missed you!! I hope all is well with you in these last few days of preparations. I can hardly believe that it has been two years since we met at 5:00 a.m. at the front door of the civic center in Boone, NC. I am so happy for you and Nate. Oh, and my wedding anniversary is Feb. 14th - 11 years. It really is a wonderful day to get married. I pray that this special day brings you as many happy memories as it does for me. Nothing like getting married on "Sweethearts Day." Just remind Nate that he must remember to buy you two gifts each year. One for anniversary and one for Valentines. No two-fers!!
Best wishes my darling friend. I know God is with you.
Your friend from Tennessee,

Toknowhim said...

Wow, with so much on your plate that you would be able to get a post like that out to encourage all of us... You are beautiful inside and out my sweet sister.

Blessings and I hope to hear more from you in the future, however that will play out...

Love to you sweet one...

Have a wonderful wedding!!!

connorcolesmom said...

that's my Shelly that I have SO greatly missed!
I love that Word and enjoyed your update
Praying for you - only 6 more days
May you bask in the love and peace of your Heavenly Father!
Enjoy these next few days
Much love

Holly said...

I must say, my sweet friend, that you are indeed taking Notice, as I said when Mandy asked for our words of advice to you.

The thing that burns in my heart to say to you, when I read and chew on and take in your words here--I wish, I SO wish!, that I had a passion and heart for knowing and serving God, like you do right now, when my Chris and I married almost 18 years ago. You are light years ahead. May God continue to spur you and fill you and charge you with His Word. May it make your marriage and home a holy and set apart place.

Love you!

Kristen said...

Sweet Miss Shelley (ok, only a Miss for a few more days) :)
What a joy it is to read a post of yours!

It's funny - I was struggling w/ some jealousy issues this past Friday... and as I hit my knees I thought about how different our God's divine jealous differs from our earthly sin of jealously. He truly is the exact opposite of our human jealousy!

Oh how I desparately LOVE HIM!!! He's my ultimate Valentine!

Kelly S. said...

What a beautiful post. How I have missed your way with words and wise perspective. I can't wait to read your, bible study, or whatever you are led to write! You're precious-

Deut 4.23-24 El Qanna

Praying &
love you