I presented a teaching verbally this week which I believe needs to be given out to those who are in need of its direction. The full word can be seen or heard on our website http://www.thecapstone.org, but I believe I will include it here as well. The teaching is entitled, “Unequally Yoked”.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
There are three levels of life we all operate in daily: spirit, soul, physical. The spirit level consists of those things that are spiritual in nature such as the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness; angels, demons, and all that makes up those kingdoms. The soul level consists of our emotions, our intellect, our heart, and our will. The physical level is made up of everything we can see and touch, including or physical bodies. It is what we call our natural world.
Each of these areas has an impact on the others. Of these three realms, the spirit is the highest in priority. We have been created to glean our instruction on healthy living in the soul and physical realms from the the spirit realm.
The greatest commandment for healthy living in the spirit realm is found in Matthew 22:36-40:
“You shall love the Lord your God will all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and Prophets.”
You can keep the commandments necessary for a healthy, successful life by keeping these two and they both contain the word “love”. In other words, these two commandments are relational in nature.
What can we learn from this?
Godly relationships are the foundation of a healthy life!
First, our relationship with God must be functioning scripturally. If it is not, then our other important relationships begin to get out of order. Once our relationship with God is functioning biblically, our other relationships have the potential to achieve what God intended for them.
If you have a relationship that is not functioning, you correct it by correcting your relationship with God.
No matter how “nice” or “good” people seem, the scripture reveals the true spiritual affect of not being a believer in Christ. It describes unbelievers as “lawless”, “darkness”, and equates them with “Belial”. This is a sobering view seen from a foundational level. If the spirit realm is not functioning biblically in an individual’s life, then conditions are in place that will negatively affect those who link themselves to them in relationship.
Often, believers in Christ are tempted to enter important relationships with those who are unbelievers. If the spirit level of life (which is the highest level in priority) is not functioning biblically, it doesn’t matter if compatibility exists at the other levels: the relationship is not to be pursued.
If you are a believer in Christ, God is looking to YOU to take the proper action needed if a relationship is not scriptural!
Believers cannot excuse unbiblical relationships because of “love”, deceptive thinking such as, “I can make this work!”, or current or previous sexual involvement. You don’t fix a non-biblical relationship by strengthening it. You correct it through repentance and obedience!
The scripture in 2 Corinthians gives us a relational picture. It uses the metaphor of a “yoke” to illustrate important relationships. A “yoke” is a wooden bar or frame by which two draft animals (as oxen) are joined at the heads or necks for working together.
In this scripture, a relationship is equated to a yoke. Here is the important point that the scripture is pointing out to us about relationships:
A person who is a believer in Christ and a member of the kingdom of God cannot work together for a common purpose with a person who is an unbeliever and a member of the kingdom of darkness.
There is a very interesting scripture found in Dueteronomy 22:10 KJV:
“Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.”
Do you think it is oxen God cares about? Or is it us He is speaking of?
It is us that He cares about!
Therefore, if you have an ass in your life, you must turn him/her loose! If you choose to yoke yourself to an unbeliever in marriage, you will find yourself thwarted in your effort to serve God in unrestricted freedom!
Asses bite, kick, have to wear blinders to keep them from being distracted and when they don’t like something, they sit down! Oxen plow side by side with all their strength. They are bred to be powerful and effective. God creates an “oxen” attitude within His people. He died to take the “ass” out of us!
If you are already married to an unbeliever, only God can transform them into something they are not! Transformation is a miracle but God can do it!
If you are not married, don’t tempt the Lord in your relationships! Follow His word and He will bless you! A believer who marries an unbeliever gets devil as their father-in-law and has to put up with his input! Don’t invite the devil into your life!
Trust God! He will reward you with the right relationship at the right time! Until then, don’t settle for less!