Jimmy Evans - The Spirit of Marriage
Let me say something, and I don't want this to offend you but it's the truth. You don't have any love. Love is not in people. We have zero capacity to love. Now, what we would call love, apart from God, is just a human fickle, worthless emotion. Look at the world today and you'll see the type of love that human beings have. Here's what verse First John four says, "We also have known and believe the love that God has for us God is love, and he who abides in love, abides in God, and God in him". Love is not an emotion, love is a person. True love is God, God is love.
Now, here's Galatians five, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, against such there is no law". And so, when I married Karen, I didn't have God's love inside of me, and I was saved, but I didn't depend on the Holy Spirit and I was not a good husband. And so what I gave Karen was Jimmy love. And Jimmy love is no good at all because Jimmy love can only love you when you're acting good. I can only meet your needs when you're meeting mine. I can only be nice to you when you're being nice to me. And Jimmy love is very selfish, it's very superficial, it's very shallow, it's very very undependable. But when I changed, and I stopped being a bad husband to Karen, and I began to depend on God, then I gave Karen Jesus love.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. It's a free gift that God gives to any person that asks for it any day. See, only God, only the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit is love. So in order for me to be able to love Karen properly, it begins with a confession of weakness. Your confession of weakness always begins God's activity. Did you know that? When we go to God and say I can't, but you can. That's when God begins everything he does in our lives. So when I changed as a husband is when I began to wake up in the morning and say I need you to give me the ability to love Karen. I don't have it. She might say something today that I don't like. She might do something today that I don't like.
I know my capacity to be carnal. I know my capacity to be selfish. So Holy Spirit I'm asking for the fruits of the Spirit today in my life. I'm telling you, every time I ask for it it's a different day. It's a better day. I have a better ability to love. When I don't ask for it then, you know, the old Jimmy comes out and it's not a good day. We need to depend on the Holy Spirit for him to empower us to love. Let me go real quickly through seven specific benefits available from the Holy Spirit every single day. These are things, all we have to do is ask for these things and God will give it.
Now in John 16:7 Jesus said, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away. For if I do not go away the helper will not come to you. But if I depart I will send him to you". Isn't it an unbelievable statement that Jesus says it's better for you that I go away? If Jesus came to your home today and he ate lunch with you and he got up in the middle of the afternoon and said, well it's better for you that I leave. How in the world could it be better that Jesus leaves? Because when Jesus left the Holy Spirit came. Here's what he says about the Holy Spirit in John 14. "I will pray to the Father and he will give you another helper, that he may abide with you forever, the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him but you know him for he dwells with you and will be in you".
Isn't it interesting here, the wonderful thing is Jesus says he'll abide with you forever. Understand that if you're a Christian you have the Holy Spirit in you and do you realize he's there forever. They'll never be an instant in eternity that the Holy Spirit's not with you. But everything he gives to us we ask for. He's not gonna impose himself on us and give us something that we don't ask for. See the devil will just control you. He doesn't care if you want to or not. But God won't control us. He will come into our lives to the degree that we want Him in our lives.
So here are seven things the Holy Spirit will give to us if we ask. The first is unity. Ephesians chapter four Paul say, "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called with all lowliness and gentleness with long suffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace". In order for, Jesus said a house divided can't stand. A divided marriage is a set up for failure. How do you have unity? The unity of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit. Human unity is head unity. Holy Spirit unity is heart unity. You feel like a team. You feel like you belong together. You feel like you trust each other. There's a sense of intimacy there, produced by the Holy Spirit.
Now it takes effort. It says endeavoring, working hard to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. One of the most important things in marriage is unity, is making sure that we're together and that we're one. How do you do that? It begins with a prayer. A prayer that says Holy Spirit make us one. We're two very, very different people. If you married a normal person they're very different than you. Karen's very, very different than me. I'm glad, because I don't need another me. If both of you are the same one of you is unnecessary. That's the old saying. God takes two very different people and he brings you together like this. Isn't that beautiful? This is the way God designed marriage, two very different people. I don't tolerate your differences, I celebrate your differences. You're just a great match for me. You think about things I don't think of. You've got the other side of the brain and I'm so thankful for that. We come and we say Holy Spirit we want to be one, make us one. We're gonna work at this Holy Spirit. We're gonna love each other and respect each other. But make us one. That's something that he'll give you if you ask for it.
Number two, personal nurturing and comfort. This is my favorite point in this whole message. This is John 14, Jesus said, "If you love me keep my commandments and I will pray to the Father and He will give you another comforter that he may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive because it seeith him not nor knoweth him, but you know him for he dwells in you and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless or an orphan. I will come to you". I read that out of the authorized English version specifically because it uses the word comforter there. That's the word parakletos in the Greek and it means someone called alongside to help or someone called alongside to comfort. I'm gonna make a point here so listen to what I'm saying because it's very important.
In Genesis 1:27 it says, "So God made man in his own image. In the image of God he created him, male and female he created them". So I need you to participate in this little bit, okay. God is described as a man. All the references to God in the Bible are masculine, okay. But now women are a part of the image of God, right. In the image of God he created them, male and female, right. Are women made in the image of God? Yeah, right, we all in agreement on that. A lot of guys are about to get in trouble if you don't say yes. Women are made in the image of God, right. Part of God is maternal. You still with me? There's a maternal side of God. That's who the Holy Spirit is. The Holy Spirit, he's a he, I'm not saying he's a she. What I'm saying is, God gave the same name to women and the Holy Spirit, helper.
In Genesis two God looked down and said it's not good that that man's alone. I'm gonna make him a helper. Then Jesus said, I'm gonna send a helper to you. They're given the same name and they have the same nature. The Holy Spirit is sensitive, he's gentle, he's spiritual, and he's powerful. That's what women are. In the most... I got a big old woman amen right there. A marvel is to watch a woman with children, a mother. It's a marvel. We have our granddaughters with us right now. We have five grandchildren. It's a marvel to watch Karen with those kids and my daughter and daughter-in-law. Women, mothers are, well they're God. When you're watching a mother love her child you're watching the nature of God. Part of God is maternal. That's the Holy Spirit.
Why am I saying this? Because you need a momma. I'm not gonna crawl into some woman's lap and start crying. I'm just not gonna do that. But sometimes I want to. You're afraid and you're hurting and you feel lonely, no one understands and you just need to be loved. Right now all messed up. I just need somebody to love me. That's the Holy Spirit. He's gentle, he's loving, he's kind, but he's powerful. He loves to love. He loves to love. Man, woman, old, young, he's your momma. I'm not saying the Holy Spirit's a woman. I'm saying he's the maternal side of God. Women are made in the image of God. I said to you earlier he's waiting for you to ask. He's waiting for you to ask. He's waiting for us to understand how big he is and how close he is and how available he is to all of us that we just simply ask. You have a momma. The great thing about receiving God into your life, you get a Father, a mother and a brother. You get a family. I'm not trying to preach weird theology. I just think that's kind of neat.
Number three, spiritual grace is what the Holy Spirit gives us, and I've gotta hurry. You shall receive power, Acts 1:8, "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth". You remember that Peter was a coward, I mean he was a coward, he betrayed Jesus. When Jesus was going through his trial and his worst hour of his life a little girl came up to the fire and Peter was there, and Peter denied Jesus. Ashamed, broken. But when the day of Pentecost came and the Holy Spirit fell, that coward became a man of God and he stood up and preached and 3,000 people got saved and this multitude of people, of people listening, they are persecuting Peter and the other Apostles, Peter never backs down, ultimately, legend has it, church history has it, that Peter was martyred.
But he became a very courageous man. These people had been, the people at the day of Pentecost had been with Jesus, they knew Jesus. What they lacked was the Holy Spirit to give them power. The kind of power I'm talking about here is the power that gives you the ability to do what you could never do without God. The ability to know God. The ability to understand his word. The ability to change. The ability to resist temptation. The ability to fulfill God's will for your life. It is a grace. It comes freely. You cannot earn it or deserve it, but we have to pray for it. We have to wake up in the morning and say Holy Spirit fill me with your power. I don't want to live today as merely a human, I want to live today as a supernatural, spirit-filled child of almighty God. I can only do that through you. That's what happened. On the day of Pentecost a bunch of humans turned into a bunch of supernatural humans that were doing miracles and their shadow was healing people. That's the way God wants us to live.
Number four, the grace that the Holy Spirit give us is emotional grace, that we already talked about. Galatians five, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, against such there is no law". Well the Holy Spirit is the oil, the engine of our emotions was designed to run on. If you understand engines, in a car engine there are pistons and they rub against a casing, metal casing, it's metal against metal. In that engine this is how the combustion is created that drives the engine. Well it's all good as long as there's a lubricant in there. As long as that engine has oil in it it's all good. That engine's gonna be fine. When God puts two people together in a very close relationship, a lot is possible with the Holy Spirit between you. It's amazing how a car can do so many amazing things for so long, as long as this lubricant is in there.
If you drain the oil out of your car you'll drive it for a mile or two, it'll lock down and overheat. It's impossible without lubricant. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit it's amazing how righteous we can be under pressure. Without the Holy Spirit it's amazing how carnal we can be. Regardless of how well we know the Bible or how long we've been saved. We were never designed to emotionally operate without the Holy spirit in our lives. One of the most important things that we do every day is to wake up and say to the Holy Spirit, there's not love in me, there's not joy in me, there's not peace in me without you. Holy Spirit would you fill me up again today with love, joy, peace, all of these things that you uniquely bring into my life. He'll answer that prayer 100% of the time and it will change in your life and every relationship in your life. Because now God is coating and supernaturally empowering your emotions and putting emotions in you that you don't naturally have.
Number five gift that the Holy Spirit brings into our life is physical grace. This is an incredible one. Romans 8:11, "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you". It's interesting here how Paul is saying this. If the same Spirit that raised Jesus. How many of you are Christians in here? Raise your hand, if you are a believer. You have the Holy Spirit in you. That's the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. If you're a Christian, the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the grave is in you.
Let me give you the king Jimmy version of that source right there. If the Holy Spirit can raise Jesus from the dead, you think your physical problems are any challenge to him? If he raised Jesus from the dead, you don't think he can heal your headaches? You don't think he can touch your body. So we wake up in the morning and here's what we understand, he's our healer. We take our sicknesses to the Holy Spirit and we say Holy Spirit you raised Jesus from the dead could you help out my lumbago. Could you help out my arthritis? He'll touch us. Physical grace is one of the promises that he makes here.
Number six is mental grace. This is another fabulous one. John 16, "I still have many things to say to you but you cannot bear them now. However when he the Spirit of truth has come he will guide you into all truth for he will not speak on his own authority but whatever he hears he will speak and he will tell you things to come. He will glorify me and take up what is mine and declare to you all things the Father has are mine, therefore I said that he will take of mine and declare it to you". Karen and I were fighting a lot early in our marriage. I woke up one morning and I read my Bible and I was not a good husband, I was a jerk, but I was a very sanctified jerk, I read my Bible every day.
I read John 16 and it said the Holy Spirit will lead you in to all truth. That's the night that we almost split up. I came home from playing golf. Karen was mad at me. I yelled at her. I said get out of here, go home to mommy, I don't care where you go I'm just sick of you. She goes in the bedroom crying. I'm in the living room. I don't know what I'm. All I know is my wife's about to leave and I don't know what to do. But I remembered that scripture from that morning. I bowed my head in the living room and I prayed this prayer. Holy Spirit teach me how to be a husband I don't know. I'm about to lose my marriage. I don't know. The instant I prayed that prayer it's hard for me to describe what happened, but it was like something fell off of my eyes. It's like scales fell off of my eyes.
The minute before that, that I prayed that prayer, I thought I was mister wonderful and I just accidentally married the devil's ex-wife. You know I just thought Karen is the problem and she just needs help. The instant I prayed that prayer I saw what an idiot I was and what a beautiful wife I had. I walked into the bedroom and I apologized to Karen and that began the healing of our marriage. But what I'm teaching you and people all over the world is the answer to that prayer. I asked the Holy Spirit to teach me how to be a husband.
Listen, if God can take Jimmy Evans the jerk and turn him into a marriage expert what could he do in your life. I'm not saying your a jerk. He can teach you anything. You may have never done anything right. But he can teach you anything. Again I'm saying, he won't impose this on us. He's not gonna come and force knowledge on us that we don't want. But when we go to the Holy Spirit and admit our need and our weakness and just say Holy Spirit I don't understand this and I want to make sure that I'm not walking in deception or learning wrong things would you lead me into all truth. Obviously he's gonna help us understand the Bible. But he's also gonna lead us into truths that we don't understand. By the way it also says he'll tell you things to come. He'll show you what's coming up in your life. Give you snippets of what's gonna come up in your life. If you ask.
Number seven is vision and supernatural guidance. Is John 16, "When the Spirit of truth has come he will guide you in all truth. He will not speak on his own authority but whatever he hears he will speak and he will tell you things to come". Acts chapter two, "It shall come to pass in the last days says God that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your young men shall see visions. Your old men will dream dreams. On my men servants and on my maid servants I will pour out my Spirit in those days and they will prophesy". In other words, the first thing the New Testament says about the Holy Spirit here in the book of Acts is revelation will come, vision will come. When the Holy Spirit comes, the lights turn on.
Proverbs 29:18, "Where there is no revelation the people cast off restraint, but happy is he who keeps the law". Let me close with this. Amos 3:3 says, "Can two walk together unless they first agree". The answer is no. If you have one vision for the children and I have another vision for the children, us trying to be married is going to be a constant fight of two visions. The word division means di-vision, two visions. You have one vision for the finances, I have another vision for the finances. You have one vision for our future, I have another vision for our future. We teach people at Marriage Today how to have a vision retreat. Every year a married couple goes away, it's one of the most transforming experiences Karen and I have ever had in our marriage is to get away together and pray and ask God what is your vision for this, this, every area of our marriage. This, this, this and pray and talk until we believe we have the same vision.
So you have division. But when you come together and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a common vision, now the headlights match. You're going down the same road at the same time in the same direction. You have harmony. You have unity because now you have one vision. By the way this is just a little tidbit, you know what the word provision means. For the vision. See a lot of people are praying for money and they're praying for God to supply them but they don't have a vision. The word provision means for the vision. When you get the vision God gives you the provision for the vision. So the blessing of vision first of all is unity and peace. But it's also an increased level of provision in your life.
The Holy Spirit does everything in our marriage to make our marriage blessed and possible. It's just a matter of us becoming spirit dependent people. He's a gift. How do you receive the Holy Spirit? It's like we receive Jesus. He's a free gift. All you have to do is ask. He's so wonderful. He's so gracious. He's so loving. He's so forgiving. He's so powerful. He's in our lives. Jesus said he'll be with you there forever. For us to relate to the Holy Spirit we just, as a person, he's a real person, he's God and he's a free gift and he's precious and he's gentle, he loves us. We need to be Spirit dependent people. If we're gonna have a good marriage it means that we're Spirit dependent people. You might say well pastor Jimmy my wife won't do that, my husband won't do that, well you do that. Because the Spirit filled woman is the one who redeemed this guy here.