Every month a group of married Christian couples convene to enjoy one another’s company, to share a meal, to discuss ways to enrich our marriages, and to hold each other accountable for building a great marriage. My wife Dalia and I are the directors of the marriage ministry at our local church under which this monthly marriage gathering falls. For years, our practice each month has been to move around to a different home and invite couples to join us. It is always an amazing time. But, this past weekend’s couple’s fellowship was extraordinary because God showed up in a spontaneous and spirit-filled way that left all of us feeling like we just had a magnanimous experience of the Holy Spirit. I’d like to share what happened at the end in the hopes to inspire you, especially if you are going through a difficult season right now.
Our couples fellowship always goes from 6 - 9 pm. Everyone knows that I am staunchly committed to ending at 9 pm to honor other commitments couples may have. So, when we are getting close to 9 pm, I start to make gestures and commentary to bring everything to a timely close. And, as the clock ticked past 8:55 pm, I was predictably in the process of doing it this past Saturday.
However, one of the ladies in the group shared an emotional testimony and relational wound request that shook the room. As the tears flowed, her emotion was palpable and tore at our hearts. I felt clearly in my spirit that we needed to intercede in prayer right at that moment—although clearly that was going to take us well past our conventional 9 pm ending time. So, we got up and surrounded this hurting woman and I prayed.
I don’t really recall the words that I prayed. But, I know that I felt the Lord’s spirit coursing through me as I prayed for this specific situation and several other critical situations affecting couples who attend this fellowship. When we were done, we all felt that something powerful, mysterious, and comforting had happened. But, it wasn’t until one of the attendees later pulled me aside and asked, ‘What did you mean when you prayed that the eye of God was upon her?’
Honestly, I didn’t recall saying that at all. But, the lady continued, ‘Are you familiar with the one passage in the Bible’s book of Ezra (5:5) that speaks of ‘the eye of God being upon the Jews’? I was not familiar with it. She continued to inform me of this singular occurrence noted in scripture and how it is followed by a time of divine intervention on behalf of the Jewish people as they were rebuilding the temple at Jerusalem amidst a storm of naysayers and enemies who were out to foil their efforts—even appealing to the Persian king Darius to stop them. Everything seemed against them.
I know dear couples who are right now suffering dire life and death health issues in their families. I’m praying for other couples that have been stretched beyond the end of their financial resources. I’m coaching and mentoring couples where marital tensions feels irreparably strained. So many Christian couples teeter on the brink of emotional exhaustion.
But, this past Saturday, a Spirit-led prayer invoked a compelling assurance that these present situations are divinely protected for all the couples that have committed themselves to God’s work. That is the message that I would like to offer you as you read these words. Believe for yourself and your marriage that the eye of God is upon your marriage, your family, your money, and your destiny as you set about doing God’s work as a couple.
The Jews faced tremendous odds in rebuilding the team. In fact, it looked like all was lost. Even the king of their Persian enslavers warned them to stop doing what God had called them to do or face stiff consequences. Though their work was temporarily stalled, they mustered the courage to begin again despite the risks to their own lives. The Jews' obedience evoked the promise of being under the eye of God. Read Ezra chapter 5 for yourself and see the amazing series of events that happens. The pagan King Darius searches the historical record and determines that the Jews should be permitted to rebuild God's temple. He then proceeds to give them money and resources to help them from the Persian's royal treasury. Furthermore, he decrees that anyone who interferes with them will be punished. What an amazing turn of events when the eye of God rests upon you.
Do you have the courage to push through your own doubts and fears? Do you have the faith to believe your assignment is within your reach? Will you believe that the eye of God is upon you?
The eye of God on your life means that there is nothing you will face that can defeat you. You may get discouraged or even feel disillusioned. But, the eye of God affirms that you have everything you need as a couple to complete your assignment--even in the face of seeming defeat. Here is the hope. Your eyes cannot see or even fathom the immensity of what the eye of God beholds.
You and I must trust that God is going to work miracles in ways that we cannot imagine because he will complete his work. I have some difficult personal situations today where I have to keep believing that the eye of God is upon Dalia and me regardless of how things look to the natural eye. I pray you feel this same assurance. It all hinges, however, on your obedience to building your purpose as a couple.
Reach out and let me know what being under God's eye means for your marriage? Watch this video delivered at the United Nations by the Reverend Lee Stoneking and see a real life example of miracles that occur under the eye of God.