Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Overlooked Gift Part I

The Season of Singleness

What a dull life this must be - not having a relationship before marriage! "It could not get any worse," you may say... or could it? What if you missed out on one of the most special gifts God has prepared for you? Often in life, we encounter many blessings that are so easily overlooked. Of these, especially in the years of adolescence and young adulthood, is this time of singleness. If the season of singleness is governed by Biblical principles, it will provide a lifetime harvest of many beautiful blessings.

I. The Discretion of Singleness
He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: (I Corinthians 7:32b)

God has a purpose for your life as a whole, but also for the present time! Throughout life, we grow and hopefully mature! As we mature, we are enabled to make decisions and to take on more responsibility. One of the largest responsibilities in life is marriage. Marriage is not a mere whim of infatuation, but is a self-sacrificial, holy, life-long sacrifice. This beautiful time of life is designed by God and normally fills the majority of the years we live. Suppose you marry between the ages of 20-25, and you live until you are 80 years old. At least 70% of your life would be with marriage - a wonderful blessing indeed!

But consider for a moment the first 25% of your life (before marriage). A high school or college student at this moment would have only 5-10% of their single life remaining. It is important to be single-minded toward God and His service! In Ephesians 6:5, Paul commands servants to...be obedient... in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ. What greater time is there than your single years, without many commitments, ties, and responsibilities, to be a single-minded servant for God?

What about this season of singleness? Do you not think that God would have any special purpose for your life while you are still young and free from the responsibility of marriage? Many young people act as though they cannot be used of God until they have a mate. But God commands His children to be single-minded. He does not intend for us to be consumed with the opposite sex. Establish the pattern now to be friendly to all and faithful to one (our Lord Jesus Christ). Do you think it could be possible that God has granted us the opportunity to have a season of singleness that we may look to Him, grow to know Him intimately, give our undivided devotion to Him, and love Him with all our heart? God's Word clearly states in Matthew 6:33, But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Proper priorities must be realized in the preparation of life. It is vital that a close relationship with the Lord be developed before a relationship with a lady or a man begins. Develop the discipline of spending time with God before spending time with a guy or a girl. You must be the minister of righteousness God wants you to be before you can be the mate God intended you to be. You may continue your walk with God and even go further having this proper order, but if you fail to let God have the preeminence, then your walk with God will likely diminish. You must mature spiritually before being involved physically and emotionally with anyone else.

There are many lessons to learn in life that shape the way we make life-changing decisions. The teenage and college years are the most crucial. There are principles to learn now and many joys to receive now - yes, even while you are single! One way to lose the joy of your present state is to always be living in a "dream world". It is vitally important to be content in your present state and to prepare for what God has for your life. The way to do this is to become as active as possible in serving Christ in your home, church, and school.

II. The Direction of Singleness
But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand. (Psalm 31:14, 15a)

This is not the stage of life for emphasis to be placed on outward relationships, but rather on an upward relationship! If we do not learn how to walk with God and receive direction in life from Him, then we are bound to make wrong decisions that will inevitable lead to heartbreak. Choices concerning the heart issues of life, particularly relationships, must be made with godly discernment.

As Proverbs 14:12 states, There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death. The emotions cannot be the ruler of your decisions. God deserves to be trusted with the most important decision we face. He made us and knows how we operate. We are made in His image, and as He is Triune, we also have three parts to our existence: body, soul, and spirit. Upon which of these should we place the most emphasis? The majority of people give most attention to the body. Many live to please their senses - giving priority to the soul. But when we approach the spiritual realm of life, everything must begin with God and our relationship to him. This relates to the spirit. God wants to be our Father and desires to have a personal relationship with each person He has created. He provided this through sending His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die for the sin of each man. Jesus rose again an offers eternal life to whoever believes on Him. Once one has received salvation from God, he has True Life.

Many trust God with their eternal destination but not with their present human relationships. God indeed desires the BEST for His children, but they must surrender the choice to Him and wait for His timing. Pray as the Psalmist did, Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: (Ps. 86:11)

The best gifts in life are determined by the Giver and are given to those who wait! Do not be consumed with whom you will marry, but rather on becoming the Christian you ought to be. Do what God has told you to do today and He will clearly guide you and give you what you need for tomorrow. But if you choose to be stubborn and do what "number one" wants, then you will not realize God's perfect will for you life.

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