I sure can relate to your desires
and struggles, and I think they are pretty universal, too. God only calls a
select few to celibacy and that is a burning desire in their heart, not a man-made
or imposed requirement. The kingdom is designed for both celibates and married
Romance is complicated, more than I think we can understand. And it is much more difficult for men than women. We (men) tend to live out of our heads and see things as processes. Not so for the ladies. They are sensing everything that is going on around them. Intuition is a keyword here. They naturally tend towards the more visceral, heart issues. Meanwhile, we are still trying to figure things out. There is a time
and place for both, but the key is in creating an environment where both sides understand that and work to let the others giftings find a place. It should be complimentary, and is, but it takes work to get there because we have to understand that which is different from ourselves.
I am going to throw out some THOUGHTS
here but then I am going to speak from my EXPERIENCE. Hopefully the two will
fit and minister to you.
Let's begin by giving you some paraphrased scriptural admonition.
I would like to encourage you that you need not struggle or strive. God is both sovereign king of the universe and Father. He merits your respect, but desires your intimacy. Remember, God has no favorites, just intimates. Said differently, we are as close to him as we want to be.
His eyes scan the earth looking for those of us who are willing to simply give Him our time, attention, and affection (which you canít avoid if you give him your time and attention).
Remember, he says to cease striving, be still and know that He is God. He knows the plans that He has for you and He is actively at work directing our steps. Remember, we have been made the righteousness of God through Christ and the steps of a righteous man are ordained by the Lord. Scripture says that He will direct us with His eyes upon us and that He will accomplish the things that he ordained for us. Further, He has plans of good and not evil, to give you both a hope and a future.
Think about it, originally we were created for one thing, to be his children and to fellowship with our Father. That was lost in the fall, but regained when the second Adam, Jesus, restored his original purpose. He made the way for us to return to the Fathers original intention--- fellowship.
We must know first and foremost that He loves us as His children and that
he is working all things for our good. Think about the times you have spent
worshipping God or waiting silently on Him. Donít the struggles, stresses, concerns,
and fears of this life just drop right away? WHY? Because once you are close
to Him, in communion with Him, the Spirit in you rises up and the love of God
overcomes all the anxious thoughts of your mind. You know in your heart that
it is all going to be OK because your heart is beating in concert with your
Father's will and you know that you are cared for . You can walk away from intimate
time with the Father in the middle of a terrible struggle and know that He has
the solution and you will triumph. He delights to give His children good gifts,
after all, what Father doesnít delight in blessing his children?
And that is us. Godís love is perfect and he desires to give you the desires of your heart, which he created in you in the first place. What a wonderful, and divine, grand design!!
It is all available to us but scripture reminds us that we have to keep ourselves in the love of God. Scripture also says to press diligently into the rest of God. That all suggests that we have to turn towards the Lord and seek Him. It does take a bit of discipline, but we have self-control as a fruit of the Spirit and can do it in His strength. But once we have made the effort to seek Him and His rest, the benefits will overwhelm you, refresh you, and renew you. Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength and mount up with wings of eagles.
They shall run and not faint. Weariness disappears. Scripture tells us that the kingdom of God is love, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit.
But scripture also says that the kingdom is taken by violence. In other words, it is already won and available to us but we have to press through the gravity of this world and our own flesh to abide in it. But once we are there, how wonderful. And we can have it daily, too!!
Your words remind me so much of my own struggles through the years. I have spent far too many years struggling with these same thoughts. I lived in my head far too much. Knowledge is good, but the kingdom is largely about relationship. Remember the Pharisees knew the scriptures but were blind. They had fallen in love with their knowledge. That is why when the Truth and the Life literally stood in front of them, they missed it completely. However, the common people who saw only their need, fell at His feet and received mercy and grace.
I used to overwork things in my mind and let human reasoning, concern and fear create a lot of tension in my life. I still loved the Lord and had an active worship life but wasnít sitting at His feet enough. And I didnít really understand His love and care for me. I said the right words with my mouth but in reality I didnít really believe it, and my actions & thoughts revealed that. The fruit was worry and frustration. As a result I also went through periods of depression and belief that my life didnít count for much. What was I doing, after all, compared to "So and so"?
That is a snare of the enemy. Take your eyes off the Word, donít commune with your Father, and condemn yourself because you donít compare to X person. That is pure enemy there. He is the accuser of the brethren and he wants us on a treadmill and not resting in the care and victory we already have. The battle has been fought and won 2000 years ago. Our job now is to draw near and walk in the Spirit.
Just to be honest, I still have some struggles with similar things but nothing close to what I used to. Depression has disappeared. Unbelief is becoming less and less. Simply I have learned to take (most) my thoughts captive, cast down those that donít line up the word, and extinguish those firey darts of unbelief, doubt, hopelessness and fear with the Word and the shield of faith. My faith rests in His love for me, and His love casts
out fear. In other words, when Satan or my own flesh wants to tell me I will be stuck in the same situation (job, singleness, defeat, etc) I remind myself that Gods word says that He has a plan for me specifically and He is bringing it pass. And it goes for all other factors in our lives.
Know that God has a plan, and that He is actively at work to both desire and do His good pleasure. Find the promises in His word that pertain to your situation and meditate on them. Rest in His presence. If he wants to adjust you, you will hear it, because the sheep know His voice.
And He doesnít beat you or condemn you for your weaknesses. Instead, he encourages you that you can enter boldly before the throne, as a full child of inheritance, to receive grace in time of need, forgiveness and power to carry on and change. And let me really encourage you not to think so much. Our minds are a good thing but they are designed to meditate on the Word. That is our wisdom, power and direction. Once you have the Word buried in your heart use the sword of the Spirit to cast down those thoughts that seek to destroy you. The enemy walks around AS a roaring lion, but for us he is a toothless defeated foe. He can only lie and call God a liar.
He gets us thinking things like ďI know the word says ______________ but. . . .Ē .
The word of God is the final word on everything. If God says it, then it is truth and light, and it is so. God cannot lie. His word is alive and active and powerful. There is no BUT to it. And that is exactly what we need to do with any thoughts that enter our head or words that come from others, even well-intentioned friends. Jesus
defeated Satan in the wilderness by replying ďit is writtenĒ to everything the enemy tried. That is our model on dealing with thoughts. If it doesnít line up with the word, then challenge it and speak the scripture for that situation.
My main word to you is RELAX AND ENJOY EACH DAY. God IS God. He has it all worked out and you will be fine. You earnestly desire is to serve and please him, so that opens a huge door for God to work. Even if you werenít cooperating, He is faithful even when we are not. It is not about earning His love, because nothing can separate you from His love. It is about believing that ultimately God loves you as His son/daughter and just wants your heart. Your mind will follow and we need not struggle.
When I was looking for my future mate, after I first came to the Lord, when
I was 21, I was all wrapped around the axle. When I finally realized that my
wife was "the one" I spent too much time trying to figure it all out.
My heart knew what my head couldnít understand but I was in my head. So I spent
our engagement analyzing, wondering, worrying, thinking, thinking some more,
thinking about what I just thought, and then rethinking that.
It is a vicious circle, and there is no peace. It is kind of like a familiar little cave that I went in to. But in the end a cave is a cave. You have gone nowhere, and you are in the dark. Why not come out, lay down in the green pastures and trust God moment by moment that He is working beyond our ability to ask or think (imagine)? SO if you canít see all that He does, and you canít even imagine how good it is, then why try? Why not just trust?
I want to see you enjoy your relationship with Christ, walk in his rest, and enjoy the provisions he has for you day by day.
Ultimately, we get one day at a time. Donít worry about tomorrow, cast your cares and concerns. Just stay close enough to the heart of God that you can sense his care and direction. Enjoy the day. This is the day that Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it. In essence, donít worry, do trust. We get to our final destiny one step at a time. Trust God that todayís step is one more in the right direction. He will adjust your footsteps where he needs to and you WILL know it because the Word says we KNOW His voice. It can be a test at times to
do so. Think about this. When Moses was out in the wilderness tending sheep, he had no idea that each day prepared him for the one day when he would reach his destiny. God put him where he was, doing what he was doing. It seemed routine, and common. And it was obscure. But one day, which seemed like all the others, God said ďcome up here MosesĒ.
Same with Joseph sitting in a stinking prison cell for 13 years. One morning he was a forgotten prisoner in the bowles of a sewer, by that evening he was the second most powerful man in the world.
And David. He spent years tending sheep in the middle of nowhere. HE spent years hiding from Saul, even worse, being actively pursued. But one day God said "Today is the day."
The point is that to each of them it looked like nothing was going on. Every day was the same as the one before and there was no reason to believe that it would ever be different. And they probably felt like God was doing nothing. They must have felt insignificant. BUT THAT WAS THE WAY IT LOOKED ON THE SURFACE. THE TRUTH IS THAT GOD HAD A PLAN, WAS ACTIVELY WORKING IT AND NONE OF THEM HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT. THEY WERE JUST LIVING OUT ONE DAY AT A TIME.
So it is with you , my friend. You are getting one day at a time. You wake up every morning and go to work, then go home. It all seems so ordinary. Is this it or am I missing it? NO, just like David, Joseph, and Moses, you are right where God wants you. He wants you to rest in Him and enjoy the ride. Donít worry, he has it all worked out and good things are working in your life. Just spend time with Him and the rest will come. I am preaching at the choir too, mind you. I am preaching at myself as well as you. In fact, I have encouraged myself by sharing with you!!
But God is faithful and He will see us both through, and without any help from us!!!!