About a year ago, a friend of mine traveled a good distance to hear a very popular young prophet preach. She came back from her spirit-filled evening fueled with exhilaration and excitement. The prophet declared that within the next year, many of the single women attending that evening would be either married or engaged. My friend couldn’t stop talking about what this meant to her, because she’s been waiting so long to be wedded to a compatible partner. I’ve known my friend for quite a while, and I’ve been by her side as she’s endured heartaches and disappointments in relationships. I wanted so much for her exuberance to last. I wanted it to ignite meaningful change and purposeful steps towards the man that would soon be her husband.
I don’t know of any other journey filled with as many ebbs and flows as that of being single today. Navigating being single takes the same spiritual tenacity as navigating through life; and the one thing that we can depend on about life is that it is constantly changing. Heavenly Father designed life to be this way. When it comes to being married, some of us have the mindset that once it happens for us, life will extend a courtesy of coasting on smooth waters. This is a misconception. It is a thinking that undermines our efforts to walk in faith. We must recognize that once the promise of God is firmly anchored in our hearts and minds, the challenge deepens.
In Hosea 4:6, God tells us that His people are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge. He tells us that they reject knowledge. What knowledge are we talking about here? Are we talking about books from gurus who believe they know more than God? I don’t think so. God is talking about knowledge that comes from Him through the Lord Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the power of God’s Word that equips men and women for marriage, and because they are not hungering for a Word from God, they can’t build faith.
My friend seemed to be taking steps to grow spiritually, and her optimism about the future was infectious. She began to purchase an abundance of bridal magazines and started to pick out wedding dresses and possible venues, but after about four months, her optimism took a turn for the worse. It began to wane because the man she had feelings for made it clear that marriage was out of the picture for him; he wanted to date other people. She viewed this as the end of a dream rather than the beginning of one.
Romans 15:13(ESV) says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” This is an amazing prayer for every believer. Our Extraordinarily Loving and Powerful Heavenly Father is the God of Hope! He is the Foundation upon which our hope is anchored. He, and only He, can fill us with ALL joy and peace so that our believing lives! This is on the same lines as the Word of prophecy given to my friend, except, instead of understanding that her hope should be in God, she looked for it in the man. That’s never a winning strategy.
She was over the moon with excitement about the prospect of getting married. She even pledged a greater allegiance to the things of God, but time proved that her relationship with Heavenly Father was not the driving force behind her new-found excitement; she was driven by the prospect of what she might get from Him.
James 1:3 (ESV) says, “For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” When we receive a Word from Heaven regarding what God wants to do for us, He wants us to respond with joy, and He also doesn’t want us to be ignorant about the ebbs and flows that often accompany the process. As mature sisters of the Word, we must leave room in our awareness for the reality that our faith is going to be tested by the devil; he will attempt to steal the joy of the Word that God has given us. And it is also important for us to know that the devil will test our faith to see whether our motivation is truly about our love for God, or if it is about getting what we can get. Know the test may come. When it does, James 4:7 says we must submit ourselves to God and resist the devil; he’ll flee.
Also, the maturation process of our faith will mean that some things and some people that we’ve been holding on to will no longer be a part of our journeys. They’ll seek to be released from our lives, and we need to let them go. They are occupying space required for the newness of what God will bring.
Finally, know that you’ve got to stand firm in the faith. The jubilance for the expectation of the blessing cannot exceed the level of joy in your heart for the Lord. Only faith that is anchored in the joy of Christ will move you forward. Expect that the enemy will test the source of your joy to see if it’s based on your relationship with God, or based on the blessings you want from Him. You must love His Spirit more than you love someone’s flesh. When your faith is tested, make sure you know the difference between the two. ■
English Standard Version (ESV), The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“The Ebbs and Flows of Single Life” written for findchristianman.wordpress.com. Copyright©2020. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!