Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, taught a very powerful lesson in Matthew 6:16(NLT), and although he taught it in the context of the spiritual practice of fasting, it can be used in many other areas of our spiritual lives, namely, marriage preparation. He told the disciples, “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” There were individuals who, when fasting, would allow their appearance to look miserable so that others would give them a stamp of “suffering for the Kingdom.” This was directly opposed to the actions that God rewards. It is very important to know what He will or will not reward, because as we prepare ourselves to partner, many of us are indulging behaviors and actions that work against our efforts.
There’s also another extremely important component that is revealed in the words of Christ in this passage. Verse 18 tells us that there’s sanctity in moving in the things of God when no one notices what we’re doing. This is a jewel that millions upon millions of single Christians have missed. When we do the right thing for the wrong reason, we may be rewarded publicly by others, but that is the only reward we will receive. It’s the things we do in private that speak to the real truth of who we are, what we’re about, and how committed we are to God.
In this same chapter of the Book of Matthew, Jesus continued to teach the disciples principles about Kingdom economy. He instructed the disciples in Matthew 6:19-21(NLT), “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Treasures are the things that we value most in our hearts, and this is an area of our lives that significantly impacts our relationship with God. Our hearts belong to Him, because we gave them to Him when we accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. Jesus tells us to make sure that we’re not filling our hearts with passions consumed by worldly things, because if we store them up, we’ll end up with nothing.
We have to be so careful with our private lives, because we become passionately involved in our relationships with men and sometimes forget that the Father knows what we do in the dark. Being in a relationship with someone we’re not yet married to can present many challenges. This is why it’s so important to have a strong, made up mind about knowing how and when to say ‘no’ if ever you’re in a situation of temptation.
In 1Corinthians 6:18, God tells us to flee sexual immorality, because it is a sin against our own bodies. This is a very private part of our lives. There are things we do in the dark that we want kept in secret, but these are the things that reveal what we’re treasuring. The force of attraction can be very strong. We say to ourselves, “a little flirtation won’t hurt anything…” but all it takes is a thought in our minds to create a climate for sin to creep in. We shouldn’t place confidence in our flesh this way, because it’s an area where many of us have compromised our stand on God’s Word.
Jesus Christ said in Luke 8:17 (NLT), “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.” God knows what we do in our private lives. Many singles have complained about the challenges of finding a treasure in the earth, and it is because they haven’t stored up their best in heaven. We may not be perfect in this area, but we must behave like we know Heavenly Father is looking at what we do in the dark, and He desires us to be better. ■
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.
“Private Lives Brought to Light”, written for findchristianman.wordpress.com. Copyright©2020. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!