I have great friends. Years of shared life experiences have solidified, fortified these treasured relationships. So when friends try to push me towards online dating or suggest that I read the latest relationship self-help book, I know that they are genuinely interested in my happiness. I tell them that I’m already reading a great self-help book (the bible) and that God’s network beats E-Harmony any day. I’m being facetious, of course. But I know something – at least in part- that they don’t. I’m alone for a reason.
I call it the Ministry of Singleness, the season of life that everyone is expected to walk through before entering into marriage. It’s the time in which we become rooted in our faith and increase our intimate knowledge of the Father. During this season, if we yield our thoughts and plans to His thoughts and plans (Jeremiah 29:11) for us, we establish a foundation for the road ahead.
The Ministry of Singleness has at least five (5) inter-related purposes:
- Perspective: We learn to see ourselves as God sees us; as His Beloved; as a son; a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9); His elect (Luke 18:7). The scales of our eyes are removed to reveal our true identity in Christ, and not the limiting labels assigned to us by others. We come into an awe-inspiring understanding of just how much He loves us.
- Provision: God wants you know that He owns cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10). He owns the world and everything in it. (Psalm 24:1) There is nothing that you will ever need that He can’t provide. More importantly, the Father wants to give to you according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19). That’s not a prosperity message; that’s parental responsibility. You can be 60 years old, but you’re still God’s baby.
- Protection: Jesus is for you. He’s got your back and your front! (Isaiah 52:12) He has charged His angels concerning you, to accompany and preserve you (Psalm 91:11). He went to the cross to protect you from a fiery end. Jesus is not the meek and mild weeping image portrayed on the old church fans. Your Jesus started a revolution, punked the Pharisees, and reminded Pilate that His Father gave him the very authority that he was throwing around (John 19:10-11). When you grab hold of that truth you will walk in divine confidence and a holy boldness when confronted with life’s challenges.
- Position: God wants to be first in your heart (Revelation 2:4). He’s not giving you to anyone that will take the place in your heart that’s reserved for Him. Yes, He’s your priest, provider, and protector, but He’s also the lover of your soul. He loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) and longs to be loved back. He’s jealous for you (Exodus 34:14).
- Purpose: What’s my purpose (passion)? Who over the age of 25 hasn’t asked this question? God reveals His purpose for our lives when we have demonstrated that we can be trusted with the purpose. He will not ask you to carry a vision until you’re ready, willing and able to bear the weight of that vision. But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things, taken together, will be given you besides. Matthew 6:33 AMP. And all this comes with knowing that you know—that you know—that you know that He, too, is ready, willing and able. Moreover, knowing your purpose will eliminate at least half the people you originally thought could be the one. Selah that.
So, why are you single? Why are you feeling single (or alone) in your marriage? If you have not walked through your Ministry of Singleness, you will experience frustration, insecurity, disappointment, and a void that only God can fill. You will place unrealistic expectations on the other person. You will fall into the trap of comparison, either of yourself or of your spouse with other people. It is impossible to be satisfied in full, to be complete and whole in mind, heart and soul apart from God. Impossible. Everything and everyone, to include you, will always be lacking —sorely. No marriage can withstand such battery.
But when you have intimate knowledge of who God is and who you are to Him, her threats about leaving you may hurt-badly-but it won’t kill you. Unemployment and financial setbacks don’t send you into an deep, irretrievable despair because you know that if He takes care of the sparrow, He will most certainly take care of you (Matthew 10:29-31). When you have walked the Ministry of Singleness with your Father, your measure of a mate is whether or not he/she personifies God’s love for you. Can you love me like my Daddy?
Now, this may trip you up. If you are already married and are experiencing frustration, disappointment and pain in your marriage, God could possibly be insisting on you getting your five. He did not forfeit His position in your life just because you got married. Nor has He changed His mind regarding the plans and purpose for your life. He’s a gentleman, but sometimes He’ll elbow His way in.
Ask yourself: Do I have all five? Is God elbowing His way into your life, heart, or marriage?
♠ ♣ ♥ ♦
SCRIPTURES REFERENCED ABOVE
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Psalm 50:10 NIV, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
Psalm 24:1-2 NIV, The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
1 Peter 2: 9 NIV, But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Luke 18:7 NIV, And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?
Philippians 4:19 NIV, And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Isaiah 52:12 NIV, But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
Psalm 91:11 AMP, For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service].
John 19: 10-11, So Pilate said to Him, Will You not speak [even] to me? Do You not know that I have power (authority) to release You and I have power to crucify You? Jesus answered, You would not have any power or authority whatsoever against (over) Me if it were not given you from above. For this reason the sin and guilt of the one who delivered Me over to you is greater.
Revelation 2:4 AMP, But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love].
Jeremiah 31:3, AMP, Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you.
Exodus 34:14 AMP, For you shall worship no other god; for the Lord, Whose name is Jealous, is a jealous (impassioned) God,
Matthew 10:29-31 AMP, Are not two little sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s leave (consent) and notice. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, then; you are of more value than many sparrows.