Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"On Fire": Trust in God's TIMING and God's WAY


"He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end."---Ecclesiastes 3:11(NKJV)

 A couple of weeks ago, I read a quote by an actress on People that I really resonated with:

"You have to find someone in the same place as you are. Timing is everything. If you get into a relationship where you want something the guy doesn't want, it's never gonna work. You're never going to get him to be in that place. No matter how old you are, finding the guy who's in the same place as you are and wants to show up is the only way a relationship works, period."---Cameron Diaz

So true, so true!

There are so many single women who believe that the main key to being in the kind of relationship that they want is *finding the right guy* (or rather, being brought to him-Genesis 2:22) when the reality is that there are a few other keys that tend to be overlooked when it comes to this particular "life door": following God's directives (Proverbs 16:9), not being sexually active prior to marriage (judgment comes with that and sometimes at times and in ways that we never predicted or expected-Hebrews 13:4), *being the right gal* (Psalm 51:10), surrendering to the biblical blueprint for marriage (Genesis 2:18-25, Malachi 2:16, Matthew 19:1-12-Message, I Corinthians 7:1-16, Ephesians 5:22-33, I Peter 3:1-7) and yes, *trusting in God's timing* (Acts 1:7-Message).

So many of us have heard it before: The right thing at the wrong time truly is the wrong thing. At least at that time. And there is oodles of truth in that!

I thought about that even more when I read an article entitled "How I Gave Up on Serial Long-Term Relationships and Let My Father Choose My Husband".  Here's a part of the piece:

Actually we’d already met years before that. We had mutual friends, he even showed up uninvited to my 35th birthday party with a few girls I knew. I’d never in my life been attracted to him. And until September 2007 our friendship had revolved around me suggesting other girls he might consider dating. He wasn’t even on my radar as an option.

But he was on God’s.

That’s what I mean when I say I let my Father choose my husband. My human father helped in his own way too, but God truly stepped in and changed my heart to be available for the man who would become the husband I never knew I needed and wanted.

There's a few cool things about this author's resolve.

1) Her then-friend-now-husband showed up when she least expected it. That makes me think of I Corinthians 2:9(NKJV): "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” Just because you feel that nothing is going on doesn't mean that, well, nothing is going on. The Word (John 1:1) speaks against laziness and idleness (Proverbs 19:15). It would be hypocritical for God to tell us not to be those things if he were. He's always working on our behalf. When we see the signs and when we don't.

2) He was someone work bragging on and referring others to. Did you peep how she was recommending her now-husband to other people? That she was basically "advertising" him? This says a lot about his character (Colossians 3:12-17). If there is a guy that you're currently pining over, what are the things that you can say about his character? Not his looks. Not his job. Not the church he goes to. Not how much money he makes or even how charming he may be (charm is deceitful, chile...the Word tells us so.---Proverbs 31:30). *His character*. If you can't confidently bring him to your father or recommend him to a friend, why do you think he's good enough for you?

2) She went from not being attracted to him to being attracted enough to marry him. Hmph. That makes me think of I Corinthians 2:10(NKJV): "But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God." Which makes me think of I Corinthians 2:14(NKJV): "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Marriage is a spiritual union (SPIRITUAL UNION). This means that it requires operating in the spirit much more than the flesh. Some of us don't need to only be praying about where are husband is but for the Lord to give us the spiritual discernment (Proverbs 2) to actually recognize him when he arrives; based on our spiritual needs first.

4) She was willing to take her eyes off of her radar and look at God's. I've been there. "There" being so busy talking to God about what *I want* (or what I think that I want) that it doesn't even cross my mind if it's *God's will*. The Word doesn't tell us that we can have whatever or whomever we want. The Word tells us that what is within God's will, we can be sure that God's hears and will be granted to us (I John 5:14-15). This woman was open. Open to what God wanted to do and who he wanted to bring. Whenever we're only praying "God, this is what I want", we're limiting ourselves from hearing him say "But my daughter, this is what I want for you." And as one of my all-time Message translation Scriptures says "God has no use for the prayers of those who do not listen." (Proverbs 28:9-Message) God's ways are flawless, not ours (2 Samuel 22:31&33). *We have to trust him*. Even and also especially when it comes to our covenant lifetime companion.

5) She was willing to accept that her heart needed to change. There's no telling how many times I've said that "following your heart" is...spiritually ridiculous: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings." (Jeremiah 17:9-10-NKJV) Yep. Sometimes it's not that something's wrong with the guy and never is it that God has forgotten about us (Luke 12:7). However sometimes, *sometimes*, our heart---the center of our emotions---needs some fine tuning. And God's waiting for us to realize that before bringing our husband our way.

All of that brings us to another article that I read: "Letting God Arrange Your Marriage: Can You Really Trust His Choice?" Here are some excerpts although I recommend you reading it all when you get a chance:

When God asks to arrange our marriage for us, we then pull up the mental image of some person who looks totally unattractive in our eyes and we panic. How can we ever be happy with someone who doesn’t stimulate our senses? Well, God says His match for you is going to be way better than the person you’d pick on your own. Marriage is God’s invention—are you going to trust that He knows how to make it work?

Let’s talk about how arranged marriage is supposed to work. The idea here is that someone with more life experience than you—a parent or grandparent—has had more time to mature in character and figure out what really matters in life. When you’re young, you think hair color is a hill to die on. Your parent used to think just like you did, but as time went on, they discovered that they were wrong. What really matters is depth of character and a person’s willingness to grow, change, compromise, sacrifice, and give. What matters is a person’s personal priorities: do they put career before family? What are their goals in life? What are their values? In the ideal situation, you parent is a very mature person who has learned that everything God said was important really is important and a lot of the things they thought were important when they were your age turned out not to be important at all. So now, as a younger person, you look up to your parent and you respect the wisdom and perspective they have gained by being ahead of you in life. You want them to pick your spouse for you because you realize that they can spot a winner better than you can. They’re like a professional jeweler who can look at a paste diamond and instantly see it’s a fake, whereas you are completely fooled. In an ideal world, the point of arranged marriages is to protect the young from the foolishness that comes with immaturity. It’s not your fault that you don’t know how to pick a good spouse. Should a baby be blamed for not being able to walk yet? No. There are certain limitations that come with age. We only get into trouble when we start pretending those limitations aren’t there...

What makes God such a superior matchmaker? Well, aside from the fact that He’s perfect and He created every human on the planet, He can also see the future. You see, it’s not just about who your spouse is today, it’s about who they are going to be ten, twenty, and thirty years from now. You might date a man who talks a great story about where he’s going in life—but how do you know he’ll follow through on any of that? You might date a woman who sounds sold out to God—but will her fire last or is it just a phase she’s going through? Only God knows. Only God can see the future. He knows the choices everyone is going to make, and He can see right down into their souls.

If you could look into a crystal ball and see the future of the person you think you want to marry, would you do it? Of course you would—your curiosity would get the best of you. Well, you have something far better than images in a crystal ball. The One who made you is asking you to let Him select the best choice for you out of all the other humans He has made. What an incredible opportunity! What a generous invitation! God is the only Being in existence who you can trust to choose the spouse that you need—and need is far more important than want. You can want to eat candy all day, but your body needs the nutrition that is found in real food. If you just get what you want and never what you need, you’ll turn all sick and miserable. When God picks your spouse for you, He is going to choose the person that He knows you need to be truly happy in life. What makes us truly happy? A close walk with God.

As a human, you want a spouse who makes you feel emotionally and physically stimulated. God wants you to have a spouse who stimulates you spiritually. He wants to pair you with someone who will spur you on to keep pursuing Him as your First Love in life. When we choose our own spouses, we often pick someone who ends up replacing or superseding God in our lives. Then we get all codependent on them and we try to get them to feed our souls in ways that humans aren’t equipped to do. It doesn’t work, and while we’re busy obsessing over humans, our relationship with God languishes. God wants to pair you with someone who won’t have this warping effect on you. He wants to put you with someone who will enhance your desire for God, not dampen it. Does this mean there won’t be any sensual fun in the relationship? Of course not. Let’s remember that sex, kissing, and cuddling are all God’s inventions. He wants you to have a good time in your marriage—but He doesn’t want to be left out of the party.

Marriage is supposed to revolve around God. He is supposed to be the most important Member of the union, with you and your spouse coming in second. When you let God arrange your marriage, you are going to have the best chance of experiencing how He meant marriage to be.

Good stuff. All day long!

No matter where you are in your love story (and you can always ask God if you'd like some additional insight---James 1:5), remember that being with the right person is *a part* of the journey. However, waiting until the right time and fully surrendering to God's will and wall are essential as well. All three things must work together in order to get to God's best.

There's a reason why Psalm 27:14(NKJV) says "Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!" You're not waiting for nothing. You're waiting for something. Walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), remember?

Trust in God's timing and his way.

Then watch. Just you watch.

"Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust."---Psalm 16:1(NKJV)



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