“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field…other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock (rocky soil). The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died…(these represent)…those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s Word.” Matthew 13:3, 5-6, 20-21 NLT
I have recently signed up for another gym membership…yes, another one. I say it that way because over the years I have joined multiple gyms all across the US in different places I have lived and still have no clue how to really do the “gym” thing. It’s sad, really. So many people with good intentions have trained me, told me, showed me and yet I still lack the one thing that will bring it all together – consistency.
So, I joined back in mid-February and have yet to go once…ONCE. There’s a million reasons why and a thousand more excuses I can pile on top of my procrastination, but at the end of the day, the gym isn’t going to do any good for me unless I commit to it.
Here’s the verse we’re digging into for a little while:
In the same way you received Jesus our Lord and Messiah by faith, continue your journey of faith, progressing further into your union with him! Colossians 2:6 PASSION
Honest question…do you dream more about dating and your wedding or marriage?
When I think about dating, I dream of the adventure and the romance, the butterflies and the talking for hours just getting to know each other….
Then the wedding – okay, so that one has been planned and re-planned a half-a-dozen times over…yep, you too? Okay…maybe not you, but you get the point!
But when I think about marriage I think about a reality side of commitment. Covenant requires effort, investment, dying to self, and not getting my way, because I am not always right. Marriage is when you choose to love, choose to forgive, choose to communicate.
Here’s my point. We may go to church, do some ‘good’ things, become a better person… but there is a temptation to stay in this phase; much like ‘dating God’.
This generation is waiting much longer to get married than generations before. With waiting, there is so much more sex before marriage, living together unmarried, then domestic partnership….all that aren’t rooted in covenant. It’s as if this generation is trying to live in the dating season…but this just doesn’t work!
Dating, wedding and the honeymoon phase are all legitimate parts of the relationship process – but then marriage is too. This is where you face the lifelong commitment that you made “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death.”
You can’t tell someone ‘till death’ unless you’re willing to forsake all your hopes, wants and dreams to theirs. This doesn’t mean your life doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t mean that your dreams won’t come true, it just means that you defer to the other person – no matter what – and you’re okay if it never goes your way. Counter-cultural, I know…but much of what we see about marriage and relationships through the lens of culture has fallen far from how God intended it.
Jesus said “till death” and then hung on a cross to prove He meant it.
When we receive the gift of salvation by surrendering our lives to Christ, that is our “I do.” What follows is the “continue your journey of faith.”
This is where patience is formed, character is shaped, and trust is built.
The challenge comes when emotions fade and life gets difficult, because your choice will be tested.
What happens when your answered prayer takes longer than you think it should? What happens when you tell God “only you” (because people told you… ‘if you’d only stop looking’) but then you’re still single? What happens when God tells you “no” about a guy you are interested in? What happens if He asks you to remain single for a longer season than you had anticipated?
If you stay in the dating phase, you can easily back out when things don’t go your way, and say “it didn’t work.”
But if you truly received salvation and committed your life to Him, you won’t be looking for the door when it doesn’t go your way, because you are in relationship. Your church attendance won’t drop because you’ve got a boyfriend now. You won’t stop reading your Bible because you’re texting and snap-chatting all hours of the night. You won’t date a guy that hasn’t also made the same life commitment that you have, because that would violate the relationship you now have with Christ.
God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love – like Christ in everything…His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love. Ephesians 4:15-16 MSG
So if I want the gym to do me any good, I have to commit.
If you feel that you’ve been ‘dating God’ and want more or if you’ve been committed before, but not as close lately: with your heart say “I do…till death.” And death in Him because resurrection to eternal life!
If you have never received the gift of Salvation and surrendered your life to Jesus Christ as Lord, I invite you to do this today. Even now. Don’t wait. No one is promised more time. Or maybe you did at one time, but life has knocked the wind out of your lungs and it’s been tough getting back on track. Click here for a few Scriptures and a prayer.
In this with you girl,
H U G S
This is a good time to pull out a journal. As we spend personal time with God, we not only want to ask about what is on our heart, but also to hear what He has to say.
Ask: God, how committed am I to my relationship with you? What cost is too high, that would cause me to not be committed to you anymore?
If you sincerely ask, He will answer. He is always speaking and wants you to hear Him. It may not sound like an audible voice, but an impression or thought, or even a picture. Then take a moment and write down what comes to your heart.
Ask: God, what lie am I believing that has tempered my commitment to you?
When the answer comes, write it down.
Ask: God, what is the truth that you would like me to hear?
When the answer comes, write it down. The Holy Spirit will always speak in line with His Word (the Bible). As you hear a thought or impression, I encourage you to find Scriptures to stand on as a support to what He is speaking.
You love me and gave your all for me. I choose you. I choose you for life. Develop patience in me, shape my character and help me to trust you, no matter what. I ask that you renew my mind and soften my heart, to receive by faith, the truth that you are speaking into my heart through your Word. I ask you to penetrate my heart and sow your Word deep inside, that every seed You sow comes to maturity and produces the harvest you intended in my life.