Monday, 9 September 2013

To my single friends out there....'Chill out, God is up to something!'

Philippians 4 v 6 - 7 states, ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’

     Believe it or not, God’s ultimate plan / purpose for your life is not for you to get married. It could be part of it, but it’s not all about that. His ultimate plan is to make you more like Jesus Christ. And God will do whatever it takes to get you there. And, if it means being single for a bit longer, well then, that’s what it’s going to have to be. No amount of screaming and begging will change what God has planned for you, or His timing for that matter. Unless you want to go it alone, which, I’m sure you don’t. So, you might as well relax. What good has worrying ever done for you?

     I went through a period in my life when I was seeking God about a particular relationship that I hoped would result in marriage. We had some issues that we couldn’t agree on and finally got to a point where we decided to go our separate ways and leave God to work things out if it was His will. During this time, I carried on seeking God and came across a podcast online. It was a sermon by a preacher called Ray Bevan. The sermon was titled ‘Chill out, God is up to something.’ I believe the Holy Spirit led me to this sermon as it spoke to my situation very clearly.

     There are a few points I took from it that I’d like to share with you here;
1.      Your destiny is not a ‘patch’, but a ‘quilt’. You may feel like this particular phase of your life (e.g. singleness, just been through another unsuccessful relationship, heartbreak, etc.) is a terrible thing that has happened to you, and you may not see how you’re going to come through it. But, God, in His amazing sovereignty, is able to take both the good and the seemingly bad and thread it into something good and beautiful (Romans 8 v 28).

2.      Before you get to your destiny, you will go to ‘Egypt’. Based on Matthew 2 from verse 13, where an angel appears to Joseph and tells him to take the baby Jesus and his mother Mary to Egypt to escape King Herod, ‘Egypt’ represents the place of ‘why?’ Our ‘Egypt’ is a situation that doesn’t make sense and we ask God ‘why?’ ‘Egypt’ is part of God’s plan. Unless you get to the place where you come to the end of yourself, where you ‘don’t know’ anymore, where you can’t figure it out all by yourself, you won’t learn how to really trust God. Many great men in the Bible had to go through ‘Egypt’; Abraham, when asked to sacrifice his son, Isaac; Joseph, thrown into prison for something he did not do; David, running for years from the king of Israel, and even Jesus, as He lay dying on the cross.

3.      Be patient whilst you’re in ‘Egypt’. Matthew 2 v 13 states ‘Stay there, until I tell you...’ Don’t fall into the trap of trying to make things happen for yourself, because ‘God is taking too long’. God is trying to teach you the importance of timing.

4.      When God tells you to let go, you better let go, otherwise you’ll keep swinging back and forth, not getting anywhere. Let go of your mindset and your own way of doing things. Let go of the pressures that you put on yourself and trust the expert. Trust the One who made you. Trust is also about being patient when all evidence of God’s presence is gone. For example, in those moments when you’re praying and you feel like no one’s listening. We have to keep on trusting. God doesn’t do things how we expect Him to. And we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, the Bible says that His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55 v 8 – 9). You learn trust when you’re in ‘Egypt’.

5.      The miraculous is often connected to the mundane and monotony. Stay where God has placed you, and keep doing what He’s asked / called you to do. Don’t give up. Joshua and Caleb held on to a 40-year promise and when God said ‘it is time’, He released them into their destiny and they went into the Promised Land. If you’re believing God for a spouse, stay faithful, and He will do the same for you. Chill out, He is up to something.