In our church we are busy with a series on marriage, courtship, and dating, which is quite interesting because as they say, “The most important decision you’ll ever make after accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour is that of the person you choose to marry”. I always see the excitement in home cells as we share our views, seek advice, and pray for our future spouses. The desire to be godly spouses and have blessed marriages is seen every Sunday, with filled buses to all three services just to hear our pastor teach us Godly principles on marriage and courtship. For me this series has just ignited the fire to want to experience God more-to really know Him. The biblical standard of marriage seems unattainably high that one can’t help but acknowledge that entering marriage without really knowing the Lord would be a total flop. So the issue here runs deeper than having a blessed marriage, the issue is having a real relationship with the Lord.
Do we know the Gospel?
As Christians we approach non-believers in such a manner that makes them believe that as soon as they get born again, all their problems will vanish. We are afraid to mention the gospel of Jesus Christ because it’s not popular in this age. We’d rather invite people to church- with the promise that all their problems, addictions, and anything else of this world will disappear. We want them to be entertained by the songs sung at church or the eloquence of our speakers. Do we really know the gospel of Christ? The gospel is not a mission to civilize “barbaric” unbelievers into being modest, organized citizens; the gospel is the power of God to save. I remember once feeling pity for myself, going on about how God saved me because everyone was cruel to me. With the help of the Holy Spirit I was reminded that God didn’t save me because of me, He saved me because it is His will to bring all to repentance. Whether you had a rough or smooth childhood, whether you are economically successful, or known by everyone in the world, God’s will for you is to repent and be reconciled to Him. God was telling the Israelites in Deuteronomy chapter 9, that He was not delivering them because of their righteousness, but because it was His plan right from the beginning. No one is an exception; we are all invited to the saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Examine yourself. Do you really know the gospel of Christ? Or are you living each day on methods that’ll make you a civilized human being? The most dangerous thing in this world as a Christian is being so absorbed in ourselves and in the things of this world, and the Bible says we must “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything will be added unto us”. But we don’t even know how to seek Him because we think seeking Him is about having great relationships, or having a lot of money, or being known by everyone. The gospel runs deeper than all these. In Luke 16:11 Jesus asked “If you have been untrustworthy with worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” Many Christians don’t experience the power and supernatural manifestations of God which He talks about in John14 because they equate the gospel with worldly success. I used to believe that if I go to America or get into marriage then I would have stepped into my Land of milk and Honey- I would have “attained it”. I obsessively and excessively yearned for great friendships and a great marriage so that I would be seen as one highly blessed by the Lord. But the more we dig deeper into the marriage series the more I realize that without Christ I would never cope. I need Him more than I need marriage, or more than I need my friendships to survive. The Israelite’s land of milk and honey was a physical land on this earth; however our Land of milk and honey is Jesus Christ. He should be our habitation, our dwelling place. He should be our breath, our food, our drink, and everything that we’ll ever need. When we come to see Christ as our Everything, then we’ll learn to respect and love Him. Not love Him with our emotions or our psyche, but love Him based on historical facts that Jesus Christ, the Son of God came here on this earth, died for us, resurrected, and told us that “Whoever has his commands and obeys them, He and the Father will love him and make their abode with him”(John14:23).He promised us that we will do even greater things than He did because He goes to the Father; this is the Christ who healed and delivered; who loved deeply; who forgave quickly; who laid down his life to serve God and His people- “greater things”.
As one who has messed up terribly in the past in matters of relationships with the opposite sex, I am truly grateful for my pastor who takes time to lay a Godly foundation of marriage and courtship. I know I’ve got a new beginning, and I have yearned to make things right, yet I know that being saved doesn’t necessarily entail marriage. In the words of Vicki Rose who shared her testimony in her book, EVERY REASON TO LEAVE & WHY WE CHOSE TO STAY TOGETHER, on how God used her turbulent marriage to lead her to repentance, I say to the Lord, “Whatever You want to do with me is okay. If you want to keep me single and separated for the rest of my life because that is how You want to use me in the lives of others, I’m okay with that”. We have to get to this place of surrender, lay down our lives, carry our cross, and follow Him. We have to dig deeper into the riches of Christ and lay aside our ambition for worldly wealth. Take Christ as your Land, make Him your everything, and all these other things will follow.