I have a question that I have been mulling over for several months, maybe a year now, revolving around God's sovereignty and my free-will with when I marry and how that may come about. In short, what do you believe about God "bringing people together" and my waiting and praying and submitting that? What do you believe is my involvement and what is His contribution to bringing people together?
People say "God brought us together," but did He really, or was it more that those two persons met because they are at the same walk of life — hopefully — spiritually, emotionally, and relationally? What do I pray for regarding a desired relationship with a godly man and in the end, a husband? Any thoughts you may have would be wonderful, or resources or verses. Maybe just prayer and quiet seeking is what I need.
Thanks for considering this email. I appreciate it.
I wish I could give you a definitive answer on how God's sovereignty works with our choices, but after three decades of knowing God, praying and studying His word, and a seminary degree in Apologetics and Philosophy of Religion to boot, I can honestly say it's just a mystery I don't understand — and quite frankly I'm happy to live with that.
After spending many years trying to figure out all the answers, at some point I began to realize that there are some questions I just won't know the answers to on this side of heaven. This is one of them.
I've learned to rejoice in these mysteries, rather than fret over them. They are part of what makes God the I Am, and me the creature, and why I can cry out to Him in awe and wonder as David did in Psalm 139, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it."
Jesus gives us some guidance in this area, at least in terms of our trusting that God is watching over us with perfect care, a billion times more than the best parent ever could, with love so strong that we cannot even comprehend, and with nothing in mind for us but our eternal good and His glory and pleasure. It's worth quoting the whole thing:
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sew nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is today alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore, do not be anxious saying, 'What shall we eat,' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you (Matthew 6:25-33).
Jesus doesn't include anxiety over whom we will marry, but we get the point: God has it under control — from every atom to every universe — He made it; He knows it; and His love for it is steadfast and greater even than life itself, and having a revelation of that dissolves the anxiety.
If I understand this right, Jesus is saying that if we will focus primarily on walking with Him — concentrating on taking the steps that He is taking — then He will take us where all that He has for us on this earth, is.
In practical terms I see it like this: I follow Christ by growing in intimacy with Him. As I abide in Him, I learn to walk in rhythm with Him. I do not worry about where we are going, but rather trust His leadership, because I am convinced, as I said above, that where He takes me will be for my eternal good and for His glory and pleasure.
He leads me to jobs, ministry opportunities, educational opportunities, relationships, a spouse, or whatever else it is He has planned for me. My primary focus never leaves Him as He brings these things into my life. I understand them for what they are, gifts from His hand, or tools in His hand, or both — all designed for what? All together now, "My eternal good and His glory and pleasure!"
If God has marriage in your future (and odds are He does), then there are a million ways He could bring a spouse into your life, and somehow He'll utilize your choices, the choices of your spouse to be, and His sovereignty to make it happen.
You asked for a suggestion on what to pray. How's this:
Lord, You know my heart better than even I know it. You made me for Your glory and pleasure. Your goodness and love is billions of times better than the greatest love my mind can comprehend. Your plans for me are perfect. Your love for me is perfect. There is nothing I can do to make You love me more, and nothing I can do to make You love me less. Grant me the grace to make You my deepest passion, the strongest desire in my life. Make my heart like Your heart. As You transform me more and more into the image of Christ, prepare my heart for the seasons and relationships You have planned for me. Prepare my heart to receive a spouse that together, we would bring You the greatest glory and pleasure, for that is my life's goal. You know exactly who that would be for me. I yield myself to Your unspeakable wisdom over my life. Amen.
Copyright 2007 John Thomas. All rights reserved.