February 5, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”—Romans 12:1 (NKJV)
“There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband.”—1 Corinthians 7:34 (NKJV)
All the way back in our beginning, in the Book of Genesis, we see that as we were created in God’s image, we were created to be relational as He is relational. From the start, God lived in relationship with man and even made a companion suitable for him. Thus, we were made for relationship with Him above all else, but also for relationship with one another. However, when we get this out of order, and we begin to prioritize and put our personal satisfaction in relationships with others over relationship with Him, we experience deep brokenness.
It’s only in a relationship with Jesus that we find fulfillment, satisfaction, joy, peace, and wholeness—not in human relationships such as a significant other, spouse, or sexual partner. There’s no one on earth who can “complete” us. Only Jesus! In fact, when we—yes, even we as Christians—seek that kind of fulfillment and wholeness in another person when entering into dating relationships or marriage, we’re setting both ourselves and them up for disappointment, unmet expectations, and pain.
Because of this, there’s truly a special blessing that comes in the season of singleness for those who take advantage of it. During this time, we can have more time to devote to knowing and enjoying the Lord, finding abundant life, and experiencing satisfaction in the identity, belonging, and purpose we receive from an intimate relationship with Jesus. And the more time we spend getting to know Him, the more we’ll fall in love. Why? Because trust develops as we experience the highs and lows of life with Him and realize there’s no one else more faithful than Him. And if we surrender our worldly desires to His will, He is always faithful to show up and provide something better. In His time, He will redeem and restore as He said He will for He is thoroughly involved in the big and small details of our lives.
The danger for many comes in trying to seek fulfillment and satisfaction in human relationships—trying to fill our need for belonging not through Jesus but through people. And this will inevitably lead to sexual temptation and eventually sexual sin.
There’s a notable marring and polluting of the mind, soul, and body when involved in sexual sin. We don’t even have to be involved in it physically, we only have to take it in with our eyes through pornography or the near pornography that is on TV and movie screens everywhere. This world conditions us to think it’s a normal way to live, but it’s not. God has something so much more beautiful in mind for us—REAL intimacy.
The more time we spend away from those temptations, the more we allow space for the Spirit to take over and do His sanctifying and transforming work. This is where we need to choose, daily, to surrender our minds and our bodies as a “living sacrifice” for our Lord. The result is a beautiful, holy relationship that will satisfy like no other.
Pause: What things are important to you in relationships of any kind?
Practice: Make a list of those important things and then spend time looking through God’s Word to see what He says about each of those things. Ask Him to prepare your heart and mind to receive and learn.
Pray: Thank you Lord that You are the only holy and perfect One who can show me what a real intimate relationship should look like. And as the world keeps pulling at me to get filled with things that don’t satisfy, please give me the strength and peace to not fall for the lies. Guide me that I may experience a right relationship with You. Amen.
Mirely Maldonado has been part of the Calvary Chapel family since 2013 and now serves as staff in the Events Department. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Film & Digital Video Production and has taught the Bible at Bible Study Fellowship for six years. She treasures good conversation, enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, and loves reading.