When I was in college, I had what I considered a really intimate relationship with God. I woke up early in the morning while it was still dark outside and committed a portion of my morning to the Lord in prayer and the study of God’s Word. I also took thirty minutes to an hour – usually between noon and one – to intercede for others and worship the Lord in song. I was even committed to learning Scripture. I even devoted my extra time to various ministries on my college campus. I thought I was doing well and really developing a close walk with the Lord.
The sad thing about all of that is the fact that I was deceived; my heart was wrong; my motives were impure.
Sounds odd, huh? How can a person hide God’s Word in their heart and have impure motives? Let me explain. There was no doubt that I wanted an intimate relationship with the Lord. However, I saw a thriving relationship with God as a means to an end. Somewhere along my journey through adolescence, I picked up the idea that if I developed an intimate relationship with Jesus, He would reward me by sending me a husband.
So I prayed, believed, fasted, studied the Word, spent time with God, devoted my time to a number of different ministries and did everything else I could think of – not so I could get closer to God, but so I would get a husband.
Shortly after graduations from college, I finally realized that God didn’t work that way. A husband wasn’t a precious gift reserved for the holiest of God’s daughters. I understood that a husband is part of the ministry of marriage, and not everyone is called to that ministry, just as not everyone is called to the ministry of teaching.
After realizing that an intimate relationship with God was not a ticket to marriage, I didn’t seek God’s face as fervently as I did before. I adopted the attitude of, “why should I put so much energy into this if it won’t help me get what I want.”
I finally came back to my senses and began to crave the closeness that I had with the Lord back in college. Initially, I became frustrated because I couldn’t recapture the intimacy that I once had with Jesus.
The Lord once again opened my eyes. This time he allowed me to see that I would never be able to have what I had in college, because much of that relationship was based on deception and impure motives. He further showed me that now my motives for a relationship with him were pure.
Now – several years later and still husbandless – I find myself still praying, still worshipping, and still learning Scripture. I’m not as rigorous or fanatical as I used to be. And I definitely don’t assume that my actions will eventually lead me down the aisle. I do those things because I want – no I NEED more of Jesus in my life.
Maybe my single ministry is coming to a close and my marriage ministry will be here before I know it. There’s no way for me to know. In the mean time, I will seek my Savior with a heart full of pure motives.
If you find yourself in a situation where you feel like you’re just spinning your wheels or that you’re not receiving a proper return on your investment, maybe it’s time to check your motives. Are they pure or impure?
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