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Friday, November 9, 2012

A Time to Serve

Here's a quote in a book I've been reading lately that I wanted to share. I will get back to my sequel to the previous post, but in the meantime here's a little something to think about:

Have thine affections been nailed to the cross? Is thy heart right with God? Dost thou count all things for Jesus but dross? Is thy heart right with God? Crucifixion of the flesh falls heavily on young folk. They are made for love and are in the romantic part of life. Yet affections can play havoc with devotional life. I believe it is but simple logic to say that a christian is backslidden if he spends more time with a member of the opposite sex than he does in prayer and in the Word . . . . Satan wages relentless warfare against the souls of men. The more grounded young people yield to God the more bitter the enemy's fight to recontrol that area. Then, too, love is blind. Humorous as it may seem, it is nevertheless true that nothing puts a blind spot on the eye like human love. Love hides a multitude of sins and also often blinds us to the immense possibilities that self-denial makes in this realm. Many young people have offered tearful prayers too late- not necessarily because they married the wrong person, but because they married too soon. In a short time they were saddled with children and often with debt, so that they were unduly burdened and also hindered in Christian service.

~ Revival Praying by Leonard Ravenhill (emphasis added)

I've talked before about my reasons against marrying very young, and I believe Ravenhill sums this aspect up very well. It has everything to do about keeping our minds and hearts focused on complete service to God. The married person cannot dedicate as much time to serving the Lord as a single person can. Paul even says that singlehood is better than marriage (1 Cor. 7:38). As I have been studying this, I have come to realize how pivotal, how vital, singleness is in a person's life. It's important for singles to use this time wisely. It's caused me to examine my life. I seem to get confused and distracted sometimes by unimportant things in life, and I tend to forget my focus. I have prayed and now understand how God wants me to use my time. He has given me a service opportunity to pour myself into in service for Him. I want to do the best I can at this. As a single young woman, I have come to realize that the best way to maximize the single years is to pray that God would give direction in life concerning how to serve in His Kingdom. God gives us different abilities and talents to serve Him. Some people become completely involved in championing the cause of the poor in various countries through providing water wells, others work in orphanages to serve the little children, others work in pregnancy centers, and others are called to be involved in the political realm, to pass laws, create bills, etc. These causes are something that becomes a life-long endeavor for some people, and it's something I feel the singles should also pray about, endeavoring to find what cause God wants them to take up to serve Him. If each single Christian took up a ministry to serve the Lord in, imagine what a world of difference could be made! I'm not saying that singles should give up their day jobs to volunteer 24/7, but I do believe singles should find a ministry to serve in during their time out of work, a ministry opportunity that they can serve in until the Lord changes directions, calls them to another cause, or calls them home. A prime example of this is William Wilberforce who championed the cause of the slaves for many years, not seeing any fruit, but pouring his energy into this God-given cause, finally seeing the results of freedom for the slaves decades later. And he mostly served this cause as a single man. This is what makes the single years beneficial to the kingdom, not only just taking up a specific cause to champion, but also being sure to seize the other service opportunities that arise, like helping out a young mom who is having a hard time, participating in your church's nursing home ministry,etc. Having direction in your life also gives you meaning behind what you do. It helps to know that you are not aimlessly wandering around in life doing something that won't benefit the Kingdom. Direction gives you purpose in the Lord. So if you're single, think and pray about what cause God wants you to champion and pour your energy into. This is an important time in life that you don't want to waste.

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