Monday, November 27, 2006

Why Courtship?

Scripture commands me to guard my heart. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). Part of living in a fallen world is realizing that Satan is trying to steal my heart away by awakening my curiosity to sin. He will take every opportunity given to him to distract, and then destroy. I have purposed in my heart to not give ground to Satan by avoiding any and all potentially compromising situations. One of these compromising areas that I have committed not to involve myself with is dating. Why do I not date? I have seen many Christian young people trying to run the race with the Lord, but their heart is not in it. Their eyes are not looking straight ahead to the goal - becoming like Jesus. So many allow their thoughts and emotions to be caught up in this one and that one, and use their time to dream about what could be, rather than to concentrate on what is. We get caught up in our hopes for tomorrow and lose focus of where God would have us be and do today. I am guilty of this! We stumble as a result and our hearts get bruised in the process. I Corinthians 7 issues a challenge to us all: “The unmarried woman (or man) careth for the things of the Lord, that she (he) may be holy both in body and in spirit..”

Certainly part of God’s plan for some of us in this great race of life may well be marriage. But are we not playing into the hands of a wicked competitor to allow ourselves to be focused on this in the midst of the race when it is not yet God’s time for us? My commitment for purity through courtship is out of love for my Lord! Each commitment I make is a sacrifice of obedience to Him. Commitments are not bondage as I used to think. Commitments are all about Jesus and focusing on Him. This focus establishes my thoughts (see Proverbs 16:3) and puts me in a position to be used by the Lord.

“O God, be thou exalted over my possessions. Nothing of earth’s treasures shall seem dear unto me if only Thou art glorified in my life. Be Thou exalted over my friendships. I am determined that Thou shalt be above all, though I must stand deserted and alone in the midst of the earth. Be thou exalted above my comforts. Though it mean the loss of bodily comforts and the carrying of heavy crosses, I shall keep my vow made this day before Thee. Be Thou exalted over my reputation. Make me ambitious to please Thee even if as a result I must sink into obscurity and my name be forgotten as a dream. Rise, O Lord, into Thy proper place of honor, above my ambitions and desires, above my likes and dislikes, above my family, my health and even my life itself. Let me sink that Thou mayest rise above...”

I am not to be just technically pure (by saying the right things), but pure in thought, word, and deed. Keeping a clear conscience is essential for a powerful life message and ministry. “I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man” (Acts 24:16). “For you brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serving one another” (Gal. 5:13).

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