Memory Verse: Exodus 13:17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”
Psalm: 73 focus on 1-3, 21-28
Challenge: Take the long way today. Go a different, longer route home, to work, to church, school- walk a different path to class. Park at the furthest parking spot from the building and walk. Ask God to give you His eyes to see what He would show you. What does God reveal to you today?
INSIGHT: ‘This day was one of my favorites, and one of the ones that God recently showed me that I needed a ‘once-more.’ I had it in my head, but my heart was still trying to grasp the concept of trusting Him completely. This day, I made a conscious effort to walk to work instead of drive (I was working really close to my house at this time) and as I walked, I asked God to give me His eyes. He showed me birds resting on a building. They had no worries, because they had no needs. At that moment, God reminded me that if I would just trust Him, my worries would go away as well. He assured me that He had already supplied my needs, my only responsibility would be to trust Him. This was easier said than done. I had to realize that I was just as much in this journey as I was leading those that were following me. My struggles with contentment became my platform to show others how to combat the loneliness, and doubt, and feelings of less than worthy, and those dreaded ‘bad days’-because I was experiencing them as well.’
Many Single people struggle with contentment. What does it mean to be content in Christ? How can you be content with Christ while you still wholeheartedly long for a mate? Am I telling God-He’s not enough for me because I desire marriage so strongly? These (or some variation of them) are the questions that many Singles go to bed with at night, and still wake up with no answer. I’ve learned that what we actually perceive as silence, is often the answer to our prayer.
These two Words are whispered to our hearts so softly that if we aren’t careful, the shouting of our own desires will drown them out. God wants us to trust Him, WITH EVERYTHING, including (especially) our desire to be married. When God is silent, it’s not because He isn’t there. God speaks even in the silence, when you can’t see His face, can’t feel His heart, or even discern His will- Trust HIS Purpose.
Jeremiah 29:11 (this will be a memory verse later in this challenge) says that ‘I know the thoughts that I think towards you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.’ Even when He doesn’t seem to speak, you are still on His mind and remember He is BUSY with your every step (Psalm 37:23)
When the Israelites were released from Egypt, God lead them the long way, because He knew their hearts and they weren’t strong enough to face war yet. Delay is not Denial. God recognizes that it takes longer to get Egypt out of us than to get us out of Egypt. You may be physically out of that last relationship, last sin, last misstep, but in your mind-you’re still there. There are certain habits and issues that you are still dealing with that God can’t allow you to take into your promised land. So because He is a God of movement- He will take us on a detour to get to where we need to go, while He works that Egypt mentality out of us.
INSIGHT: ‘I still had, correction- I still have Egypt mindsets. The relationship that I recently ended more than confirmed that. I had gotten so comfortable in being Single, that I became complacent in growing in this season. I got lazy and began to believe that I was ‘there.’ That I had it all together. And this is where I fell. I was so convinced that I would be able to recognize ‘the one’ when he came, that I couldn’t bring myself to acknowledge that I had gotten it wrong. That he wasn’t the one that I had been waiting for, so I started to make excuses for him an furthermore, to excuse him to treat me like less than I deserved.
I still had an Egypt mindset and my God has too much purpose planned in my future ministry to allow me to mess it up, by settling for someone that was not MY promise. I was still dealing with balance and not replacing THE KING of my eternal soul, with my king of my earthly life.’
Delays are for our benefit, not for our harm. Use this journey to find contentment through preparation, tests and training. Allow God to prepare you for marriage-if that’s in His will for you. And if it’s not, then this preparation will enable you to be a better Single souled out for His glory.
God knew that the Israelites would have run back into their slave situations if they saw even the prospect of war, because they still had the slave mindset. You may not be ready yet for that. You may not be strong enough to stand and fight, so God wants to lead you around it. It will take longer but there is so much beauty in the journey that you might never see if you just rush into a relationship.
INSIGHT: ‘I gave too much too soon. I didn’t speak up the first time that I felt disrespected, or unconsidered, or an option instead of a priority. I let big things slide to keep the illusion of peace. I compromised my standards because I was too afraid of admitting that I had read it wrong. These were my Egypt mindsets that God had to work out of me so that I wouldn’t poison my Promised Land. This relationship was my detour around a sure war zone and he knew if He would have brought ‘the one’, then I would have allowed those old mindsets to cause undue stress and hardship. So, he allowed me to circle around the mountain for a little while longer so that I would know how to appreciate it when I crossed over. I understand that now and I’m grateful that His plan is so much greater than my temporary pleasures.’
What are your Egypt mentalities that God is using Singleness to prune out of you, so that you will be complete and made perfect, lacking nothing (James 1:4)? What old habits (sexual immorality, lust, anger, greed, idolatry, selfishness) are you still struggling with that God won’t allow to pollute the Promised Land of marriage?
God honors and protects marriage-because it is direct symbolism of Christ and the Church. If you aren’t making a very good church right now as a lady- and men, if you don’t even resemble Christ- you are not ready. Stay in the journey and learn what you need and then when it’s God’s time…walk into your Promised Land-whatever it may be.