Can You Serve God Better Single or Married?

Can You Serve God Better Single or Married?

She wanted to serve God with all her heart. She also loved her husband, and wanted to do what it took to make her difficult marriage better. But she struggled to know how to do both. “God is supposed to be first, right? Then how can I still be a good wife?” she asked me.

I know some single women (perhaps men too – they just don’t talk to me as much) who seem to feel and act as though their singleness makes them a little more holy. They take Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7:32-34 as meaning that God in some way thinks more highly of unmarried people because they have more “freedom” to devote themselves to His work without the “distractions” of marriage and family.

Others in the church act as though God’s ideal is for people to be married, and you haven’t quite lived up to that ideal if you’re still single. There’s a heavy focus on marriage and family in many churches. Perhaps that’s a good thing, in light of how the decline in the family may have led directly to the decline of Christianity in western culture.

So, which is it? Is being single better? Is married better? Which pleases God more?

I’ve experienced both singleness and a godly marriage.

Continue reading...
A New Year’s Prayer

A New Year’s Prayer

New Year's PrayerOver the past couple weeks your inbox has probably been filled with emails promoting goal-setting programs and ways to guarantee “your best year ever” if only you will follow this given plan. At least 100 million Americans make some kind of New Year’s resolutions – and within six weeks most have already failed to keep those resolutions. Those ways of beginning a new year are fine, but I think there’s one way to begin that trumps them all: starting the year with prayer.

The best gift I can offer you this January 1 is my New Years prayer for you:

Heavenly Father, Precious Jesus, Gracious Holy Spirit,

How great You are! You who set our world in its orbit around the sun – that marks our years – we lift our hearts to You as this year begins.

We can’t see tomorrow, but You see all our tomorrows, and every day of this New Year. Your hands are the only ones big enough to carry us through the uncertain and often frightening days ahead. I ask that each one seeing this right now will sense Your hands holding them, guiding them, strengthening them to complete the mission You have given them to do.

Without You we are nothing. And all our efforts to do things on our own prove fruitless. But with You, there is nothing more that we need or desire in heaven or on earth. (Psalm 73:25)

Continue reading...
Do You Know How God Works With You?

Do You Know How God Works With You?

Biblical InsightHow does God work with you? Do you know? How do you hear His voice? How do you understand what He wants you to do, what He wants to grow in your character, or what He thinks about you? What does He use to change you into who He wants you to be?

Sure, there are the Bible studies on “How to hear God’s voice.” There are plenty of people who interpret Scripture, preach theology, or tell their experience of God’s activity in their life. But what about you? How has God acted in your life? What are the characteristics of His interaction with you?

One of the core beliefs that most of us Christians share is that God has been active in human affairs throughout history, and that He is active in the world today. But He can and does show up in many different ways in our lives. How we experience Him depends on our own personality, history, life circumstances, and openness to hearing and seeing Him.

Over time I’ve come to understand some things about how God has worked in my life. Some of those things are very different from what I understood about God and His working as a young person.

Continue reading...
4 Times that God Needs You to be Angry

4 Times that God Needs You to be Angry

FistThe only people who are never angry are dead people – either dead literally, or dead-on-the-inside kind of dead. I’m going to go so far as to say that if you’re never angry, you’re mostly useless – to the people who really need you, and even to God. God needs you to be angry!

Of course that doesn’t mean we should live in a constant state of being “worked up” over every little thing. That’s dangerous to your own mental, physical, and spiritual health. And it doesn’t mean being the kind of volatile human being that everyone fears and would rather run away from. That’s dangerous to your own wellbeing and damages the kingdom of God.

But you need some fire in your soul if you ever want to accomplish what God has put you on this Earth to do.

Just days ago I was driving in heavy traffic, and felt my throat tighten and my blood pressure rise. I was facing some significant stress at that time that I had no control over, and piles of conflicting thoughts chased each other through my mind. I was tired emotionally and physically. And if one more person tried to cut me off in traffic . . . ?!!

Continue reading...
What to do After God Speaks

What to do After God Speaks

PrayerYou had a problem, or something you desired deeply. You prayed about it – a lot. You asked others to pray for you about it. And you prayed some more. You struggled, you cried, you tried to listen. And yes, you prayed some more.

Then one day something happened in your spirit. It may not have been an audible voice from heaven, but you heard something in your soul. You felt God spoke to you, and it was good. Very good. Your problem would be taken care of. You were going to receive that which you desired more than anything else. The whole world looked different.

What do you do then? What do you do after God speaks?

I’ve been there. Several times during my life I felt I heard God’s voice in my heart. The first time I was quite young, about 13 years old. I prayed for something specific to happen, and I believed I heard God say to me that what I prayed for would come to pass.

It didn’t happen.

Continue reading...