Today is my 12th anniversary, and looking back on the years my wife and I have been together, a thought occurred to me. When my wife and I first got together, I knew I was going to marry her after the first date. Yet, I had women who were friends that I also talked to on a consistent basis, and, often, I would answer calls and texts from them when my girlfriend (now wife) and I were on a date. A few months in to our relationship, she gave me a, what Kyle Idleman calls in his book "Not a Fan," DTR or "Define the Relationship" moment. I would have to choose which relationship to work on; it was okay to have friends who were women, but who was I pursuing? In many ways I was blind to what I was doing: I was in a relationship that destroyed me, and maybe I was hedging my bets. Thanks be to God that my wife was more level headed than I was: if this was to end in Marriage, there could be only one. It was a jealousy that was godly: you can have only one romance if this was going anywhere. How often do we do this to God? We try to have a relationship with Him, and yet do so on our own terms. We court money, relationships, social engagements, stuff, work, and so many other things, things that are not bad, but God merely becomes one of many, and not the one and only. How long, believer, will be divide between the world and God? We have to choose. God is jealous, and will share us with no one. His thoughts are for nothing but us, and instead, we can get caught up in the blessings, rather than the One who gives us such things for His purposes and our pleasure. We have to choose. Not eventually, we're promised no more time than the moment. No, it's time to define what we mean when we say "I love you," to almighty God, and for Him that requires nothing less than our complete and utter devotion. Exodus 20:1-6 And God spoke all these words, saying,
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. James 4:1-12 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?