I am living out my calling, and I love it
I am a part of an amazing college-small group with my friends from church, and it has been so good for my soul the past few months. We have all become such good friends, and I love each and every one of the girls in my group. Over the last few months, we have taken turns leading, and I got to lead on February 11.
So, of course, in honor of Valentines Day, I decided to talk about the things I learned during my year of no dating (haha, life update: my year is up).
Looking back, I truly have learned so much, grown so much in my faith, and have become so confident in my identity in Christ.
For small group, I felt led to discuss Biblical Marriage, Christian Dating, and Singleness. Overall, I pulled from Ephesians 5 (one of my favorite passages in Scripture), but I also used Genesis 2:
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
I had some things prepared to say about it, but in the moment while I was sharing, the Lord continued to show me how it all tied into the things I had learned and the place I was in my life.
So now that I am sitting here finally writing about this revelation, I’m going to try and squeeze every drop from this passage…
- We are placed in our purpose
- When we are alone in our purpose, we get one-on-one time with the Lord
- Sometimes our purpose can be lived out better
- There is something special about a helper
- The purpose of marriage is to work better together
Adam was created, and then he was placed in the Garden to work. We were created by God with a purpose and a mission.
I have learned so much about my purpose since I decided to be intentionally single. Instead of focusing my attention on men and their opinions of me; I started focusing my attention on God, and asking for his opinion of me.
In the past year, I found my calling. I am meant to serve his Kingdom; I am called into ministry. My purpose is to fellowship with his people and show them the love he has for them.
But more than just figuring out WHAT I am supposed to do, I have figured out HOW to do it, and I have stepped into that. Adam was called by God to work and take care of the Garden. One of his tasks was to name the animals. He lived that out; he did it.
Where has the Lord called you? What is your purpose in life? Where has he placed you? What’s your Garden and how are you taking care of it? The first step, the groundwork is to “find yourself” as the world likes to say. Accept the identity the Lord has spoken over you — you are his child, and he has great plans for you! Get to work!
Jesus chose to die for me, so I’m choosing to live for him
While Adam was working in the Garden, he and the Lord were one. There was no one else, just the two of them. He was not focused on pretty girls because God hadn’t created them yet. Adam wasn’t working to impress anyone; the only approval he needed was from the Lord.
Adam was content in his purpose; he wasn’t craving anything else except communing with the Lord and serving his kingdom.
There is so much joy that comes from being alone with the Lord. Becoming completely dependent on him and finding all your worth in him is the absolute best experience.
Getting to a place where He is all you need is so fulfilling.
Being single and serving the Lord is something to take advantage of! It is a gift not a waiting period!
In 1 Corinthians it says,
32 I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. 33 But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. 34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband.
Before Eve, Adam was completely content in the Lord, and all he had to take care of was his purpose: the garden.
LACK LEADS TO MORE
In Adam’s case though, working alone was not God’s best for him. One person for the whole world? No man could do that, and God knew that. God said out-loud that it was “not good” for him to be alone. Things were not good yet; it was not God’s best yet.
God knew Adam’s heart and abilities; he could have left him alone to work by himself, but God had immeasurably more. Adam was content in the Lord, and doing his work, but God knew it could be better and Adam could do more for his Kingdom with a helper.
Genesis 1 says,
27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
It was not good until Eve was created, and then it was “very good”
There. is. power. in. unity.
In Matthew 18:19-20, it says,
“truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them“
and in Ecclesiastes 4:12 it says,
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken”
and Proverbs 27:17 it says,
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.“
Obviously this concept of partnership and helping one another is incredibly important. If it wasn’t, God would not have made more people.
Animals weren’t enough. “Man’s best friend” was not enough.
Here’s another thing: another man wasn’t good enough!! God could have easily created more men from Adam’s rib, yet he made a woman. What does this say? Men and women are unique — that’s a good thing and should be encouraged!
Men, be proud of the differences the Lord has given you.
Women, be proud of the differences the Lord has given you.
It was not very good until both male and female were created. There is something special about the union of a man and woman under a covenant with God.
There is no other partnership like it — God had to create a partner for Adam, someone special who could fill in the places where he lacked. If God made another animal or another man, there would still be those missing pieces that only a woman can fill.
God brought Eve to Adam and their purposes were joined together, so they could be co-rulers and co-laborers.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
Marriage is the combining of your purposes, so that they overlap and fill in the gaps to better live out the Lord’s calling.
Eve could have easily distracted Adam from his purpose (maybe she did…) but the point of their union was to work the Garden together. Adam needed help, so Eve was created. And their union was very good.
Are you dating someone who is distracting you from your purpose with the Lord or are they spurring you on and increasing the work you are accomplishing in the garden? Partnership is to do more not less — are they multiplying your purpose or dividing it?
Reading this might be confusing and make you think that men have the purpose and women have to marry a man in order to have purpose. But remember in 1 Corinthians…(scroll back up if you forgot)
When you get married, you become one with your spouse. Then you have one will in Christ. Your individual purposes become one as you partner together to pursue the Lord and build his kingdom together.
Adam was created first (he was a single bachelor pursuing the Lord), and then Eve was created and married to him, so immediately she and Adam had one purpose as one flesh (she never lived the single life) — she had an equal calling with him
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
I have so much I could say about submission, but I will keep it short, sticking to this topic:
In a marriage, yes, men are the spiritual leaders (who are called to care for and love their wives like their own bodies…) and women are their partners, but that does not mean that women are less than. (Something to think about: Eve tried to be the spiritual leader which was not God’s design and caused sin to enter the world…)
The Lord created male and female as mankind–there is no favoritism. Women have a special ability to help, to empower, to partner with, and speak life into. (That does not make them weaker; if anything it takes more self control and determination!!)
Despite the roles inside of marriage, when men and women are one, there is supposed to be mutual submission to each other and Christ’s will. There is one will that you both pursue because you are better together.
But if the Lord hasn’t brought you a partner and you are not married, you only submit to God and his will; you can fully chase him without marriage roles and duties (See how this comes full circle? haha).
We can each fully serve the Lord with no distraction, but if God sees a lack and sees that we can better serve him with a partner, he will bring us one — someone unique and special that can encourage and help us live out the Lord’s specific will in our lives better. When we get married, our roles come together as one and the way we live them out looks different, but it’s done better.
In this story, as a single woman, I am Adam (pre-Eve). I am working the Garden, living out the Lord’s will. Right now, I am doing it better as a single woman; I am working alone with the Lord, spending some amazing one-on-one time with him. But if God sees a place where I need a partner, he will bring me someone who can join forces with me and lead me closer to Jesus, so we can both serve the Lord better.
the garden. a great place to be.
alone. just pursue him. live out your calling. run fully after him; spend alone time with him. sit in his presence; you don’t have to worry about anyone else. just live out your purpose.
or with someone the Lord brings you. teamwork. humility. abundance. more. there will be a role shift, and there will be distractions. but two can do more than one. stay in the Lord’s bounds though; submit to him and each other and the role the lord has placed on them. learn from each other. help and encourage one another.
There will be difficulties in each, but the Lord is there; when you serve him you are closest to him. Just keep working the garden.
I love y’all — reach out if you want to talk about this or something related