Cultivating Faithfulness, Singleness and Psalms 37

For those who don’t know me, I am single. To protect the lives of the innocent, I’ll just say that a month and a half ago, God decided that He wanted my boyfriend and I all to Himself and decided to make that known to us after 1 year of dating. Although we prayed for God’s guidance the entire time, I am thankful that He made it very clear to us that He was directing us to end our relationship. It’s amazing to know that He cares about His children so much. I know it may sound crazy to some, but being obedient to God doesn’t require understanding.

Although I was very much in love and happy in my relationship, I am not a sad single girl because I know that I am purposefully single. God didn’t end our relationship to be mean; He just saw that I (or we) needed more time to cultivate faithfulness and grow in Him. Because of this, I can appreciate so much that God didn’t let me continue to be in a relationship with someone else if He was not in full support of it.

Cultivating Faithfulness

Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta is a phenomenal pastor. The entire church is a great place that has dedicated their ministry to impacting the lives of 18-25 year olds and they have definitely impacted me. While I was dealing with the disappointment of no longer being in a relationship, Louie was in the middle of a sermon series called Boy Meets Girl. The two messages that I particularly enjoyed were called Waiting Here for You Parts 1 & 2. At the time, I wasn’t interested in hearing about love, marriage or any of the clichĂ©’ things we hear in church about love, but my best friend Jeida assured me that the message was more about God than love. She was right.

Psalms 37:3, 4 says “Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.”

While we wait on God, we should be active in our waiting and also pitching our tents in the land of truth. We should do good things that build us into the people that we should be, and also do great things for God’s kingdom. Also, we must dwell in the land of truth and cultivate faithfulness.

Cultivating faithfulness means to dig up the things in our lives that prevent us from being the person that we want to be in Christ. This may mean disciplining ourselves, removing people or habits, gaining new skills, all with God’s help. It almost always means that we are strengthening our relationship with God so that we are able to be guided and used by Him. When it comes to relationships, it’s about becoming a person with the character, life, dedication to God and spiritual strength that we want to see when we walk down the aisle.

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” These are the things we should be planting in our lives. As we remove things that are not Godly and these beautiful things, God will water them and they will grow in our lives. And I have no doubt that these are all the things that we all want to see in our future spouse as we meet them at the alter.

Louie also talked about what it means to “wait with God while waiting on God.” God is with us even while we are waiting for Him to reveal what He already has planned for us. We aren’t waiting alone.

Quotes from the messages:

We have to prepare the soil of our life, of our heart and of our relationship for the harvest we’ve been dreaming about.

There’s no such thing as instantaneous maturity.

A part of cultivating faithfulness is being able to step back and say, ‘God, what do you see?’

If you don’t feel like the person you want to marry, then the person you end up choosing to marry can’t compensate for you. We have to trust God in the waiting time to cultivate the soil.

While we’re waiting on the not yet, there’s always something for us to cultivate in terms of building faithfulness in our lives.

God is saying, ‘If I can’t trust you with this, in the land wherever you are and cultivate faithfulness where you are, then I can’t possibly give you anything else.’

How I Cultivate Faithfulness

Deciding to fully prepare myself to be the person that God wants me to be has meant that I’ve had to change my mindset. It means I’m not content or settled where I am, and that I’m always striving to go higher, be better and be more faithful in something. It means that I’m forever improving. These are just a few of the areas that I have decided to cultivate faithfulness in.

Personal Relationship with Christ

Although it sounds quite simple, I have started dedicating my time to fortifying myself with prayer and the Word. It also includes reading books, journaling and listening to messages.

It has meant that I spend more time with God than I spend with other things and people. My relationship with Christ has truly become the most important thing in my life and it’s something I treasure.

Ministry/Service

I have increased my involvement in a prayer ministry that I serve as the secretary for. I put in more time not only organizing, but interceding for the prayer ministry and the people that we actually pray for.

I have made myself available to many friends to reach out to whenever needed. My friends all know that if they need to call me to pray with them, pray for them, etc, it is never a problem and that I’m always there.

I have dedicated myself to running a youth small group at my church on Friday nights. It is something that the Lord laid on my heart before school ended and I thank God that it will be starting this Friday. I have a huge heart for youth ministry and meeting the needs of young people however possible. I know that God is going to use me to bring the youth closer to Him.

Character

I have worked to be more respectful and helpful with my family. This has been quite tough, but I know that God has used my family to refine my character. This means serving them, keeping my mouth shut and not always needing to have things my way.

Education/Work/Finances

I have started preparing myself for my last year of school and all the changes that will come with it. This has meant finding affordable housing, picking classes and looking into programs that will help me find a teaching job. I’m in the process of applying to a program now, and if it’s in God’s will, I’ll be accepted and I’ll have a job before I even graduate. PRAISES!

This has also meant assessing my financial situation as the college student that I am and deciding how I should be spending my money. This has been one of the toughest parts of cultivating faithfulness, but I know that I will thank myself later for being so frugal with my spending and vigilant with my saving.

Health

I have started drinking a lot of more water and eating a lot less junk. This also means that I spend more time walking and less time sitting. It’s not always fun because it’s pretty hot in Central Georgia, but it’s worth it. My body is a temple and it needs to be treated that way.

Appearances

I’ve started to cultivate faithfulness in my appearance, by simply being sure that I’m always presentable and respectable in the way that I carry myself.

Hobbies

About a month ago, I created a list of things I wanted to complete before summer. This included sewing a dress, reading several books and voluteering. I’ve decided to cultivate faithfulness by setting goals and completing them and by becoming a more well-rounded Brittany. These are things we often times don’t think of as something that prepares us for the next level in life, but I’m pretty sure that I would appreciate it if my future husband was well-read, well-rounded and had lots of useful skills. Just saying. 🙂

Psalms 37: 4 talks about delighting ourselves in the Lord. Louie talked about what this really means. It means to seek God above all else. Forget about what you want and realize that God is the best. As you go after and pursue the best, all your desires will be fulfilled. Because when we delighted in Him, our desires became His desires. Also, many people don’t know that they word “delight” in Hebrew means to “make pliable.” As we make ourselves pliable and moldable, our desires really become His desires. I may start out desiring a man who looks and talks this way, but as I make myself pliable to God, His desires for me become my desires for me and I simply want His best for me. How beautiful is that?

Cultivating faithfulness is not at all about attracting a man or woman. It’s more so about being faithful in your own life right where you are so that God can see that because He can trust us with the small things, He can also trust us with any large blessings He wants to bestow upon us.

I hope that this blog post is one that makes you think a lot about the concept of cultivating faithfulness, and if you would like to hear Louie’s messages from the Boy Meets Girl series, you can find the messages on iTunes under Passion City Church or on the church website that I added a link to. Until next time, be blessed!

Brittany

Jesus: The Friend I Call When Twitter Gets Boring

He went on teaching from town to village, village to town, but keeping on a steady course toward Jerusalem. A bystander said, “Master, will only a few be saved?”

He said, “Whether few or many is none of your business. Put your mind on your life with God. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires your total attention. A lot of you are going to assume that you’ll sit down to God’s salvation banquet just because you’ve been hanging around the neighborhood all your lives. Well, one day you’re going to be banging on the door, wanting to get in, but you’ll find the door locked and the Master saying, ‘Sorry, you’re not on my guest list.’ “You’ll protest, ‘But we’ve known you all our lives!’ only to be interrupted with his abrupt, ‘Your kind of knowing can hardly be called knowing. You don’t know the first thing about me.’ – Luke 13:22-27 Message

In our society, we have different levels of knowing people. There are acquaintances, classmates, co-workers, church friends, Twitter and Facebook friends, best friends, boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives and family. All of these people are grouped based on how well we know and love them. The closer these people are to you, the more important they are and the more they know about you.

I’m starting to realize that for a long time, I have been a Christian who treats Jesus like that person I want to think I’m really best friends with but really I’m not. We’ve all had that friend. The friend who calls but you ignore their calls and who texts you and you take 3 days to text back. The one you tell your best friend you really don’t feel like talking to but when you get around them, you guys are the best of friends.

The one who takes a backseat in your life based on what you have to do that week. The one who you randomly call when your boyfriend, best friend and sister are all too busy to talk and there is nothing really happening on Twitter. They aren’t really as important to you as you want them to think they are either. If they needed you to do something, you would likely try to see if someone else could do it.

What amazes me about this is that I know I’m not the only one. And sadly, I may have continued to be this person had God not caused some major changes in my life a little over a month or so ago. The issue with this is that Jesus tells us that acquaintances who ignore His calls won’t be in Heaven with Him.

Heaven is literally the most exclusive, never ending, all-white party and Jesus is the man of the hour. The guest list is one that everyone wants to be on whether they know Him or not. But in reality, the people that will be invited are the ones who didn’t wait for Him to call. The people that truly loved God with everything they had. The people that were beating down His door telling Him how much they loved Him and showed Him with their lives. Those who told Him that they were willing to do whatever He needed whenever He needed. Jesus even told us that the greatest commandment was to love Him with all of our heart, soul and mind. He really meant it to!

We have to get out of this mindset that we are cool with Jesus just because we stop by His house once a week so that we can check in on Foursquare and see what everybody has on. Or if we follow His commandments but don’t pray. Jesus isn’t going to tally our visits or count how many commandments we kept; He wants us to be intimate with Him. He wants to know us and for us to know Him. He wants to have a real relationship with us. I am realizing that God will do whatever He has to do to have this relationship too. If that means taking you away from things and people you love, He’ll do it. If it means that you experience failure, He’ll allow it. His love for us is so strong and He wants to be close to us.

If this is convicting you, don’t feel bad. I am going through these things and I have been a Christian forever! Pray and ask God to help you make Him first in your life. Also, take the first steps to spend time with Him. If you need a friend to hold you accountable, ask a friend. If you need to set an alarm on your phone to remind you, do it. Growing closer to God begins as a choice. If you want to read an awesome book about growing your relationship with the Lord, I highly recommend the book “Simple Devotion: Answering the Radical Call.”

Dear Lord,

We love you. It is so easy though to be caught up by the things around us. This world is full of distractions that keep us from focusing on You, and we all need to give You more of us. Lord, help us to be intimate with You. Help us to cut off the tv, put our phones down and get on our knees and into Your Word. Surround us with people whose hearts are after Yours and guide us in everything that we do.

In Jesus Name,

Amen.

-Brittany

I Want To Marry A Man…

The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.

The above quote was written by Ellen G. White many years ago, but those words have never rang more true. The greatest want of the world is the want of God-fearing, strong men who live consecrated lives and walk with Him daily. However, men like this seem to be really few and far between, even though many are professed Christians.

As a single Christian young woman, I have come to realize that I have many standards for the man that I marry. These standards are not so much focused on his job, height or complexion, but more so focused on how he loves God. Any man can claim to be a Christian because he tweets Bible verses from his YouShare app, attends church service every week and listens to worship music, but that doesn’t mean that a man is walking with God daily.

What worries me about this, is that these men will one day grow to be husbands. They will be in charge of the spiritual growth and well-being of a wife and children and should be able to minister to that family. They should also understand that upon becoming a husband, they are taking on the responsibility of one day answering to God for how well they helped develop their family’s spiritual walk. God holds men accountable in a very special way.

One of my favorite pastors, Dr. John Piper of Desiring God discusses the role of husbands as laid out in Ephesians 5 in many of his writings & sermons. In his sermon “Lionhearted and Lamblike: The Christian Husband as Head,” he says this:

Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.

After exploring this topic, I realized that I want to marry an extraordinary man of God who accepts headship for everything that it means. Marriage is beautiful, but if the husband is not ready to practice headship, the entire family can be in jeopardy. A spouse is a very influential person. If they are not fully devoted to Christ and fulfilling the roles he has created for them, the marriage will not glorify God in the way that is should.

Many men say that they love God, but their character, choices and demeanor say otherwise. Men who are not Christ-like are incapable of leading a wife and family closer to Him. And for a woman who loves God with her whole heart, marrying a man who does not love God the same way is a huge risk to take.

I want Christian women everywhere to think twice about the man that they want to marry. Don’t just pray for a Christian man, but pray for what you need specifically. This is what I realized about what kind of man of God I hope to marry.

  • I want to marry a courageous man. A man who will not be bought or sold. A man who loves God with a deep, burning love.
  • I want to marry a man who will not do wrong not just because he loves me, but because he cannot sin against God.
  • I want to marry a man who is in his inmost soul true and honest. A man who seeks God and whose primary goal is to be like Jesus.
  • I want to marry a man who can seek God for me, for our children and for direction. I want a man who can minister to me.
  • I want to marry a man who is so in love with the Lord, that God will literally have to tell him that it’s time to make me his wife.
  • I want to marry a man who trusts God with his life and my life. A man that is willing to do anything for God.
  • I want to marry a man who will have a deep, pure love for me because he has a deep well of love for God.
  • I want to marry a man who is less worried about the carnal and more concerned with the spiritual.
  • I want to marry a man who walks with God every single day of his life, like Enoch, and whose primary goal is to ensure me and our children are walking with the Lord every single day.

I hope that by sharing this, everyone will be encouraged to talk to God about exactly what they need in a Christian husband or wife.

My prayer for men

Lord, I pray that you heal a generation of men from brokenness, confusion, sin and every tool that the enemy uses to break and bind them. I pray that they will turn their eyes to you so that they can effectively lead their families. I pray that you give them insight into what it means to be a man of God. I pray that you give them the desire to seek so you so that they can be the head of their households and raise their children. Lord, heal and deliver and show them what it means to be husbands and fathers. In your name, Amen.

Sincerely,

Brittany