(May 19, 2017, Lucas at The Great Wall in Beijing, China)
“I just want to be with someone who’s going to lead me closer to God.”
That seems to be the mantra for every young, single Christian in the world today. I admit that I have said and thought similar things before. I know what it’s like to yearn for someone who matches your values and your passion for Jesus. I know what it’s like to want to find a person to be with that shares your same standards as a Christian. All of those things are great and show that you are serious about your faith.
However, as I’ve grown in my faith I’ve realized that there are quite a few flaws in the statement above.
1. You have to lead yourself.
The only way you’re going to grow closer to God is if you actively make the effort. This means reading your Bible, taking notes during sermons and actually re-reading them, spending time in prayer and worship, and going to church.
I know what you’re thinking; another well-known catchphrase of this generation is: “But I don’t have anyone to go to church with me.”
It’s understandable why not a lot of people go to church alone; it can be intimidating and uncomfortable. But many times in our walk with Jesus, if you’re uncomfortable then it probably means you’re right where He wants you. So go to church alone or ask a family member or friend to go with you, meet new people, and get connected. Because the fact of the matter is this: you’ll never grow if you don’t step out of your comfort zone. That’s what people mean when they say faith is blind. Faith is taking the next step without knowing whether there’s solid ground ahead, but trusting that The Lord will equip you.
After all, what did King David do in a time of great distress? He “strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6).
King David took it upon himself, despite all odds, to say: instead of staying in my sorrow I’m going to walk forward and choose growth. If no one else will build me up or encourage me, then I’ll do it.
So step out. Look to Jesus and lead yourself in reading scripture and in times of prayer and worship. Attend church; you can definitely find a pastor or mentor there to put yourself under, and they will help guide you. But it takes that first step to get yourself there.
2. No one is going to make you a disciple.
Some of you must be thinking: “But isn’t that what makes a disciple… a disciple? Doesn’t someone have to inspire and choose them?”
What did Jesus say in Matthew 28:19?
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…”
And what is that also known as?
The Great Commission.
Not “The Some Commission”; The Great Commission!
This means that not just pastors are called to disciple people. Not just prophets are called to disciple people. Not just evangelists are called to disciple people; we are all called to make disciples of each other.
Isn’t it funny how we think God can only minister through certain people with certain titles?
Did Jesus say: “Preachers and pastors and evangelists and all those people go, the rest of you wait here”?
Did He say: “You guys wait to be inspired and chosen by someone and then go”?
You know, I was wrong when I said that no one is going to make you a disciple. Because someone already has: Jesus. He is our inspiration. He is why we go. Jesus has already chosen you.
The question is: will you choose Him back?
You are a disciple, so go.
3. You can’t live through someone else’s relationship with God.
You can pray with, go to church with, and read The Bible with your significant other, but it doesn’t mean a thing unless you yourself are spending time alone with God.
You see, “The Holy Trinity” does not mean you, your boyfriend/girlfriend, and Jesus. Just… no.
A relationship is between two people; not multiple.
With that being said, do seek the Father together, do ground your relationship in Him, but if you or your partner do not each have a personal relationship with God, then you cannot lay a solid foundation on which both of you can stand.
You can say that your relationship is grounded in God all you want, but what do you do in your free time? Do you pray for that other person? Do you pray for yourself? Do you spend time analyzing and studying The Word of God? Do you spend time seeking Him just one-on-one?
Psalm 91:1 says: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty.”
Do you faithfully seek God in your secret place?
If you’re asking: “What is the secret place?” then take a look at Matthew 6:6: “But when you pray, go into your room, and, closing the door, pray to your Father, Who is in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open.”
Your secret place is somewhere you can go where it’s quiet and where you can seek The Lord by yourself. Where you can pray, worship, get on your knees, weep, or whatever you do that brings you closer to Him. You experience the most growth when it’s just you and Him spending time together.
Pastor Chris Estrada once preached a message on the fire of God and he said: “Don’t steal other people’s fire.”
Bottom line: you aren’t saved by association. You are not covered by someone else’s relationship with God. Walking with someone in Christ does not mean letting them do all the leading and discipling while they drag you along.
First, you lead yourself, then you help lead each other.
4. You cannot fully trust and rely on anyone but Jesus.
Yes, you’re supposed love your neighbor as you love yourself and pour into and lift up others, but let’s face it:
Sometimes, people suck.
They lie to us, they gossip about us, they break promises, they break our hearts, and they let us down.
So why would you put your entire trust in something as fragile and imperfect as man when you can fully rely on the One who is blameless and who doesn’t know how to be anything other than loving and steadfast?
You can’t trust someone to lead you in the right direction 100% of the time because they go through stuff too; they cry, they say things they don’t mean, they don’t always know the correct answer, and they too think things they shouldn’t at times; they’re human. There’s no such thing as a perfect leader because they all have their moments of weakness just like we do. Do not put others on a pedestal because they will surely fall.
You can always trust Jesus. He’s the Son of God, yet He knows the struggle of not letting your flesh reign over your spirit. He’s never sinned, yet He experienced every emotional and physical pain in the world. He knows you. He loves you. It is not a mystery to Him why you are beautiful. He is all-knowing, all powerful; He can do anything.
Isn’t that who you should put your faith in? Isn’t that who you should fully rely on to lead you?
Here’s the last portion of the letter where I address any further comments/questions some of you might have:
“But I don’t like who I am when I’m single.”
In a devotional published by Just Joy Ministries, it talks about something called: “The Posture of the Wait.” It reads:
“Prayer changes me. I am a better person when I pray. My family likes me better when I pray while I wait. When I pray, I make wiser decisions and am a nicer, kinder version of myself. Perhaps the reason you don’t like yourself during moments of emotional outrage is because you have not experienced the power of the posture of the wait. The most powerful people I know are men and women of God who love to wait on their knees. Kneeling is not a foreign, difficult position for these history changing people because they understand that people who actually pray are the beneficiaries of heaven’s power in their everyday lives.”
Maybe you don’t like who you are when you’re single because you don’t take the time to grow and mature yourself in Him.
“I can’t read The Bible because I don’t understand it.”
The awesome thing about your spirit is that even when your mind can’t comprehend The Word of God, your spirit drinks it in. Pray for wisdom, comprehension, and a clear mind.
My youth pastor once said this: “Maybe the reason why you don’t recognize Jesus when He’s standing right in front of you is because you don’t spend time reading The Word so you don’t know what He looks or sounds like.”
You can’t grow or become more knowledgeable in scripture if you don’t read it.
“I want to grow. I want to go deeper. It just seems like nothing is working.”
Press in harder. Spend more time in worship, read your Bible more often, get on your knees, pray without ceasing, because while you’re screaming at God saying: “I want more!” He’s yelling right back: “So do I!”
You’re not waiting on God; He’s waiting on you.
He’s ready. Are you?
(P.S. “Blessed and favored by God are those who keep His testimonies, and who seek Him and long for Him with all their heart.”