This past weekend while I was watching an international soccer game a commercial came on at the half that really intrigued me. It was for a Christian dating website and what really struck me was the last thing the narrator said. He boldly declared to the viewing audience, “Sometimes we wait for God to make the next move, when God is saying the next move is yours.” First I laughed, and then I sat back and thought about that statement for a bit. Is it true, are lots of “singles” running around because they just aren’t proactive enough, or because they haven’t heard the voice of God?
Let me start this by coming clean and stating that I am one of those “Christian singles” that this website is geared toward. As a single in Christian circles, pressure for marriage comes from all directions, and with this pressure comes varying degrees of advice – some great, some not so much. So in writing this I’m not trying to offer advice on the issue of dating and Christianity. There are many great books written by authors much wiser than I out there that give advice and weigh the merits of dating and relationships in our context. I just want to offer my observations as a 26-year-old single, the target demographic of the commercial.
The statement that God is waiting for my move can’t solely apply to marriage. It also permeates every facet of a believer’s walk. If God’s waiting on me to make a move for a wife, then why not for a job, or a relocation? In thinking about this statement I’ve constantly circled back to the words of Christ in John 15:7 – 8. “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” So often we confuse our rugged individualism, independence and gumption with spirituality. We subscribe to the notion that God helps those who help themselves, hanging onto those very words as though they were a profound biblical truth. God is not a passive observer of our lives, He does not sit in heaven popcorn in hand, anxiously waiting to see whether we will turn to the right or to the left. There are no what ifs with God. He is the author of time; meaning He is in the past, He is in the future and He is in the now, simultaneously. The days of our lives were mapped out far before we were even a thought in the minds of our parents. Seeing God as a co-author with us to our lives strips God of his omnis – omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence – and elevates us into the realm of the controller of the universe. That’s where my problem with the statement lies, that in the context which it is given it very much asserts a fallacy, that we are on par with God.
As we further meditate on the words of Christ in John 15, and couple with that the words of James 4:3, “You ask and you do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions,” one realization has to be made, that for what we ask to be granted, it has to be aligned completely with the will of God over our lives. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us the heart is deceitful, and the only way to counter the deceit of the heart is to abide in the love of Him whose heart is pure and undefiled. When our desires flow seamless from the heart of the One we are bound to in love, then those desires are granted and they glorify our Maker.
God is always making the moves. He moved to create the world, perfect and spotless. He knew that sin would enter the world even before He created it and moved to set in motion a redemption story. He moved to send His Son to die on the cross to reconcile us to Himself. He moved to give us, believers in Christ, the faith to believe by the grace afforded us by the cross. God doesn’t stop moving. He moves us to delight in Him, obey Him and seek Him. God always initiates, we are the responders. The responsibility of man is our response to the evidences of God. So even in the realm of dating, God initiates by laying that attraction on our hearts and then He invites us in to take part in the glorious gift of pursuit and marriage. We are unable to snatch control from His hands. We can’t blind side Him, He authored our story, our life.
I didn’t really answer the question, “Is it my move next?” mainly because there’s a deeper issue. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you,” Matthew 6:33. Wife, job, kids, house, health, the list is endless. God moves us to Himself, He awakens desires in us as we draw nearer to Him. God is always faithful, always compassionate. He’ll make the moves, and He’ll compel us to respond.