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Unsurrendered Love Lives...
By Dot McGinnis
In I Peter 3:15, we are admonished to live a surrendered life; one that will "set apart Christ", as Lord in our hearts. This means we're to allow Him to exercise His Lordship over every area of our life.
Perhaps one of the hardest things for an unmarried Christian to yield, to the Lord, is their love life. Scripture abounds with examples of men who were unwilling to surrender themselves, completely, to the Lord, in this area, and how they suffered because of it. Romans 15:4 says, "Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us "
Let's look into the lives of Solomon, David, Samson, and Jacob (men, with unsurrendered love lives) and see what God would have us to learn from their experience.
Moreover, let's examine our own lives as well, to discover whether or not we have truly surrendered our all.
First of all, consider Solomon. God gave Solomon a discerning heart that enabled him to distinguish between right and wrong. To this, He added great insight and a breath of understanding as measureless as the sand of the shore. The Bible says there never was nor will there ever be a man with the wisdom of Solomon. (I Kings 3:9-12; 4:29-31).
Though he was wisest of men, he was still very foolish. For, he allowed his involvement with heathen women to take precedence over what he knew to be right. God tried to warn him. But, he wouldn't listen. He chose, instead, to love women who led him astray, turning his heart away from God.
Solomon reaped a bitter harvest because of the rebellion he sowed. The affect of his transgression was felt not only by Solomon, but also by his son; an innocent victim of his father's sin. Read about it in I Kings 11:1-13.
Next, we have David. David was a man with a heart toward God. He shared a relationship with Him that was unique. They had a closeness and an intimacy we should all strive to attain. God was pleased with David, calling him a "man after His own heart." David, however, when it came to the affairs of the heart, never even considered that God may desire the right to exercise His Lordship even there. He had an adulterous affair with Bath-sheba, arranged to have her husband killed, and paid for it all with the death of his son (II Samuel 11:1-27 12:7-23).
How his heart must have broke when Nathan the prophet confronted him with his sin, giving him this prophetic message from God: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? (II Samuel 7b-9a).
Then, we have Samson. Samson also teaches us about unsurrendered love. Samson had been separated unto the Lord since birth. He was a man God appointed to judge His nation, Israel. The Spirit of God came upon him in power; empowering him with an unusual amount of strength. He was strong and yet weak, at least whenever Delilah was concerned. Because of his attraction to her, Samson paid a price.
Her love caused him to suffer physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He suffered physically because he lost the sight of both of his eyes. He suffered emotionally because he was betrayed by the woman he cherished most. He suffered spiritually because he lost his relationship with the Lord. Samson's unsurrendered love life cost him in every area of his life (Judges 16:4-21).
Finally, there was Jacob. Jacob had a deep appreciation for spiritual things. He longed to gain possession of the birthright, the blessing, and all that went with them. They were so important to him that he schemed and connived, deceiving even those closest to him, just so he could have them as his own. (Genesis 25:29-34; 27:1-40).
He got what he wanted. He would be the one to inherit the promises, given to Abraham and Isaac, in Genesis 22:15-18. But, it was going to be accomplished according to God's plan, not his. And what was God's plan for Jacob? It was for him to have Leah. The only problem was, Jacob wanted Rachel. Still, it was going to be Leah who would bear him a son who would one day head the Levitical priesthood. And it would be Leah who would bring forth Judah, a son who would head the tribe of Judah, the tribe from which the promised Messiah would come (Genesis 35:23).
Jacob got what he wanted however, he did receive Rachel as his wife but it cost him. He paid a high price for her, because from this day forward there would no longer be any peace in his home. There was always to be a constant bickering between his wives, each vying for his attention, both envious of the other. When Jacob was given Leah as his bride, he"d felt as if he"d been deceived, when in reality it was only God's way of keeping His promise to him.
Jacob was fascinated by Rachel. The Bible says she was "lovely in form and beautiful." Leah was "tender-eyed and had delicate features." It was God's perfect will for Jacob to have Leah. But, his desire was for Rachel--she appealed to his flesh.
What about you? Have you surrendered your love life to the Lord? Are you allowing Him to have His say concerning whom you date, or whom you marry?
Maybe you're like Solomon. God may have already given you a definite 'no' concerning a relationship, yet you've chosen to ignore His voice; willing, instead, to suffer the consequences. Learn from Solomon and always remember, when you play tug-of-war with the Lord, you'll always come out the loser.
Or, perhaps you're like David once was. Ninety-nine percent sold out to the Lord. yet still clinging to that one percent; refusing to acknowledge His Lordship in this area. We need to always remember that God wants our all, or nothing at all. (Revelation 3:15-16), and learn from David's experience.
Or, maybe you're like Samson; so caught up in a present love affair that your relationship with the Lord has suffered to the point where it is almost non-existent. We need to always remember Samson and never let anything, or anyone, interfere with our walk with the Lord.
Or, could it be that you're like Jacob was, right in the middle of the will of God and yet too blind to see it? Your eyes constantly drawn to only those "lovely in form while God may be trying to say to you, "Look, with me on the heart, that's what is really important; the hidden person of the heart." (I Samuel 16:7, I Peter 3:3-6). We need to learn from Jacob and seek to discover God's perfect will for our lives, instead of demanding His permissive will.
Bear in mind that all of these men were spiritually strong and growing in the Lord. They all had a close relationship with Him. They all loved Him, wholeheartedly. Yet, they were all unsuccessful in relinquishing their love lives to Him. Notice, also, that both David and Solomon were married men. So, even those who are married must, still, guard against having unsurrendered love.
I pray that we can learn from the mistakes these men made and I thank God that we have a forgiving Father, full of mercy and grace: One that will give us a second chance when we fall, if only we promise to once again "set apart Christ" as Lord in our hearts. (I Peter 3:15).
by Dot McGinnis
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dot is a poet and a published author from Pennsylvania who has served as assistant editor for the Christian newspaper Majesty. She is retired yet continues serving the Lord via the Heavenly Inspirations Ministries.