Guestpost by Katelyn Osborn
“The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord…”
(1 Corinthians 7:34)
What a topic – staying close to Jesus during our single years.
When a friend asked if I would prayerfully consider writing this post, I realized I had not given much thought lately to how to use my single years fully for God’s glory. And since I am single, I decided I needed to spend some time learning from the Lord how this life should look. After all, we want to serve the Lord to the fullest of our ability.
In 1st Corinthians 7:34 we read, “There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” Being unmarried, we have far fewer distractions than married women have. This gives us a freedom to seek to be holy both in body and in spirit.
Being holy means to be “hallowed; consecrated or set apart to a sacred use, or to the service or worship of God.” It means to be pure, good, and freed from the bondage of sin. God has mercifully freed us through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19). In our eager pursuit of His righteousness and glory, our souls will be fully satisfied. This season of life has the potential to bear fruit lasting far beyond our own lifetime! But in order to pass on a truly glorious legacy, He must be our singular focus. Our lives must be marked by loving Jesus first and laying aside every other encumbrance that would strive to take His place.
So what does this practically look like?
Let me share with you some ways the Lord has worked on my heart to focus more on Him.
Surrendering to Jesus
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
Sometimes the Lord and I are in close fellowship, and I am truly delighting in His presence. But other times the Lord will bring to light an area I have held too closely in my heart. Often it may be a good thing in itself that has become the root of my joy, satisfaction, or pursuit instead of the Lord Himself. Idols must be surrendered, which requires sacrifice. This should be done immediately – not delayed. Elisabeth Elliot once said, “A whole lot of what we call ‘struggling’ is simply delayed obedience.” These delays to surrender only set us back on the road to deeper satisfaction in Christ. So let us forsake the struggle, trust in our ultimate Victor, and yield all joyfully to Him. The reward of knowing Christ far outweighs the vain idols that we are called to surrender!
· Ask the Lord if there is anything in your life that needs to be surrendered. Write it down and pray specifically for any steps the Lord wants you to take to yield it fully to Him (see Romans 6:19 and 2 John 1:6a).
Abiding in Christ
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
I have been learning more of what the word “abiding” means with my relationship with Jesus. Throughout the day I am learning to pray and seek Him for the little things, to give thanks for blessings, to lean on His strength through difficult situations that come up, to keep Him in the forefront of my mind. This is truly a wonderful place to be, and as a bonus, we bear fruit as we abide in Him!
We can choose to continually commune with Jesus. He is already present; He never leaves or forsakes (Hebrews 13:5). He is involved in every part of our day – great and small (Proverbs 16:33). Therefore, it is possible for us to always abide mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in His Presence.
Our Lord and Lover already knows everything about us and our desires, so we can run to Him with all the small cares that crowd our days (Psalm 139:2-3). He desires to commune with us.
· One hindrance to abiding in Christ is sin in our lives. We won’t feel like walking in the light with the Lord if we are hiding darkness. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:6-7). When you notice that you have a wrong attitude or have sinned, confess and repent of it before the Lord. As we learn to walk in His ways, we will want to be with Him.
Delighting in Jesus
The Lord has been using this word to convict me. What is my greatest delight? Whatever that is, I will be pursuing it because to love something is to pursue it. Does Jesus consume our smallest tasks and constant thoughts? Jesus warned the church of Ephesus of the calamity that losing sight of their first love brings about. Christ recognized their faithfulness in so many ways – and yet they had left their first affection (Revelation 2:2-5).
· Ask the Lord to search your heart and show you where you are placing your delight. Repent of delighting in the lesser things and seek Him to delight yourself in the only One who is worthy of praise. “But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find Him, if thou seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29). So ask our faithful God to help you delight in Him!
Is Jesus Your Singular Focus?
Sisters, to delight in Christ is to love Christ. And to love Christ is to seek Christ. By God’s grace, I am learning to delight myself in Him. He alone can fulfill my deepest desires (Psalm 107:9). In Christ, I am complete (Colossians 2:9).
Please join me in delighting in and seeking Him!
Is Jesus your greatest passion? How do you cultivate a heart solely focused on Him? We’d love to hear in a comment below.
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