Letting God Guide Your Love Life

LETTING GOD GUIDE YOUR LOVE LIFE by Pastor Shah, Clearview Church, Henderson

lettinggodguideyourlovelifeIntroduction: Today being Valentine’s Day, I’m deviating from our series on the Sermon on the Mount and I’m preaching a message titled – “Letting God Guide Your Love Life.”

Genesis 2   18 And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” 19 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.

Overall Background: Today’s message is unlike any I have ever preached. It’s been brewing in my mind for a long time. It addresses the common misunderstanding that many people have that all God cares about is our salvation. All He wants to do is get us from hell to heaven. That’s it. Rest of the stuff like relationships and finding someone to spend the rest of our lives with is our problem. Just don’t mess up and find someone out of God’s will. Then you’re doomed! Then you are out of God’s will. Sometimes we get such messages the loudest through Christian books on dating which communicate that all this relationship stuff is way down on God’s list of priorities. What He really wants to do is draw you closer to Himself. But don’t bother Him with all that trivial stuff like finding the love of your life and finding true love. That’s so unspiritual. By the way, when they do offer some principles on dating and love, they raise a standard that is totally unrealistic and unbiblical. The world loves this. They say – “That’s perfect. You get them saved and we’ll help them find love.” Today’s message is to help clarify all this.

But before we begin, here’s a question – “do you believe that God actually cares for all your needs, even love relationships?” Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? This means that in the midst of running the universe, He is just as interested in my love life. Here’s another question – Are you saved? You need this relationship first.

4 things we will learn about letting God guide our love life:

I. GOD CARES ABOUT OUR HAPPINESS. 

Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

Background: After 7 times saying – “it is good,” “it is good,” for the first time God said, “it is not good” when He saw Adam sitting by Himself. He could have gotten on to Adam and told him to go work in the garden. He could have encouraged Him to go and explore the wonderful world He had created. He could have even told Him how much He needs to find His need for companionship in God – “Adam, I am sufficient for you.” Instead, God says – “The poor boy is lonely. He needs another person who is like him and yet different from him.” By the way, God did not leave Adam to figure things out for himself. Instead, verse 21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. In other words, God created the solution for Adam’s loneliness.

What was Adam’s response? 23 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” What Adam is saying is “Thank you God! She’s like me but she’s different.” In other words, he didn’t need another Adam – a buddy to climb Mount Everest with or go scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef, or discover the wheel. He needed someone to cuddle up with. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. That’s why marriage is between a man and a woman. No matter what the law says, that’s the truth.

Bottom Line: God cares about your need for companionship just as much as He cared about Adam’s need for companionship. Don’t listen to the lies of the Enemy that God has bigger things to worry about or God has forgotten you.

Application: Do you believe God cares about your need for companionship? Do you believe God has forgotten you? Ask Him to forgive you for not trusting Him.

II. PRAYER PLAYS A HUGE ROLE. 

Genesis 24:12 Then he said, “O LORD God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham.”

Background: Here we come across the account of how Isaac met Rebekah. Abraham sent the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all he had, to find a wife for Isaac.

Let me say something here – I feel for young people in the West, especially in America. Parents have such a hands off policy when it comes to their children finding a life partner. We have much to say about where they go to school or what sports they play or what career they choose but when it comes to dating or marriage, we leave them up the creek without a paddle. “Whoever makes them happy,” “as long as he/she treats him/her well,” and maybe something about his ethnic background. Earlier Abraham had made his servant swear to him – 3 and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; 4 but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” In a sense, they prayed. Meaning: We need to teach our kids the value of finding someone who is on the same spiritual wavelength as them. We need to pray for them and with them.

What did the servant do? When he came to the city of Nahor, he prayed – “O LORD God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham.” But he went a step further in his prayer – 14 Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, “Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’—let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.” Sounds like he is putting God to test but He’s actually looking for a sign from God. He’s looking for a young lady who will be godly enough and kind enough to give water to his camels. Sure enough – God answered his prayers and Rebekah did just that. Let me ask you – What if Rebekah had not done that? What if she had been lazy or self-centered or fooling around with her friends? We would have never heard her name. Prayer does not work in isolation from personal responsibility.

63 “And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening…” Apparently, Isaac was a deeply spiritual person. He was praying. “…and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming. Do you see how prayer is intricately woven in this account?

Application: How is your prayer life? Parents – are you praying for your children? Young people, singles – what are you praying for? Are you praying for the right one or are you praying – “God, make me the right one?”

III. LOVE IS A COMMITMENT.

Genesis 29:18 Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.”

Background: Just like Abraham had counselled his son Isaac to marry someone on the same spiritual wavelength, Rebekah had also counselled Jacob the same way and he met Rachel and fell in love with her. He loved her so much that he was willing to work 7 years for her. In other words, he was committed to her. 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.

Unfortunately, in our culture today, boys and girls bounce from one relationship to the next like bumblebees. Did you know that a bumblebee visits as many as 5,000 flowers in a single day?!! It may be great for a bumblebee but not for humans. It’s not a virtue. The world may call you a player but God looks down on it. It only reflects the emptiness of your heart. Then you know the rest of the account of how Laban tricked Jacob into marrying Rachel’s older sister. 26 And Laban said, “…we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me still another seven years.” Now Jacob served another 7 years for Rachel. How would that go in our culture of instant gratification? 14 years!

Love is a commitment. It’s not based on feelings but on facts. Jacob had found someone who had similar convictions. He fell in love with her and was willing to stay the long haul.

For e.g. When Nicole and I were engaged, her dad asked us this question – “What if tomorrow either one of you is in a serious wreck and they are no longer the person you fell in love with, what would you do? Will you be just as much in love?

Application: What do you believe about love? Is it just a feeling or is it commitment? Is it only about what makes you happy or is it about what makes the other person happy?

IV. GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS. 

Ruth 2   5 Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” 6 So the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered and said, “It is the young Moabite woman who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab.

Background: As you know, we are talking about Ruth. She was married to an Israelite living in Moab. When he died, she chose to move to Israel with her mother-in-law. Keep in mind – she was a Moabites. Moab was the land on the eastern shores of the Dead Sea. I’ve been there. They were descendants of the incestual relationship between Lot and his older daughter. The people of Israel were not to have any relations with them because they had opposed them when they came out of Egypt. Nonetheless, now she’s in Israel with her mother-in-law trying to survive and she goes into the field of a man by the name of Boaz, who shows her favour. Listen to how Ruth responds to him – 10 So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” Did you notice the humility in her words? Later, Ruth showed interest in him even though he was older than her and listen to how Boaz responded – Ruth 3:10 “Blessed are you of the LORD…For you have shown more kindness…in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich.” Just like Ruth, Boaz was also humble and he redeemed her and she became his wife. But the narrative does not end there. Ruth became the great-grandmother of King David. God does work in mysterious ways.

Application: Do you believe that God can work just as mysteriously in your life? Do you trust Him or have you given up on Him?

The greatest love story in the Bible is not Adam and Eve or Isaac and Rebekah or Jacob and Rachel or Ruth and Boaz. It is Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her…”

Jesus gave Himself for His bride the church. He is our model of how love should be. He didn’t wait for us to be perfect but He made us perfect.

Are you saved? Are you letting God guide your love life?

Keeping Intimacy in Marriage

KEEPING INTIMACY IN MARRIAGE – 1 by Pastor Shah, Clearview Church, Henderson

keepingintimacyinmarriageAs you know very well we are in our series on the Sermon on the Mount. Many of y’all have shared with me that you didn’t realize how much was packed into this simple message by Jesus. No wonder, one time pastor of Westminster Chapel G. Campbell Morgan called it “The Manifesto of the King.” This morning we begin a new miniseries from Matthew 5 titled – “KEEPING INTIMACY IN MARRIAGE.”

Matt. 5:27   “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”

Overall Background: What we just read is the 2nd of the 6 Antitheses that Jesus gave in His sermon. The first one, as you remember, was, “You have heard that it was said…‘You shall not murder…But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause…” Now the second one – “You have heard that it was said…‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. It’s amazing to me that right after raising the bar on murder, Jesus turns His attention towards adultery! I would’ve expected Jesus to raise the bar on pride or greed or faithlessness or prayerlessness. Instead, he raises the bar on marriage.

This is very important to understand: While our culture is doing all it can to degrade, downgrade, and devalue marriage, God has always tried to uphold, exalt, and honor marriage. Ever since the beginning of time human beings have tried to tear down this God-given institution of marriage. By the way, the assault has never been so intense as it is at this point in history. What is needed is a biblical, Christ centered, Holy Spirit enlightened, God honoring, world denying, Devil defying view of Marriage.

Question: What do you think about marriage? What image comes to your mind when the word “marriage” is spoken or written? Do you look at it positively or negatively? Does it bring up good emotions or bad emotions? How is your marriage right now? Where do you get your understanding of marriage? Hollywood? Washington? Media? Friends? Family? Community? If it is coming from anywhere other than the word of God, your understanding is warped/distorted/skewed. To make a marriage what it was intended to be, you need not just 2 people but 3 – man, woman, and God. To have that third person in your life, you have to come through Jesus Christ. Are you saved?

What we’re doing this morning is laying out the foundation for this series. Without the proper foundation, you will be unable to understand why Jesus raised the bar on marriage. 3 things about marriage:

I. MARRIAGE REFLECTS GOD’S IMAGE.

Genesis 1   26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Background: Before God ordained the church or any human institution He established marriage. Why did he establish marriage? Was it simply for our benefit? To enjoy each other; to have companionship; to have children; to fill the earth. Yes, He did it for those reasons but the primary reason was much more. It was to give us a glimpse of Himself.

Listen again to verse 26“Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” Did you notice how God repeatedly refers to himself in the plural? Some people have tried to argue that it is an old Hebraic construction or some Royal “Us.” Not true. If that were the case, we would see it every time that God referred to himself. Instead, when God is getting ready to give us a glimpse of Himself, He refers to Himself as “Us” and “Our.” What does that tell us about God? It tells us that God is more than one person.

But, just when you think God is multiple gods, listen again to verse 27 “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him.” Did you notice that it doesn’t say – “so God created man in their own image; in the image of God they created them. Why not? Because even though God is more than one person, he is still one in being and essence. He is still one God. It’s a mystery. We can’t really understand it but we can illustrate it. How? Ice, water, and vapor? No. Shamrock? No.

God’s illustration of Himself is the Marriage. First, God made 2 similar but distinct human beings. Listen once again to verse 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Think about it – a man and a woman are fundamentally the same but we’re also different – emotionally, physically, and physiologically. In our culture, we are relentlessly trying to neutralize these factors by psychologically brainwashing our perceptions and physically mutilating our bodies. We’re not progressing but regressing! It is not a sign of being advanced but a sign of becoming a savage or barbaric. But in God’s creation it is man and woman, same in essence but distinct in person.

That’s only part of the illustration. Listen to Genesis 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” When a man joins to a woman in marriage they are together reflecting the likeness of God. God is more than one person and yet one being and essence.

Question: Why is same-sex marriage such an abomination to God? Why does Paul refer to homosexuality as the last step on the way down? Because it fundamentally misrepresents the image of God.

For e.g. Does it bother you when people misrepresent or misunderstand you? So also it bothers God when we misrepresent Him! It makes him angry! He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because they misrepresented him.

Here’s a question – why didn’t God just come out and say, “I am Trinity – There’s father, here’s Son, and over there is the Holy Spirit. We’re three in persons but one in essence”? Why go through all this trouble with marriage? Because its like a newborn baby crying for food. What do you do? Either the mom nurse’s the baby or feeds a bottle of milk. Why don’t we just give him a baked potato with extra butter and sour cream and a nice juicy steak? That would hold him/her for a while! Because the baby is not ready for it. So also, God in His divine wisdom and plan knew that too much information would have overwhelmed us. So He revealed Himself in bite size. Just like marriage it takes times to understand and grow into the knowledge of that Oneness of God.

II. MARRIAGE IS GOD’S GIFT FOR COMPANIONSHIP.

Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

Background: Up to this point God kept saying “It was good” but now “It is not good.” Since He made us in his image, in his likeness, He knows how we function. God is Trinity. There is companionship in the Godhead between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God knew that Adam needed fellowship as well. Of course, God fellowshipped with Adam but Adam needed someone on his level. Hence, God decided to make a helper comparable to Adam. Listen to verse 19 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. Meaning: None of those animals made the cut. Adam realized that he could not connect with any of them emotionally or physically. God knew that but He wanted Adam to get it.

Genesis 2 21And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.” Adam did not know what was happening. He was asleep and thank goodness for that! If it was up to us, who knows what we would’ve come up with! 22 Then the rib (it just means a portion from his side and not necessarily a rib) which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman…” The actual word is “fashioned.” It means that the woman was built for a unique purpose. “…and He brought her to the man.”

The big question is how would Adam receive this woman. She is made from him. She is like him but she is different. Listen to Adam’s response: 23 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” Not only is Adam approving this new being, He is also demonstrating a powerful principle for all Adams to come. Eve had done nothing so far to gain Adam’s acceptance but he chose to accept her as God’s perfect gift for him.

Question: How do you accept your spouse? Husbands – do you accept your wives as God’s perfect gift for you? Wives – do you accept your husbands as God’s perfect gift for you? Do you base your acceptance on their performance? Do you base your acceptance on their past? As an act of your will, you must receive your spouse as God’s perfect gift for you. It is easier said than done. Only by the grace of God you can do that.

III. MARRIAGE FULFILLS A GREAT MYSTERY.

Ephesians 5 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her…31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Background: This is one of the most profound passages in the entire Bible. Marriage is described as a great mystery. It is compared to the relationship of Christ and the church. Just as husband is the head of the wife so also Christ is the head of the church. Just as the church is subject to Christ so also the wife should be to her own husbands.

Listen carefully – Marriage is a physical demonstration of a spiritual reality. The way I lead my life should reflect the way Christ leads the church. The way my wife submits to me is how the church should submit to Christ. Our model for marriage is not parents, grandparents, some romantic movie, some romance novel, or even our personal fantasy. Our model for marriage is Christ’s relationship to the church.

Application: What are you basing your marriage on?

This might be a tough message for some of you. You’ve been through divorce, separation, and a difficult marital situation. This message is not meant to add more guilt and pain to you. This is to remind you that the only marriage that comes to perfection is the one of Christ to His church. Even here, the only partner who is truly faithful to His part is Christ and not the church. Many times we are unfaithful, unwilling to submit, and downright ungrateful but He still loves us.

Application: No matter where you are ask God for His grace in your marriage. Are you saved?

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