Friday, April 1, 2011

Lent Day 21: Forsaking all others

"Will you forsake all others and cleave only unto him/her?" asks the minister in the traditional marriage ceremony.

We expect to love this one person for the rest of our lives. Why else would a family invest in the expense, energy, and performance of a wedding? Why would a groom get his finances in order, invest in a home, or spend a fortune on dates? Meanwhile, his bride spends every waking minute thinking about the ceremony, the reception, the bridesmaids...

We think "this one" will meet our emotional, physical, and other needs. After all, he or she is practically perfect. The man has pursued his love and can now rest content that she belongs to him. The woman has captured a man's affections and with a bit of tweaking, will have the ideal mate. Yet for some it takes only hours for disenchantment to set in. Those habits - toothbrush, sleeping, clothing (on the floor or on the spouse), eating - "drive me crazy!!!" A lifetime of this? Oh, no!

God often pictures his relationship with us as a marriage. Marriage requires an ongoing series of accommodations. So, why would the adjustments in our commitment to God be any easier than a marriage between peers? And why do we assume our allegiance to Him comes naturally or automatically?

My walk with God keeps growing deeper, but not without pain and setting aside other relationships and desires. He demands sole allegiance, while I keep getting sidetracked by the love of things, of ideas, and of goals I'd like to achieve... sometimes without considering what He planned for our relationship.

Forsaking all others, I promised when I began to follow Christ. May it some day be completely true! 

Read more:
*I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. Psalm 139:14-16 NKJV

*Jesus: "The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete." John 3:29 NIV

*Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Rev. 19:7 NIV

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