Engagement is a lot of fun, but it is also a big challenge. And I don’t mean it is a challenge to be patient with the constant talk about the wedding and deciding which color schemes or specific flowers or who to invite; it is a challenge because it is a season that really addresses my spiritual walk and trust in the Lord.
Dating is all fine and dandy, but getting engaged and readying myself to be the best spiritual leader and spouse in a covenant relationship that I can’t ever get out of is a big deal. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to spend the rest of my life with anyone else, but lifelong commitment is a big decision and one I really want to be prepared for.
Throughout this process, I have been reminded of one major thing over and over: Me striving in my human nature and my own wisdom has zero comparison to the omniscience, promise, guidance and overall sovereignty of God. Every time I try to rely on my own strength or believe that my knowledge and experience can further me in life, He clearly reminds me that He is in control and should remain at the steering wheel in my thinking. Carrie Underwood knows exactly what I’m talking about in her song “Jesus Take the Wheel.”
What it comes down to is purpose. I was recently reading in Ecclesiastes and was interested in how the author (probably Solomon) was trying to figure out ultimately the purpose of life through observing its seemingly aimless cycles and inexplicable paradoxes. The author obviously has unrivaled wisdom (1:16), but he proposes that all is futile, since it is still impossible to discern life’s events fully.
The author says in Ecclesiastes 1:2-3:
“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”What advantage does man have in all his work which he does under the sun?
Romans 8:20 alludes to the same concept of life being vain because of sin, “For creation was subject to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption [of sin] into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”
If the one of the wisest men the world has ever seen (author of Ecclesiastes) couldn’t figure life out, then there is no way I could in my deficient wisdom. And I will heed his advice to enjoy life to the fullest, realizing that it is a gift of God (3:12-13); moreover, we must strive to live a life in obedience to God, recognizing that He will eventually judge all men (12:13-14.)
So is pursuing our goals and our purpose in our human nature, corrupted by sin, really worth it? Every time I have tried my way or the highway I encounter some sort of dead end, realizing everything truly is futile unless I am pursuing the Lord and His purpose for my life.
But praise the Lord that we can be set free from our slavery to sin! Yet, if we are made new in Christ, we now have a new master and reestablished purpose in our lives.
Romans 8:1-2 says:
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
And Romans 7:4 reminds us:
Therefore, my brothers, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
If we truly pursue God’s purpose for our lives, we will bear fruit for His kingdom. Although it might be hard because of our brokenness, there is still freedom in pursuing His calling. As I continue to seek and learn God’s purpose for my life and season of engagement, I encourage you to do the same in your individual walk. God’s purpose will always be better than our own purpose.