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Devotionals

The Danger of Over-Spiritualizing the "Gift" of Singleness -- Part One

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"God Does Not Impose a Call to Singleness. He works within the heart and mind so that the person gracefully embraces the honor that is being offered. The option to decline the offer is always on the table. This was how God approached me when He called me to stay single. He offered it as a grace, an honor and a blessing, while making it clear that there would be no remonstration or disappointment on His part should I say no. The unexpected result was that it actually freed me to say yes. Do not let the eunuch say, "I am only a dry tree." For thus says the Lord: To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, and choose the things that please Me, and take hold of My covenant, to them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, and a name better than that of sons and of daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off (Isa. 56:3b-5)." -- David Kyle Foster

This is why we do not make doctrine out of our personal experience. It is dangerous. David Kyle Foster is not a eunuch. If he feels that he has no issues with lust then he is in complete obedience to the key verses regarding the gift of singleness. There was simply no need to create all of this side drama and window dressing. In doing so he actually suggests that it would ok to say no to God! That God would have to cajole someone into accepting this gift. Beloved, you know if there is any lust in your life. This is not rocket science but unfortunately the church has mystified it to the point that we have to create doctrine out of the whole cloth of our imagination.

"God Works a Physical Miracle in a Person's Body so He or She can Physically and Emotionally Endure the Peculiar Nature of a Call to Singleness. For those who will eventually marry, this miracle is of course, temporary. Most refuse to ask for such a miracle because they fear that this quenching of sexual desire will be permanent. However, God is God and can bring those passions back in the same manner He took them away, and at the right time. For the person called to be permanently single, however, this is a great grace that most definitely should be sought. For them, God brings about a mystical completion of their sexuality whereby they are espoused to God and completed (or integrated) by Him in the way that healthy married couples complete one another. One caveat, however, is that such a miracle must be sought persistently and with faith. It doesn't happen automatically." -- David Kyle Foster

Ok beloved this is how you know someone is simply making up their own doctrine. Where in the key verses or any of the surrounding context is there a "temporary" call to singleness? The state of a eunuch is quite permanent. The further romanticizing of Jesus is equally disturbing and we often see this dynamic also played out among young churched women. Jesus is my only lover and no one can do me like Jesus are just spiritual expressions of carnal lust. Nowhere in the bible does God speak about the "mystical completion" of one's sexuality. We need to stop mystifying what God has made plain. If you find yourself devoid completely of lust, you might consider what Paul says about singleness. If not it is better to marry to avoid the burning passion of human desire. Yes, it is that simple.

"God Gives the 'Called' Person a Supernatural Revelation Wherein They Become Wed to Him and Thereby Receive Into Themselves the Completion of His Image Normally Achieved in Holy Matrimony with a Spouse. To further the last point and begin this one, God gave me a two-part revelation that brought with it a knowing or certainty of its special meaning. The initial revelation was not sufficient for such a major life decision, however, so I asked for additional confirmation. Here's how it all came down: One night, as I lay sleeping, God gave me a dream wherein I was in attendance at a wedding in heaven. Suddenly, I realized that I was the one getting married. A beat later, I realized I was marrying God. It floored me. because I had never considered that such a thing would happen until the summing up of all things in heaven when we, the body of Christ, are wed to our Lord and Savior. Later, I was to learn that such a dream or vision is quite common among Catholic priests and nuns who sense a call to permanent chastity and celibacy. Upon asking the late Leanne Payne about my dream, she replied that everyone should have such a vision, even before marrying an earthly spouse, because understanding their marriage with God is what makes for a healthy marriage on earth. Still needing further confirmation that this was a call to marry God alone, I sought Him further. I was grateful that He had first healed me of the many broken places that would have created havoc in any marriage. But now I needed more. Several weeks later, I was flipping through a Judaica catalog and came across a ring. Thinking nothing of it, I kept flipping through the catalog, when the voice of the Lord spoke to my spirit saying, "Go back. It's our wedding ring!" I returned to the picture of the ring and noticed that it said in Hebrew letters, "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine." (Song 6:3). Then I remembered that the word "beloved" in Hebrew is "David" --my name! God's confirmations are always so unexpectedly perfect. And so, the confirmation of my permanent call carried with it a knowing and certainty because of the manner in which it came." -- David Kyle Foster

Ugh. Where do we begin? First is the continuing error of making doctrine out of your experience. Just because Foster thinks this happened to him does not mean it has to happen to everyone else that is single. The call for confirmation is fine but the solution is entirely pagan in nature. So Foster has marriage to the Lord on his mind and lo and behold -- he dreams about it! What are the chances of that happening? Pretty good actually. We often tend to dream about what is on our mind. So he has a wildly unbiblical dream about marrying God. Why unbiblical? Does the bible say Paul married God? Did it say that Peter had a wedding ceremony with Jesus? Of course not. Then he actually confirms how unbiblical this is by offering the comparable dream of compromised Catholic priests as proof! His final offer of "confirmation" is that while flipping through a catalogue the Lord "spoke to his spirit" that a wedding ring for sale was actually their wedding ring and because the word for beloved is David, as in King David, he makes the final commitment. Did you get all of that? He already believes that he is supposed to be single so he dreams that he marries God and finds confirmation in comparable visions with Catholic priests and a catalogue wedding ring. This is not how we do doctrine beloved. This is superstitious paganism, pure and simple.

"God Provides Multiple Confirmations of the Call. Sometimes God will use a prophetic word from one or more Christian leaders, independent of each other. He also orchestrates divine appointments in Scripture, speaking to you through various related and seemingly unrelated portions. Additionally, God might engineer comments from strangers, friends or in sermons that gently bear a consistent message on the matter. He may arrange for unexpected meetings with those already called to permanent celibacy in order to alleviate the fears and concerns about how it works and what it will mean for your life. God will also speak to you in your prayers, during your worship and as you meditate on His Word. Remember, God wants you to know when He has given you this gift. The only delay in communicating that to you will involve your readiness and His perfect timing. And as stated previously, it is always an invitation, not an imposition." -- David Kyle Poster

Beloved, confirmation should always come through His Word. The example of a sermon confirming is fine but I would be wary of the other references, especially God "speaking to you" during prayer, praise and meditation. It sounds pious but it is not. It opens us up to our wickedly deceitful hearts to confirm what we think we want. Again, the key scriptures are not vague. In our attempts to over spiritualize things we make them more complicated than they need be.

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