One of the things that I struggle with is dating. All aspects of it. I wrote a blog before about 7 things I learned from dating after 30. I must say that I’m still learning. SLOWLY but surely. One of my biggest struggles is determining whether I am acting on the Will of God or my own personal preferences and desires. Sometimes it’s tough to know the difference. I find myself questioning, “am I being too hard on people?” “Should I give this person another chance?” Pure and utter confusion that leaves me with sense of anxiety and uncertainty. I know that the Bible says that God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), but more often than not, I’m not sure if it is confusion caused by the devil or caused by me.
I recently met with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. When he walked in, I said to myself, “something is different.” I looked him over, and assessed that he had lost some weight. “That must be it,” I reasoned. As we began talking, I felt like I was talking to a complete stranger. Albeit we were never super close, this was not the same person I knew before. He was speaking differently – not in his tone, but in his words. The things he was saying were not the things he was saying before. The things he was previously interested in were no longer the same. As we delved deeper into the conversation he shared that he had been growing his relationship with God. THAT’S what is different.
It took me back to my own life. People that knew me before will tell you that I’m not the same person that I was. Truly changing WITH God is noticeable. It was in that moment, God revealed a few things to me:
- When a person has changed, they will be different. Sounds obvious, right? But it’s something that I struggle with. Sometimes I allow a person’s words to convince me of something that their actions do not validate. I give second, third, fourth, and 20th chances based on a person SAYING they are different, or saying that they are sorry. You don’t have to guess if a person has changed, they will be different. They won’t be perfect, but they will be different. True change is believable because it is real.
- You can’t truly be touched by God and not change. Everybody goes to Church. Everybody loves the Lord. Or at least they say… There is a difference between knowing the Lord, believing in the Lord, and being obedient to His will for your life. The former is surface level, the latter takes it deeper. I’ve been missing the depth. One thing that stood out in my conversation with my friend is his change in attitude towards his career. Since we’d talked, he’d transitioned into the career that he’d wanted so badly. But when we talked that day, he was ready to change careers. It didn’t fit him anymore. He felt that it wasn’t something that was honoring God. He’d stopped dating people he wasn’t interested in. Money was no longer top priority. WHO IS THIS GUY? Someone touched by the Lord. Those striving to walk right with the Lord will feel his convictions. The sense of “this is right” or “this is wrong” will guide their decisions. They’ll speak differently, they have different priorities, they’ll behave differently. Again, not perfect. But different.
- When it is God, you will know. For some strange reason, I have this belief that God will allow me to miss out on “the one.” I feel that he may slip through the cracks. I feel that it is something that I will need to work hard to figure out. I knew instantaneously that my friend was different. Without saying a word, there was something about him that I could not put my finger on. And that’s how God works. He guides our minds to what is of Him. He sends His Holy Spirit to tell us which direction to go. So I realize that whether the confusion is caused by me or dating the wrong person – it is not of God, and I should stop, separate myself and seek clarity.
I loved this chair. Stupidiotic – I thought of the quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” We can’t keep proceeding into our relationships “business as usual.” Now is not the time. We have too much work to do to be held up in situations that don’t honor Him, and don’t bring HIM out of us.
Removing the “Stupidiotic” reminds me that God upholds me with HIS righteous hand (Isaiah 41:10). He will never fail me. He will never guide me into situations that are not of Him with the intention of leaving me there. So when I don’t feel His presence with someone, I can rest assured that His presence doesn’t dwell there.
2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.“ Freedom… synonymous with liberation, release, deliverance.. With freedom comes peace of mind.
Verse 18 goes on to say, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” A person filled with the spirit will be different.
When it’s God, you will know.