Greetings MOL Family!
Our opening quotation is a tremendous statement from the testimony of Jesus, that we can meditate on for eternity and never exhaust…
According to God’s Choosing
According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. – Ephesians 1:4
God chose us in Christ. When? Before the foundation of the world. Before He made the world, He thought about us and planned for us. That’s why He made the world. It was us He was thinking about, not the world. The world is just a place for us to live in. God didn’t just plan that we should be, that we should live, that we should exist. He planned the details of our lives.
Each has his place in the eternal plan of heaven. Each is to work in cooperation with Christ for the salvation of souls. Not more surely is the place prepared for us in the heavenly mansions than is the special place designated on earth where we are to work for God. – Messages to Young People, pg. 219
There is a special place where we are to work for God. That’s just as sure as there is a special place in Heaven for us. Do you know who is going to take you to it? Christ, Himself. When He left this world, He said, “I go to prepare a place for you.”
Oh, thank God it will not be some great pile of housing projects. They will not look up my name and find a number. No. There will be a special place that has been prepared for me. God planned that for me before He ever made this world. And while He is getting the place ready for me, He is getting me ready for the place. Isn’t that a wonderful thing?
There is something else that is just as certain. It is a special place designated on earth for you. Are you special? Yes. Wouldn’t it be a shame to miss it? Most people spend their lives missing it. Very few people ever do the thing they were born for. That is why there is so much unhappiness, restlessness, discontent, frustration.
Let’s see why it is that so few people find that special place:
O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. – Jeremiah 10:23
Can’t I direct my own steps? Well, if I do, I won’t do a good job of it. God gives me choice; but if I try to direct my steps, if I try to choose my way, and decide the next step to take, I will bungle. Why is that? Because it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. God never made us to run without Him. He never made a plan that way. Just as an automobile will not run without gasoline, you and I were never made to run without God. Do you believe that? Do you really? Then if you want to fit into the particular place God made you for, you will be looking for guidance and direction. Let’s read it:
In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. – Proverbs 3:6
Do you mean God is willing to direct me? Does He want to? And He planned it all out when? Before the foundation of the world. What a shame for me to throw all that aside and run on as if nothing had ever happened and simply choose my own way. There is no subject in all human experience where this guidance is needed more and is sought less than the question of courtship and marriage – finding a mate.
In preparing for this class my heart was very happy. I’ll tell you why. I know something. I am just as sure of it as I can be. Somebody going through this lesson is going to have a happy home because of what you will learn in this class. These foundational principles have existed for a long time. They are as old as Heaven, as old as eternity, and the seeds that have been planted will spring up and become trees and bear fruit. It works. They are the principles of God!
God has made a wonderful plan for your life. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Will you let Him? The purpose of this class and the next few lessons are to help you learn the principles that ensure safe guidance in this important area of choosing a life companion.
“Marriage is something that will influence and affect your life both in this world and in the world to come. A sincere Christian will not advance his plans in this direction without the knowledge that God approves his course.” – Adventist Home, pg. 43
What does knowledge mean? ‘To know’. Well, do you think a person can know? This is mockery unless we can. A sincere Christian will not advance his plans in this direction without the knowledge that God approves his course.
He will not want to choose for himself, but will feel that God must choose for him. – Ibid
Oh, what a wonderful attitude! Nine out of ten people today are not thinking of God. But of those who are, many have not grasped the great fact that God has already planned this before they were ever born. It isn’t something we have to hatch out, invent, or figure out for ourselves. God has it all planned. He planned it before the world was. He is planning a special place for us in Heaven, and in this world.
Tell me, friends, can you imagine God planning your life before the world was, and planning a special place for you in heaven, and planning a special place in His work for you here, and paying no attention to what companion you have? That would be impossible. If God has a special place for me in His work, and He has a special place for some young woman who is to help me in His work, that has to be thought out and planned by God before either of us were born. So, we are dealing with a wonderful fact that God is in the business of working out in human lives His divine plan. And the sincere Christian will not want to choose for himself.
God’s Divine Plan
Tell me, would you be willing for God to choose for you? Are you sure? Or would you say, Let me see first? There is the story of a young man in the Bible who was so fully sold on these principles that he was willing for his father to send his aged servant on a long journey to find a wife for him. That young man’s name was Isaac. The girl’s name was Rebekah. My point in mentioning that is not because that particular pattern is the pattern to follow. God has a thousand ways of working things out. My point is, are you willing for God to choose? You say, I think I know.
We read in Jeremiah 10 that the way of man is not in himself. It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. If you think you know, then that is proof that you don’t know. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. It’s possible for a sincere Christian to be mistaken. Oh, yes, fully mistaken – thinking something that isn’t so at all in these matters, and be perfectly sincere about it. How much we need the guidance of God. Can we have it? Oh, yes. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall what? Direct thy paths.
I want you to think of two great reasons for letting God choose for us. In the first place, I don’t know enough to choose for myself. In the second place, I want to please God. Either one of those would be reason enough; but if you put them together, you have something tremendous. “He will not want to choose for himself, but will feel that God must choose for him.” What a wonderful principle.
A prudent wife is from the Lord. – Proverbs 19:14
Where does a good wife come from? From the Lord. Tell me, if here is a young man who is seeking a wife from the Lord, what would the Lord need to have? Some girl who belongs to Him. You can’t give away what you don’t have, can you? Just as there are not very many young men who are looking to the Lord to settle these questions, to solve these problems, there aren’t very many girls who are so fully given to the Lord that the Lord could give them to anyone.
Dear Sisters, you have to belong to God –body, soul and spirit– for God to give you to someone.
“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” – Proverbs 18:22
What do you have to do to find something? Look for it. Seek it. And don’t miss the point. If a prudent wife is from the Lord, where are you going to look? To the Lord. That is what is indicated in the text. The Lord is in the business of giving favors to those who seek Him. That’s the thing. It isn’t a matter of going window shopping or any other kind of shopping. That isn’t the way. The world does not know any better. They have a lot of window shopping and other kinds of shopping. But we are studying Heaven’s divine plan for the Christian home.
Right here is as good a time as any to answer a question, because somebody is thinking about it and somebody will be thinking about it. Somebody is thinking, Do you mean that there is just one person in the whole world that I am supposed to marry, and that I could not make a success with anybody else?
When you word it that way, I would have to say yes and no. To answer the last part, there are probably hundreds of people with whom you could make a reasonable success in marriage. Two people who are Christians, if they find themselves married and will make a reasonable attempt to make a success of it, they can. God is in the business of helping anyone to make a success if they will let Him.
I would not want to leave the impression that a person is a hopeless failure if he finds himself married to somebody and wonders if that is the one and only that was planned from eternity. No. Sister White wrote about a young woman who found herself married to a young man who was really a child of the devil. Sister White said that unless he got converted this world was all he would ever have. And Sister White said, concerning that young woman, that her marriage was a deception of the devil, yet she should make the best of it.
So, if even a marriage that was a deception of the devil, if people can make the best of that, then I say to any couple, there is a way for you to make a glorious success, if you will. But having said that, I come back to the point that not more surely is the place prepared for us in the heavenly mansions than is the special place designated on earth where we are to work for God. And if I am willing, from childhood and youth on, to be guided by God, He will guide me not into simply something that will “work,” but He will guide me into the greatest thing in the
universe, the very best job for me in all the universe, and the very best companion for me in all the universe. I know it. There is no question about it. And it is that glorious ideal that I want you to experience.
Oh, what a shame to camp in the lowlands when we can climb the heights. This is for you. How is God going to guide us in these things? You remember we read in Proverbs 3:6, in all thy ways do what? Acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.
Gird up the loins of your mind, says the apostle; then control your thoughts, not allowing them to have full scope. – Adventist Home, pg. 54
There is an awful lot of daydreaming that goes on. Boys thinking about girls, and girls thinking about boys. Dreaming about this one and that one. A lot of it comes from love stories and movies and TV and sentimental songs and conversation. We need to have our minds free from all that. We are dealing with something way above all that. We are dealing with the wonderful fact of divine guidance. And what we do isn’t to let our minds run on this one and that one and this one and that one. We need to keep our thoughts girded up. When God’s time comes, He can direct us to the one.
The thoughts may be guarded and controlled by your own determined efforts. Think right thoughts, and you will perform right actions. You have, then, to guard the affections, not letting them go out and fasten upon improper objects. Jesus has purchased you with His own life; you belong to Him; therefore He is to be consulted in all things, as to how the powers of your mind and the affections of your heart shall be employed. – Ibid
Before I spend any of my money, what shall I do? Before I spend any of the kind of love we are studying about, what shall I do? Look to Jesus. “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Will He do it? Oh, yes. This is a wonderful paragraph we have just read. I hope you will study it and meditate on it and pray over it. It’s a wonderful thing to know that God can help us to control our thoughts.
You who are single, unless you learn to control your thoughts before you are married, you will have a hard time keeping your marriage vows. The time to learn to control your thoughts and affections and feelings is before you are married. In every step, from the single life to the married life, God is to be consulted, and He will direct your paths. Will He do it? Do you believe it?
God has prepared a special place for each of us to work with Him. May His will be done, as we strive to cooperate with His plans!
Don’t forget to Invite a friend, as we -Continue on to the next study-
Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?
- Country Living
- Courtship & Marriage
- The Christian Home
- Child Guidance
- Army of Youth
- The School of Health
- Other Present Truth Studies
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.