When I was a young adult, I wanted to find the man of my dreams. I wanted to meet him, marry him and begin our life together.
I added this request to my already-growing prayer list. I prayed for his heart, his soul, his work ethic and his sense of humor. I asked God to make me the kind of woman I should be and to make him the man he should be.
Above all, I began living as one who was spoken for.
It didn't matter that I had not yet met him; I knew he existed, and he deserved my faithfulness no matter what.
Of course, the questions arose in my mind: "Well, if you're acting like your taken, won't you miss him when you meet him? How will you know if you've found him?"
I didn't know the answers to those questions, but I decided to leave those things up to God.
It's pretty natural for a 20-year-old to look, to flirt and to draw attention to herself. But my heart was taken, both by God and the man He had for me. Taking all of my affections and giving them wholly to God and trusting Him with the desires of my heart made my singleness one of the sweetest seasons in my life.
Eventually, I met my husband and married him, and after that year of prayer and single-minded devotion, I appreciated his presence in my life all the more.
Jesus longs for our single-minded devotion as well. He is jealous for our affections, and He desires that we live, breathe and act as one who is spoken for.
How often do we tuck our "Christianity" in our back pocket because it doesn't fit in with certain crowds?
Or maybe we are not that blatant. Maybe we just care too much about others' opinions of us—and by doing so, we chase after their affections in hopes that we will be understood or appreciated.
Maybe our gift set elevates us in a certain walk of life and people put us on a pedestal. Now, we can't control what other people do, but how about our own response? Have we used the gifts God has given us to stroke our own egos?
God is a jealous God. He poured gifts into us that we might bring glory to His name. He set His affections upon us that we might enjoy times in His presence, accept His forgiveness for our sin and be empowered to make a difference in a desperate world.
God jealously longs for us—that when we speak, the world will know that we are loved because we love in a way that's out of this world.
God jealously longs for us—that the choices we make will reflect a heart that is set on bringing heaven to earth (may Your kingdom come to earth, as it is in heaven ... ).
God jealously longs for us—that when we pray, we pray from a place that reflects our knowledge of what we posses in Him.
Jesus says this to us: "Abide in Me. Love Me. Walk with Me. Listen to My heart. Tend to the things I care about. Speak up for those who have no voice. Love those who are difficult to love. When people think you're better than you are, humble yourself. When people knock you down, trust Me to lift you up. Set your affections on Me, and I will give you the desires of your heart. You will have an open heaven over you, and the world will know that I belong to you and you belong to Me."
Susie Larson the author of Your Beautiful Purpose (Bethany House Publishers). She is also a speaker and radio host for KTIS in Minnesota and Focus on the Family. Visit Susie's website at susielarson.com.