|Almost everyone knows what a soul mate is - a perfect companion whom you
have a deep affinity with, usually a romantic partner or spouse, who
complements your own existence and makes you feel whole or fulfilled in
life. However, the popular notion of soulmates is defined by notions of
love that are overly skewed toward romantic, fairytale ideals.|
It sounds like I'm being critical. I am, but why would I say
that when I know soulmates exist? I know this because God pre-destines
our lives and characteristics and plans our destinies; not every single
moment or event, but at least the most important aspects and events of
King David said of God, "My frame was not hidden from You
when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the
depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days
ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be"
(Psalm 139:15-16). God makes all of us and is
certainly capable of making a spouse who complements us and fulfills our
lives - our soulmate - planned even before we were born.
I've heard many stories of married couples who professed to
having that soulmate notion fulfilled. I've even heard stories that show
God's hand in bringing two people together through inexplicable
alignment of circumstances, such as one couple who stayed at a hotel
before they knew each other.
They kept running into each other in the elevator many times,
so they thought it was odd and decided to date. Later they had a long
marriage. I've seen God work the world in similar ways in my own life.
Obviously, He predestines certain people to be together and can work the
world and people in extraordinary ways to bring them together.
Some people call this "serendipity," but the dictionary
definition is "the [ability] for making desirable discoveries by
accident; good fortune; luck."1 God's pre-destiny, though,
has nothing to do with accidental luck. God makes things happen as He
plans, even hundreds and thousands of years in advance, like King Josiah
and King Cyrus were prophesied hundreds of years before they were born.
Josiah and Cyrus were prophesied in the Bible around 930 B.C. and 701
B.C., respectively, and came to be kings around 640 B.C. and 559 B.C.2,3,4,5,6.
Christ too was prophesied throughout the Old Testament, which the last
book, Malachi, dates to about 430 B.C. and the first book, Genesis, 1446
God can obviously control destiny. He knows what we want and
need, and He can provide it without our even asking, like I believe He
did for Adam when He made Eve to be a companion and wife for him in
Genesis 2:22. God's love for Adam is even encoded in those verse
numbers. It is the first occurrence of the number triplicate 222 in the
Bible, which means True Love or Full Love, since any number in
triplicate means a complete amplification, and the number two means love
(see The Meaning of Numbers)
This exact alignment in numbering and their meaning shows how Scripture
is God-breathed in fine detail to show its authenticity.
However, God's unconditional love isn't the whole picture. He
doesn't destine everyone to be married, but even if it is part of His
plan, we can mess it up and end up dating and marrying the wrong people
if we're focused on the wrong things. It can seriously hurt and scar us,
our children, and loved ones when the wrong choices end up in
dysfunctional, broken marriages and relationships. Even choices that
only take moments to complete, can make us deal with the consequences
for the rest of our lives, since getting pregnant or getting someone
pregnant leads to a lifetime commitment to the child.
God did not make us to be mere animals that live by instinct
to breed. He made us to be much more - to conform to His image - apart
and higher than the animals (Genesis 1:27), yet we
see people devoting much more time and energy than they should to
getting a mate, even temporary ones. Don't live by the flesh such as
that, and be part of the mistakes of a society overrun by lust and
indifference to life. But live by the Spirit and more Godly ways, so you
are transformed more and more into God's image (2 Corinthians 3:18).
God wishes to provide our needs and wants, but He doesn't
always simply give them to us, like with Adam and Eve. Much of the time
our righteousness and sins affect what we get (1 Peter 3:7; Isaiah 1:15-17),
so we should seek to do what is right first - "Seek first [God's]
Kingdom and righteousness" and all things for your life will be provided
(Matthew 6:33), and "Trust in the Lord and do
good... Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of
your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do
this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn." (Psalm 37:3-6).
So instead of blindly going after every other person who
appears interesting, seek God's guidance on matters of the heart as with
any other thing of importance (Luke 18:1-8; Ephesians 6:18). Live righteously, trust Him to care for you and your interests. God goes before His chosen and prepares the way (Genesis 24:7; Exodus 23:20-23, 32:34; Deuteronomy 1:30-33, 31:8; Judges 4:14; 1 Chronicles 14:15; Isaiah 45:2, 52:12). As long as serious sin isn't blocking God's response, you will be given reassurance if you seek His help and advice.
Another erroneous notion about soulmates is that we can
truly love more than one person with that soulmate-fulfilled notion of
love. How many people have been widowed and then found new love that
renewed their lives in a similar way as their original spouse? I've
heard many stories of love being renewed after a loved-one was lost, so
our worldly fulfillment in a soulmate can be completed by more than one
Something that romantics often gush is that they will love
the same person forever with no one else in their hearts or that a love
life with one person will extend into eternity. However, Jesus talked
about marriage and the afterlife when people asked Him about a woman who
married seven brothers, one after the other when she was widowed. They
wondered whose wife she'd be in the next life.
Jesus told them they erred in their thinking, because in the
next life we are resurrected into new bodies and will live life more
like the angels, who do not marry (Matthew 22:24-32; Mark 12:19-27; Luke 20:28-38).
The people were thinking with worldly values and notions. They didn't
understand how the next life would be very different from the present
Reality often is not how we imagine things to be, but still
the notion of real soulmates is true, only that it isn't as idealized as
popular culture paints it. God can destine us to be with one person or
more than one person that fulfills our desire for a perfect mate.
However, God didn't mean everyone to be married either.
The fairytale ideal of a soulmate comes from the teaching of a
world that over romanticizes love and life. Our natural tendencies to
want love and family make us very easily embrace those romantic ideas,
but our hearts are easily deceived by things that make us feel good or
spark our interest.
An example of this over-romanticizing is shown in songs like
"The Man Who Can't Be Moved" by The Script. God actually gave guidance
related to this song that says it is foolish to put all your focus and
energy on romance or finding a stranger who struck your interest, like
the man in the song. He waits on a street corner day and night, hoping
the girl he likes comes back to where he saw her. He talks about it
making no sense, but what else can he do?
Well, a lot of people don't realize the destiny we make for
ourselves is not always the same as what God plans. How are you supposed
to know if that attractive person you saw somewhere is meant to be with
you? Why should you devote so much effort into someone you don't know
is God's plan for you?
Instead, "flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness,
faith, charity, and peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure
heart" (2 Timothy 2:22). That verse is another
instance of the two-triplicate and adds another two to it. True or Full
Love in a Godly life isn't about chasing after physical attractions, but
living righteous, selfless, and peaceful lives with our brothers and
sisters in Christ, which extends to being with romantic partners who are
also Christian (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
We can't live life by our hearts alone. They can be easily
fooled and led astray. God doesn't want us to run about blindly,
following our instincts. He wants us to be loyal to Him and pursue
righteousness with the right partners, so we need God's wisdom and
guidance in our lives to help us avoid the bad consequences of following
more worldly ideals. They make us chase after the wrong things and set
our eyes on paths that are fruitless at best, and at worst, will harm us
and our loved ones in the long run, possibly for the rest of our lives.
But what if you've already made mistakes in choosing the wrong person or things? The good thing is God will work all
things, even bad things, for the good of those who love Him and are called to His purposes (Romans 8:28)
God may change your life and who you are with to do this, but it
doesn't mean you have to divorce if you didn't marry a believer (1 Corinthians 7:10-14; see Sex and Marriage - The Plain Truth for more details)
God will care for you, your children, and family even if you
are in a bad marriage or relationship. We need to keep faith in Him and
seek His guidance, which brings us to what loving God includes, since
Romans 8:28 notes it is for "those who love Him" that He works all
things for their good.
There is more about what God means by love - His love for us
and our love for Him. The church popularizes God's love for us with New
Testament quotes, like, "God is Love" (1 John 4:8) or "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son" (John 3:16).
Our lives with Christ often begin in those statements of
God's love for us. That realization of His love opens up a new world of
wonder and joy. What greater love for us could there be than for God to
come as a man in the flesh, so He could die in our place and take away
the eternal penalty for all we've done wrong?
Jesus came to reconcile all of mankind to Himself as God, and
the church rightly joys in that. Our being made new and all our sins -
past, present, and future - being, quote, "forgotten" by God is
something to celebrate, but sometimes in our exuberance over new lives
with Christ, we forget the whole of God's character and Word, and how
His Kingdom works. We cannot remain spiritual infants but continue to
mature into people who understand spiritual things more completely.
Too often does the church focus on the love and joy of God's
promises and forgets to see how those promises work and that there are
still serious consequences to sin in this life, even though we are saved
for the next. We can also forget that God does get angry and that He
acts as Judge for everyone. Not even the angels are exempt from being
punished for sin (2 Peter 2:4-9; Jude 1:6-7).
God repays everyone for all they do (Romans 2:5-11; Ephesians 6:5-8; Colossians 3:25; Jeremiah 32:19; Numbers 14:18; Nahum 1:3; Proverbs 24:12; Hebrews 12:4-11), and in fact believers are given worse penalties when we sin because we should know better (Hebrews 10:26-31; James 3:1; Luke 12:48). That is the greater condemnation or stricter judgment the apostle James talks about in the New Testament (James 3:1).
Serious consequences or curses for sin are not to be
overlooked when we talk about God and His Kingdom, but the overly
romantic views and teaching of the popular church often have people
misled about God's love. I've heard people say that it doesn't make
sense we could be cursed when we are saved with God and blessed in Him,
and sometimes people don't think that a God who loves us could bring
disasters, curses, or that He could get so angry that He would bring us
calamities and misery. I've even heard some Christians say they don't
believe in hell.
However, those kinds of viewpoints show how errant and skewed
teaching has blinded people with love. We must remember God is also
Judge and punishes everyone for their sins. We have to see that curses
are simply judgment or the penalty for our sins, so it is certainly
possible that God's Chosen and Blessed People can be cursed. This has
happened throughout both the history of the Jews and Christians.
So remember, God brings both the good and the bad (1 Samuel 2:4-8; Isaiah 45:7; Lamentations 3:37-38; Ecclesiastes 7:14; Job 12:23; Jeremiah 31:28; 2 Chronicles 25:8),
so we need to recognize why God does that or allows bad things to
happen to us, so we can understand why and correct ourselves, if need
be. To better see how God's Kingdom works, we need to understand how the
cause and effect of breaking God's laws and covenants bring us curses.
Breaking God's laws and commands is what sin is, after all. It isn't
breaking man's laws or whatever man thinks are God's laws, so without
His definition we would not know what sin is (1 John 3:4; Romans 3:20, 4:15, 7:7).
Sometimes, though, we don't know what we do wrong, but that
doesn't mean God overlooks our sin. God has the Jews atone for sins they
do not know they commit in the Law of Moses (Leviticus 5:14-19),
and likewise, our Grace in Christ covers sin that we don't know we do,
but we have to remember that Grace in Christ atones for our sins eternally, for the next life. It doesn't negate the penalties of sin in this life.
That makes it very important for us to know what sin really
is and keep from doing it. This means we must also teach properly about
God's laws and covenants and understand how they work. Without that
knowledge, we blindly go about life breaking God's laws, and worse,
neglect to teach our children and families how to avoid sin so that
curses do not fall on us.
Knowing God's laws and covenants also means knowing how to
get the blessings of His promises by walking in the terms for their
fulfillment, because that's how God's conditional covenants work - He
gives conditions or terms for the promise(s) of the covenant to be
fulfilled. If we fulfill the conditions, then we get the promises. But if we don't know how God's promises are fulfilled, then how are we to be blessed with those promises?
This is why becoming a good teacher in Christ is so
important. Teaching in error by misconstruing the truth, like
overemphasizing love, or by omitting the full truth, like ignoring how
law and covenant work, brings death, because very important aspects
about God and His Kingdom are overlooked. How can we as a People of God
honor Him if we don't truly know how to "seek His Kingdom and His
righteousness" (Matthew 6:33)?
The world's fairytale notions of love aren't how real life
works or how God's Kingdom works. The world and church often idealize
love and make it a cure all for everything. However, that idealized love
simply cannot conquer everything or heal all things. We'll see why
There is no shortage of passion for God in the church, but like faith without action is dead (James 2:17-26), passion without wisdom can also be fruitless. God said, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). He meant the knowledge of how His Kingdom, laws, and covenants work, and what sin really is. Without that knowledge, His people will continue to suffer from sin they don't even know they do.
You can start to see why the world's romantic notion of love
and God's love doesn't line up with reality. When God said He would
"remember our sins no more" under the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 8:7-12, 10:16-17),
He meant our sins would be forgotten in the next life. He didn't mean
the consequences of sin in this life would be taken away.
So when we strive to live righteous lives with Christ, we
need to balance passion with what God says is True, Full Love for Him.
The apostle John states it clearly, "In fact, this is love for God: to
keep His commands" (1 John 5:3). Jesus even said
the same thing in John 14:15, "If you love Me, keep My commands," and He
notes obeying Him again in John 14:21-24. In John 15:14 He says, "You
are My friends if you do what I command you." Therefore, it is faithful
obedience to God's commands that is considered love for Him.
Why is that so important? It brings Life instead of death
when we know how to obey God, keep from sin, and get the blessings of
walking in His commands. The parable of Wise and Foolish Builders (Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:46-49)
is about this. Jesus asks, "Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do
not do what I say?" and notes how someone who hears Him and acts on it
is like a man who built a house on a strong, deep foundation that cannot
be destroyed by disaster, but the house of the person who hears and
does not heed will not survive. This notes how acting righteously brings
blessings of protection and not acting righteously (sin can also be
inaction: 2 Chronicles 19:10; Ezekiel 3:18-21, 33:6-9; Proverbs 24:11-12; Deuteronomy 22:1-4) will leave us and what we have unprotected.
God even coded the importance of obeying God with the very
first use of the word "love" in the Bible in Genesis 22:2. There's that
triplicate again, 2-2-2. That verse is where God tells Abraham to
sacrifice his only son, Isaac, which he did try to do obediently and
with faith, knowing God could resurrect Isaac (Hebrews 11:19).
God is showing in this 222 encoding what True Love or Full Love for God
includes - to obey His commands. God didn't really want Isaac killed,
but was testing Abraham's faith and fear of Him. Abraham was found
righteous in trying to follow through with God's command. God stopped
Abraham before he could sacrifice Isaac and said, "Now I know that you
fear God, because you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son"
That response tells us what a good and healthy way of looking
at God is - to fear Him, so that we obey His commands and keep from sin
- because God will judge everyone's sin. This isn't groveling fear in
the face of malevolence, but a reverence of God and respect that He is
Judge and will bring judgment.
A healthy fear for God is good because it is for the greater
good that He doesn't want us to sin. It harms more than just ourselves.
He wants us to think seriously about what we do and keep from sinning,
since judgment can harm our families and friends. God said He punishes
our children and descendants for what we do wrong through generational
curses (Exodus 20:5; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:9; Jeremiah 2:9, 32:18, 36:31; Hosea 4:6).
It may not make sense to us that God would punish children
for their parents' sin, but it shows how serious He is about sin and how
much He wants us to consider things when we're tempted to do wrong. We
can bring the consequences of our sin on our loved ones and descendants.
If you don't think that is true, then look at how many children suffer
and die prematurely from cancer and other bad curses. Some are born with
very serious illness and disabilities, not having any choice or having
sinned for the things they suffer from.
Do you think the children did anything to deserve those
horrible things? These curses aren't simply accidents like much of the
world thinks. "Like a fluttering sparrow or darting swallow, an
undeserved curse does not come to rest" (Proverbs 26:2).
There's always a reason for curses. Much of the time they come from
sin, but there can be other reasons, such as to learn perseverance, go
through testing, and share in the sufferings of Christ and the saints (Romans 5:3-5, 8:17; 1 Peter 4:12-19; 2 Corinthians 1:3-10, 4:8-18, 6:4-10; Philippians 3:8-11; Colossians 1:24).
The sins of leaders can affect their nations and
organizations as well. Our nations are being judged today, such as
through the 9-11 and other disasters related to America's sins (see 9/11 Prophecy)
I've heard Christians say they don't believe God brought the 9/11
terrorist attacks and other bad events around the world, but God brings
judgment on nations and peoples because of sin.
God used King Jeroboam to burden the people further because it was judgment for King Solomon's sins (1 Kings 12:15, 11:9-13)
And the nation of Israel suffered because King David fell to Satan's
provocation and lost faith in God to protect them. Because of his
worries, David sinned by ordering a useless census of the fighting men (1 Chronicles 21:1-30)
. John Dau told of his nation Sudan's story of going into exile and running from terrorists in his book, God Grew Tired Of Us
He didn't understand why God let bad things happen, but I saw God gave
him a dream in the book to give some wisdom - that he and the church do
not understand spiritual things correctly. See "John Dau's Dream"
for more about that.
To make things better for the greater good, we must look to
our own behavior first and judge ourselves. Learn the truth about God's
laws and covenants as they are now under Christ and understand what God
really wants. Then correct ourselves so we can avoid hurting others
through our sin and live as a fully blessed People of God. Understanding
what True or Full Love means to God and separating that from the
world's ideas of love is an important step in getting there.
The two greatest commandments (Matthew 22:36-40; Mark 12:28-31)
are fulfilled by obeying God and avoiding sin, because to love the Lord
with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind includes obeying His
commands as we have seen, and to love your neighbor as yourself includes
keeping from sin, so our positions as parents and leaders do not hurt
our children and others.
Make love for God and others your motivation to obey the Lord and keep from sin. But use wisdom as well and test everything (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21),
because there is much false teaching in the church and world. There are
even imposters of the Lord, His Spirit, saints, and angels who are
giving false guidance to Christian servants. They take advantage of our
good intentions, faith, and trust in God, and overemphasize obedience
and fear to make us do their wishes and spread lies and bad teaching.
Remember we do not receive a spirit of slavery that leads to fear from the Lord (Romans 8:15). We are not slaves to law under the New Covenant, but are friends and coheirs with the Lord (John 15:15; Romans 8:17; Galatians 4:4-7; 1 Peter 3:7).
Imposters will make us fear disobeying or sinning so much that we worry
about doing the wrong things all the time or even worry about
committing false sin. I've seen spiritual imposters make servants of the
Lord obey false guidance because they are too afraid of judgment.
Yes, we are supposed to live by the Spirit and become more like God (Galatians 5:5, 5:16-26; 2 Corinthians 3:18).
That includes following live guidance and not just Scripture, because
God does not want us to blindly follow instincts. But the enemy and
spiritual warfare make it difficult to follow spiritual guidance. We
should not follow live guidance blindly. False guidance is pervasive in
the church and can be very harmful. Following it can also give the enemy
hooks into you, so we need to examine and test everything very closely,
and then obey if it is truly God.
The first two of the Ten Commandments are about idolatry - we
cannot have any other god than the Lord - so if we listen to, accept,
and obey false guidance from imposters we are accepting them as God or
His servants, which is idolatry, so examine things closely with approved
Scripture to keep from following and promoting imposters, lies, and
I talk about what good Bibles are in Choosing a Bible
. Imposters, false guidance, and spiritual warfare are deeper subjects I won't discuss here, though. Knowing what the True Gospel
is is a place to start in learning about these things.
It can be very hard to identify what is truly from God since signs, miracles, and spiritual gifts can be faked (2 Thessalonians 2:9),
so remember the first 222 triplicate I brought up about God's love for
Adam. It was unconditional love. Adam did not need to ask for a wife or
companion, so continue to trust in God to help you through all matters,
no matter how difficult. He didn't intend everything to be easy or
straightforward. Spiritual warfare can make things very tough, so keep
faith. Sometimes that's all we need in a situation.
2 King Josiah prophesied and made king: 1 Kings13:1-2; 2 Kings 21:24
3 King Cyrus prophesied and made king: Isaiah 44:28-45:4; Ezra 1:1
4 "Rulers of the Divided Kingdom of Israel and Judah". pg 502-503. New International Version Study Bible (NIV 1973, 1978, 1984). Zondervan. 2002.
5 "Introduction to Isaiah". pg 1031. New International Version Study Bible (NIV 1973, 1978, 1984). Zondervan. 2002.
7 "From Malachi to Christ". pg 1455. New International Version Study Bible (NIV 1973, 1978, 1984). Zondervan. 2002.
8 "Introduction to Genesis". pg 2. New International Version Study Bible (NIV 1973, 1978, 1984). Zondervan. 2002.