God Told Me to Marry You
And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” Genesis 46:2
I’ve mentioned previously that for me, it was love at first sight when I first met my wife. I simply knew that she was the person with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I won’t pretend it was a spiritual experience. God didn’t tell me to marry her. I just knew. My wife however, didn’t have the same experience when she first met me. In fact, she wanted nothing to do with a romantic relationship with me . . . for seven long years. During that time, as I pursued her, I had my doubts about my initial revelation. So, I prayed about it, asking God if it was his will for me to marry her. I never claimed that to her though. I’ve known other guys who’ve tried to use that line – God told me to marry you. I knew myself well enough to understand that when I wanted something badly, that I’d try to convince myself it was God’s will too.
Most of us are prone to this. The young God-fearing man who wants to marry the girl of his dreams, easily convinces himself that it must also be God’s plan. Obsessed by desire, he tries to manipulate the young woman into doing his will, using faith as his weapon. God said we’d get married. You don’t want to disobey God, do you? Like I said, it’s obvious when others do it. It’s not as easy to see when we do it though. When we want something, our minds are clouded by desire. In the worst of my manipulative, addictive behavior, I tried convincing myself that God wanted me to use drugs. To be a good doctor, I need sleep. God wants me to be a good doctor. Drugs help me sleep. God wants me to use drugs.
It seems Jacob wrestled with his will as well in today’s passage. In the story, Jacob learned that his son Joseph hadn’t been killed by wild animals years before and that he was alive and thriving in Egypt. Jacob and his family planned to move to Egypt, but this meant leaving the promised land. Jacob badly desired to see his son and his family was languishing in famine in Canaan. In conflict with himself, he sought God’s will. Jacob had the maturity and faith to recognize that his judgment could be clouded by his own desires, so he went to God, asking for guidance. God spoke, confirming that it was indeed his will for Jacob to go.
I don’t often hear a voice from heaven telling me what to do, so how do I know God’s will for my life? I know from experience that I cannot simply follow my plan, assuming God wants what I want. My way has been disaster. Daily then, I must pray, seeking God and his will. I must be honest with myself about my manipulative nature. When in doubt, I must go to those around me, asking their wisdom. Others can often see that to which I remain blind. In my addiction, I learned that my will is disaster. In my recovery, I learned that God’s way is life. So daily, I must point my life at God, honestly seeking his will, not mine.