After all I have done for You, I am ALONE!

Today I am taking a bit of a break from Proverbs 31.

While preparing for a single’s retreat at the end of the year, I came across a passage. I have heard teaching on this passage before, but had never looked at it as is applies to a single missionary. The passage in question is 1Kings 19.

God has just proven that He is God in Israel with the showdown on Mt Carmel with the prophets of Baal. In a great flash of fire, God proved that He is the living God and He is worthy of worship. After this great victory, Jezebel hears what Elijah has done and swears revenge. He runs for his life. This seems weird after just seeing the mighty hand of God at work that he would run away. Then he goes even further and says to God:

And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 1 Kings 19:10

Photo Credit: Mycul999 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Mycul999 via Compfight cc

God tells him to stand on the Mount before the Lord. God sends a great wind, a mighty earthquake and a raging fire, but does not speak to him. Then comes the still small voice asking him:

And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? 1Kings 19:13

I am reminded of God talking to Adam asking him where he was. God know where he was but wanted Adam to recognize where he was. With Elijah I see the same thing. He presents his complaint once again:

And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 1 Kings 19:14

Did you see what I did? Here is what I hear Elijah saying, I have done so much for you and now I am all alone. Not only that but they want to kill me.

The charge of being all alone is one I hear a lot from single missionaries. We do so much and have no one to share the burden. But I like what God said next:

Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. 1 Kings 19:18

God is saying, you think you are the only one who is faithful to me but I have so many others who have not sold out or compromised. He then sends Elijah to find a partner in ministry, Elisha.

This last summer, I was feeling the same way. All of my coworkers are families. I felt alone because I was not a part of a couple or family. Then I attended a retreat for single missionaries. I saw first-hand that I was not the only one. Many of the ladies present worked with couples or worked entirely alone. It was good to see that others had the same problems I did and the same feelings of aloneness. Now when I think of being alone among many couples, I remember, other are doing the same and the Lord is with us all.

God has picked out our places of service. He knows that we are lonely and discouraged at times. We need to remember what He said to Elijah, You are not the only one. There are others who are doing My work. Get back in the fight and I will send the help you need at the right time.

And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. 1 Kings 19:15-18

Strength in Numbers

This last weekend was our church’s second youth conference. Since I am one of the leaders for our youth group, some of the organizational details fell to me. Why am I talking about the youth conference here on the blog? Because of the theme, Christian Courtship.

Even though I have heard most of what was taught before and have even taught on some of it myself, it was good to hear it again. Repetition helps learning. It was good to be reminded again of what is necessary for a good relationship with someone of the opposite sex. It was also good to be reminded that even though I am single and am not in a relationship, there are still pitfalls of which I need to be aware.

The topics consisted of ‘God or the world: On which side are you?’ ‘Purity: a dream or reality?’ ‘Is it a sin to date someone who is not a Christian?’ and ‘The traps of the internet: Pornography.’ All of these topics face our young people of today, and even the not so young people. The speakers hit the nail on the head and preached straight from the Bible. They reminded us that God has set a standard for our behavior and expects us to keep to it. They also talked about how to avoid temptation and situations that can cause us to fail to keep the standard.

This last is what I want to talk about. Because we are single missionaries or workers in a church, we are held up as examples. It is our responsibility as older brothers and sisters in Christ to hold to the standard. The older we get, the more experience we are supposed to have in evading temptation. However, sometimes instead of holding the standard, we become lax in our vigilance.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8

When we let our vigilance become lax, the devil is right there to take advantage. I know that I seem to be ‘preaching to the choir’ but sometimes the ‘choir’ needs the reminder as well. This weekend was that for me. God seemed to be saying ‘Remember the standard and keep to it.’

There is another reason we need to be reminded of the standard every once in a while:

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 1 Corinthians 9:27

Even Paul was concerned with letting the standard fall. If he was concerned, then we definitely should be concerned. As the speaker who spoke on Pornography said, it is so easy now days to be on the internet innocently and get it shoved into your face.

As my blog title says, there is strength in numbers. If you need to be around members of the opposite sex, make sure there are more than two. This is a precept I have been taught since I was a teen. Always make sure you are in groups of three when there are males and females. It has served as a reminder and a good rule to live by. It can also help keep you to the standard. It may complicate your life a bit, but it prevents problems down the road.

One last verse before I go.

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12

This verse was running through my mind a lot this weekend. We may be full-time or part-time Christian workers, but we are still human. We still sin and can still fall down. So if you think you’re standing, take heed.


In the beginning of May, our church will be hosting a youth conference. Our theme is on Christian Dating. (I understand the debate between dating and courtship. However, in Portuguese there is really only one word and it translates into dating but can mean courting as well.) We asked the special speakers to speak about the problems facing Christian teens today in this important area. Why am I talking about dating on a singles blog? Because this is also part of the challenge that faces us as Christian singles in ministry.

Photo Credit: jamescharlick via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: jamescharlick via Compfight cc

I cannot count the number of times that I have been asked why I am not married. Or the number of times I have been told, ‘I know a nice man you need to meet.’ Only to hear the answer, ‘No’ when I ask if this man is involved in world missions. Should I stop following God’s will for my life just to get married? NO! Being single in a couples oriented society is not easy. (I am not talking about society at large but the society of the church.)

For most Christians, God has been preparing for the other. However, it is not always in the will of God for some Christians to marry. Some He has given a different task. ‘Go through life single and serving Me with all that you have. I am enough for you.’

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

I know Paul is specifically talking about his thorn in the flesh, but being single is not the easiest task in the world. (Just like being married requires work.) If God has asked you to be single for Him, He will equip you with the grace to get through it. Just like He did with Paul. All we need to do is ask.

The temptations to stray abound for singles as well as for married couples. Just like a husband and wife need to keep themselves for each other, a single person must keep themselves as well. Why? Because our relationship with Christ demands that we keep ourselves unspotted from the world. We have the same restrictions placed on us that are placed on married couples. Paul said it best when he said:

“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4

Many people in this world may mock you for your choice to remain single and serve God. I am sorry to say, even some Christians will mock you. However, I do know that God will bless you if you choose to follow Him and do His will. He asks us for everything of ourselves, but when we give everything, He gives back everything of Himself. That is a lot of blessing for one lifetime.

Will staying single and serving God be easy? Of course not. Being married isn’t a bed of roses either. If you were to ask couples who have been together for several years, I bet the one thing they will say kept them together was hard work. But being married and out of the will of God is a worse road to follow. On the flip side, if God does have that special one for you and you walk away from that to be single, you are just as much out of the will of God as a single who should stay single and doesn’t.

What is your take on singleness? Please leave a comment and let me know.