Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Galatians 5:25

PRINCIPLE ONE:  Not every good choice is God's choice, and seeking God's will is the most important part of selecting your mate.

Deciding who you will marry is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.  In a kingdom courtship, the primary reason for marriage should be the conviction that a particular match is God's choice for you – not just a good choice, but God's choice. 

Most of the time, you won't have the luxury of choosing between people or circumstances that are totally bad or totally good.  Nearly all your choices will appear good in some way, but only one will be part of God's perfect plan – His best for you  The chief enemy you will fight in choosing God's best will be your own strong inclination to make a good choice instead of a God choice.

When God Makes the Choice

Randal Ross is a fourth-generation preacher pastoring a 13,000- member church in Lubbock, Texas.  Thirty years ago he was a 1960s hippie with long hair, wire-rimmed glasses, and torn blue jeans.  He had been offered college scholarships at many universities, including UCLA and Stanford, but he chose to major in biochemistry at a small, private college in Pennsylvania.

Randal was smart, athletic, and well liked.  He also was stoned most of the time.  Uppers, downers, LSD, he took them all.  The more Randal partied at school, the more he got behind in his studies.  The more he got behind, the more drugs he took to stay awake and study.  Eventually Randal sold drugs so he could afford to buy drugs.

Although Randal had been captain of the wrestling team in high school, his college lifestyle took a toll on his body and he dropped to a gaunt 120 pounds.  Then one day while he was sitting in the library, he couldn't remember his name or his dormitory.  The room and the people in the room began to melt before his eyes.  Colors spun in his head.  He couldn't think clearly.

That week nineteen-year-old Randal Ross dropped out of college, and his father literally carried him to the car for the trip home.  For the next few weeks, Randal stayed in his room during the day and walked the streets of Cleveland at night.  Colors still spun in his head and confusion clouded his mind.  Drugs and an abusive lifestyle had assaulted not only his body but also his mind.

Having grown up in church as the descendant of three generations of preachers, Randal felt humiliated and ashamed.  Alone on Christmas Eve with a gun and enough drugs to take his life, Randal put a rock 'n' roll album on the record player and prepared to commit suicide.  But first he prayed.

"God," he said, "I sat in Your house all my life and never saw anything that interested me.  If You are real, do something."

When Randal Ross tells that story today, he's usually standing behind a pulpit.  That's part of "something" God did.  "God came into that room at 11:45 on Christmas Eve and healed my mind," he says.  "The room quit melting, colors quite spinning, and my mind cleared."

But that's not all.

Three thousand miles away in California, Andrea Blegen was sitting in a Christmas Eve watchnight service when God spoke to her heart.  "I want you to get up and go pray for the husband I will give you.  At this very moment his life is hanging in the balance between life and death."  She had never met Randal Ross and wouldn't for many years to come.

Andrea probably wouldn't have had a great deal of interest in the confused hippie she prayed for on Christmas Eve, but in God's time she eventually met God's man – the new and improved version.  Sometimes there must be days when God's plan includes not only our lives but also the lives of others.  We may have to wait until they are ready (or until we are) before God can give us the go-ahead.