Perhaps I’m dating myself here, but when I last dated, I considered Ms. Diane to be my “steady girl.” She was the lady that I focused all my attention on, I desired to be around, and grew to become the one I had designs on. In reading on this subject, such an exclusive form of dating has been removed from today’s vernacular, finding its demise in the 80s. Today, it seems we have replaced the concept of going steady with hooking up. Yet, going steady was exactly what came to mind as I watched Mavric, my herd bull, and Uno interact during breeding.
Uno, as some of y’all may recall, is my six-year-old mama cow who was the first calf born at our Cross-Dubya ranch. She’s proven to be a wonderful mama, having raised four strong, healthy, profitable calves to date. It seems this past week was time to work on calf number five. In a cow-calf operation, I do my best to make a note of who Mavric is spending time with each week. This helps me predict when the calves are due and in what order to expect calving to happen.
When a cow is in estrus (time to make a calf), Mavric is always ready to oblige. I won’t explain how he knows which of his girls to go steady with, but it’s foolproof. His nose knows. When the time is right, and the female agrees, the courtship begins. My bull is predictable, if nothing else.
He separates the female of interest from his herd and focuses his attention on her until he completes his task. As pictured here, the two spend most of their time together. They clean one another, do a courtship dance, and go for leisurely walks, focusing only on one another. Once breeding has occurred, normally a day or two, Mavric walks her back to the herd and begins searching for his next breeding partner. Perhaps young people today have reverted to animal instincts more than the monogamous relationships God created us for?
Thinking about “going steady”, the words of Psalm 63:1 came to mind.
“O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1)
I thought about how when Ms. Diane and I were dating, nothing or no one could hold my attention and fulfill my desire to be around more than her. Unlike my buddy Mavric, she continues to be my steady girl over twenty-five years later. I also pondered if I was going steady with God. Was my relationship with God the primary focus of my life or do I let the world get more of my attention than Him?Are you going steady with God or the world? #GoingSteadyWithGod #GodFocusedLife Click To Tweet
I realized how all my other relationships stem from my relationship with God. When I am closer to Him, I’m a better spouse, friend, and person. When Satan distracts me from my relationship with God (i.e., the world gets in the way), all my relationships suffer.Your relationship with God is the bellwether for all other relationships. #GoingSteadyWithGod #SourceOfRelationship Click To Tweet
At that moment, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the words of James 4:8.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse
your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you
double-minded.” (James 4:8 NKJV)
Considering these words, I asked myself to define what it meant to draw nearer to God and how I could do that. Like when I was dating Ms. Diane, if I wanted to get to know her better, I had to actively seek to know her. I can remember how we would sit and talk for hours on end. How many nights ended with, “You have to go home now.” It seemed the more time we spent together, the more time we wanted to spend together. It’s the same way with God. As for how I can draw nearer to God, the answer was right there in that verse of Scripture.
- I must be cleansed. That means I must confess my sin and seek His forgiveness. I recognize Christ’s sacrifice has already forgiven my sin, but the act of confessing my sin allows me to come into agreement with God by acknowledging my sin to Him. This enables me to restore a right relationship with Him.
- I must invite Him to gaze upon my heart. The Holy Spirit does this anyway, but I must ask Him to search my heart and show me where sin exists. Sometimes it’s sin I cannot see or don’t want to acknowledge. In either case, bringing it to light allows Him to purify me in His eyes.
- I must make Him the focus of my life. Jesus’ brother (James) calls all mankind double-minded. This means that as much as we may try, the world so interferes with our faith life that we become distracted by what’s going on in the world. Being double-minded is like my looking at another pretty girl while walking down the street with Ms. Diane. Nothing good can come of this.
While we might understand what things we must do to “go steady with God”, how do we achieve that? God’s Word, again, holds the answer. We must pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), study His Word (Psalm 119:105), and gather often with fellow Believers (Hebrews 10:25).
As with Mavric and Uno, going steady with God brings me even greater benefit than when my herd bull goes steady with his bevy of bovine beauties. The benefits of drawing nearer to God, besides His drawing nearer to us, include:
- We are refreshed from being in His presence. When we focus our attention on God, we take our eyes and mind off the problems we face in this world. Doing so doesn’t always make the problems go away, but it puts them into perspective. (Psalm 23:3)
- We find His mercy and grace as we seek His help in our times of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
- Our cup is refilled with His joy and hope. (Romans 15:13)
- We find rest in Him. (Matthew 11:28)
- We are protected and safe in His arms. (Psalm 91)
I hope during this week, you too seek opportunities to go steady with God.