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Daily Devotional for Sunday June 8, 2003
Being equally yoked
(2 Corinthians 6:14)
Being equally yoked. After 11 years in the ministry, preaching in over 500 churches of every denomination, producing programming for 5 years for Christian television stations all over the country, and 45 months operating Liveprayer, I have personally prayed for and counseled hundreds of thousands of people. Through this, I have seen some of the great warnings in the Bible ignored, thus causing incredible personal suffering and destruction of lives. As believers, we are so quick to cling to God's promises in our hour of need as we should, but God also put many warnings in His Word that we sometimes gloss over and ignore. One of those warnings is to not be unequally yoked with nonbelievers. Some have taken this passage to unreasonable lengths, but let me give you my interpretation of this scripture, and hopefully, help you avoid unnecessary heartache and pain in your life.
I believe that this passage talks directly about those intimate relationships that we have in life, MAINLY MARRIAGE. So many email requests I get daily are from men and women who are married with unbelievers and going through so much turmoil in their life. Let me say this up front. If you are married now to an unbeliever, this does NOT mean to get a divorce. You have already missed the warning and entered into a covenant relationship that God expects you to honor. God can use you to bring that unsaved spouse to Christ through how you live your life each day. But if you are not married, getting married with an unbeliever is spiritual suicide. Love is fine, but without God at the center of your marriage you are making a HUGE mistake that you will regret. God has warned you about this, to protect you!
As for dating, I believe there are two separate types of dating. One is just as friends. Going out with other people, going out to see a movie or to have something to eat, the things that friends might do together. If you are going out as friends with an unbeliever, there is nothing wrong with that. However, let me caution you that dating can unlock deep feelings. Most dating involves those deeper feelings and is with the intention of potentially getting married. For this reason, be very cautious about who you decide to go out with. You should only be seriously dating someone who has accepted Christ as their Savior.
Outside of the marriage issue, I am not a literalist in regard to this verse of scripture. I do believe that if you go into business with someone, they should be of like faith. The people that you conduct business with in the course of the day though will be difficult to limit to just people of faith, though some try to and that is fine. Where you shop, where you recreate, the products that you use, I personally feel to try and fit all that you do each day to this verse is taking it to an interpretation that is not intended.
I love you and care about you so much. I will pray today that you really pray hard about your relationships in life, and keep this warning from God in your mind. God is in the blessing business. Sometimes though, it requires some patience on your part. He won't let you down, and His timing is ALWAYS perfect. My prayer is that you take notice of this warning, have the strength to listen to the Lord, and give God a chance to work in you life, His way, in his timing. Trust me, if you do, you will avoid so much pain and be so blessed because when you live God's way, life is better than anything you ever hoped for or dreamed of.
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers"
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller.