Friday, 2 March 2012

Celibacy: God makes his vow

God recently made a vow of celibacy.

"If I were to rewrite the celibate vow, but from your perspective, would you make the vow?"

"Yes!" replied God without hesitation.

Avowed celibates make their vow to God and do their best to keep to all aspects of it, but surely God has a part to play in that commitment.

A vow, after all, is a contract, a covenant, a pledge between many parties; and it makes little sense for it all to depend on just one of them.

Celibacy is such a two-dimensional lifestyle if it is lived without the backing, the power, the anointing of God. Without the unction that only he can provide, without him upholding his part of the deal, it is at best hard work, and at worst an unsustainable, unnatural, impossible undertaking.

For instance, the celibate should strive, as part of upholding the vow, to maintain holiness in body and thought-life, and they may well succeed to a greater or lesser extent; but God is able, is willing - he has promised - to provide us with the power to do so, by his Spirit. If that power isn't active in our lives, then we face a one-sided, two-dimensional, naturally-inclined struggle; but if it is, then holiness, for the celibate, becomes a two-sided, 3D, God-focussed, supernatural affair - which changes everything.

This is just one example, but the same applies to all aspects of celibacy (in fact, to all aspects of the Christian life, for any Christian). Without God, celibacy is dry and pointless; with him, it is filled with life in all its wonderful, glorious fullness.

Hence my recent question to God about making the vow himself. I suspect he said yes so easily because he knows he has already committed himself to such things anyway, but there's nothing like being absolutely sure.

So here it is:


Once I'd rewritten it, I took it up to bed with me that evening and had a quiet moment, in which I witnessed God make his vow.

Things feel a little different now, like God is suddenly involved, in a way that he wasn't quite before.

God's vow of celibacy is now pinned to the board next to my bed, where I see it often, as a reminder that God is deeply, intimately involved in it all.

Further Reading:
   The covenant of celibacy - the original vow which inspired this

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