How can I say that God allows confusion when you meet the one when 1 Corinthians 14:33 states, “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace”?
In this article, we are going to unpack what 1 Corinthians 14:33 really means and then we will discuss 3 reasons for why God allows confusion when you meet the one.
What Does 1 Corinthians 14:33 Mean and How Can God Allow Confusion When You Meet The One?
1 Corinthians 14:33 takes place in the context of Paul giving instructions about orderly worship when the church gathers to hear God’s word preached. In 1 Corinthians 14:26, Paul states everything should be done with the purpose of helping the saints glorify God; in 1 Corinthians 14:27-32, Paul explains that all the gifts being exercised by the believers in the church must be done in an orderly way. In this context, Paul then states 1 Corinthians 14:33, “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.”
- In the NIV, 1 Corinthians 14:33 states, “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.”
- In the NLT, 1 Corinthians 14:33 declares, “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people.”
- In the KJV, 1 Corinthians 14:33 says, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”
In each of these translations, the context is clearly about operating a church gathering in an orderly, non-confusing way.
So does that mean we can say that God does cause confusion? No, but we should be careful not to overextend a Bible verse and take it out of context.
For example, Joshua 10:10 (NIV) states, “The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon.” In 2 Samuel 17, David is fleeing from Absalom but Hushai is secretly giving Absalom bad advice to help save David. It states, “And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, ‘The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.’ For the Lord had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring harm upon Absalom” (2 Samuel 17:14). So there certainly are biblical examples of God using confusion.
Lastly, when I say, “God allows confusion,” that is different than saying “God causes confusion.” After sin entered the picture in Genesis 3, much of what happens is not what God “wants” but he still uses the imperfections in this world to produce his perfect will (Ephesians 1:11, Romans 8:28).
Thus, when I say “God allows confusion when you meet the one,” I’m not saying he’s casting a spell of confusion on you. Rather, I’m saying he will use many confusing things that will happen between you and this person for your good. Like the thorn in Paul’s flesh that God allowed for a good reason (2 Corinthians 12:7-10), God will allow confusion when you meet the one to help you two.
With that said, here are 3 reasons God often allows confusion when you meet the one.
1. God Allows Confusion When You Meet “The One” Because If He Erased All Confusion He Would Be Erasing Your Need for Faith
The only way for God to remove all your confusion about “the one” would be to just tell you, “that’s the one.” Eventually God will say that to you, but normally he first puts you through seasons with this person so you can see in actions that this person is the one.
And even if God does say “that’s the one” to you early in the relationship, he will still put you through healthy seasons with this person so you can confirm God actually said this to you. Many people have felt God said “that’s the one” and then not married that person, thus proving God did not actually say that because God never lies (Titus 1:2).
God rarely tells you the future and removes all the unknowns because then it would be impossible to have faith. When you see and know something already, you don’t need faith. You can only have faith when you can’t see what you are hoping for (Hebrews 11:1). If you see it, you don’t need faith anymore.
2. God Allows Confusion When You Meet “The One” to Help You Weed Out All Those People Who Are Not The One
The way to find the person God has for you is not to just pray and wait for God to give you a vision. Of course you should pray and of course you should be listening to the Holy Spirit’s leading. But the way God will reveal the one to you will be through you testing the people that come into your life. You can see this principle of “testing” outlined in 1 John 4:1-7.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God . . .They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”
John says you will know who’s a Christian and who’s not a Christian by observing who confesses Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, obeys the apostles teaching (i.e. the Bible) and loves people. God isn’t going to just tell you “that person is a Christian” or “that person is not a Christian.”
Likewise, when you’re romantically interested in someone, you will be “confused” about who this person really is, meaning if they are the one or not. When God reveals the one to you, he will allow you and this person to “test” each other in healthy ways to confirm that you two are equally yoked, you are good ministry partners, and that you both want to honor the Lord by following his biblical commands about marriage. When someone passes these tests, you will find answers to your confusion and then you will know you’ve met the one.
3. God Allows Confusion So You Two Have a Battle to Fight Together Which Bonds You in a Special Way
Whenever you go through something difficult with another person or a group of people, you two then share a special bond for the rest of your life. Like David and Jonathan who had to struggle through a lot together, they also shared an amazing bond of friendship too (2 Samuel 9:1).
If you go through a difficult schooling program, you will smile every time you meet up with your old classmates and reminisce about the stress you went through together. Perhaps the most powerful bonds are formed amongst people who fight in wars together.
It shouldn’t be overlooked that those who were closest to Jesus when he was on earth are also the ones who suffered with Jesus the most while he was on earth (John 15:18-19). To be Jesus’ disciple, you got to experience his close fellowship, but that fellowship was formed in much turmoil and stress.
In much the same way, when you and this person both feel the weight of confusion about your relationship, going through this together will actually bond you two closer together.
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