Friday, March 22, 2013
Season for Relationships, Pt. I
I Corinthians 12:18 "But now God has set the members, each of them, in the body just as He pleased."
II Corinthians 1:21-22 "Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee."
Acts 13:2 "As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."
Matthew 19:6 "...what God has joined together, let not man separate."
Although I pray for those who are closest to me on a fairly regular basis, from time to time I feel led to focus my prayers on relationships as a whole. Not only do I pray for those who have a special place in my heart, but I also pray for the relationships God has yet to bring into my life and the relationships He wants to restore. I ask the Lord for wisdom to enter new relationships, to develop existing relationships and to exit relationships, if need be. I also try to be sensitive when He tells me to accelerate a relationship or to slow one down a little. I don't believe relationships have to be black or white, all or nothing. Adjustments are necessary to keep things healthy and productive.
I find myself in such a season right now, and I am utterly amazed at God's ability to orchestrate relationships in our lives when we exercise our faith in Him! Jesus often told people that they were healed "according to their faith" or that "their faith made them whole." I find that this principle applies just as much to relationships as it does to healing. I normally don't talk much about myself in the blogs that I write, but I have a hunch that my testimony will encourage a number of people to believe God for relational alignment which will accelerate spiritual growth.
By reading the scriptures listed above, you can easily come to the conclusion that God does indeed bring people together for His purpose. This purpose can be for fellowship, discipleship or team ministry. I strongly believe that we shortchange our own spiritual growth and calling when we go through life with a lackluster approach to relationships. Relationships are worth believing for. And relationships are worth fighting for.
About 6 months ago I was enlightened to the fact that I had let some relationships slip away and that I was isolated by my own choice. I began to notice my spiritual life "gauge" spiraling downward even though I was exercising my spirit through prayer and the Word. Then the light bulb went off. My relationship with God was incomplete without the relationships that God has assigned to my life! I was trying to bear my burden aone, which runs contrary to what God said in the beginning: "it's not good for man to be alone." This is not to say that I had no relationships with others, but that I was living well below my potential because I wasn't exercising faith for the wisdom of God to make the most of my relationships.
Just because you attend church services, hear regular sermons by your pastor and talk to people after church doesn't necessarily mean that you are maximizing your spiritual relationships. Having relationships in your life is one thing, but managing your relationships by the leading of the Spirit is another thing. Making a concerted effort to do your part in each relationship involves walking in love, which requires you to speak up at times and to be silent at other times, to take action and sometimes just do nothing. Discerning the difference can make or break relationships. Simply put, knowing who has your back and who you can trust are critical in critical times of your life.
Make sure to read part II of this blog which will be available in just a few days