Have you ever faced a situation where deep down in your heart you know that God is speaking to you regarding His plan for your life, but instead of taking the action in that direction you either procrastinate or run in the opposite direction? How do you respond to those who point out your disobedience (sin) in this area? Have you known someone else in such a situation where you have seen their hearts being hardened or oppressed by the evil one – and thus out of love you challenged them so that they will walk along the narrow path and not perish? How did the other person respond to you? How do they respond when the situation involves you too?
It’s sad when the person to whom a word of knowledge or prophecy is revealed through the Holy Spirit means what is being said with love but the proud heart sees it as condemnation or makes the one speaking to be the bad one. (I’m not saying every word or prophecy is from God, many can be the human flesh or the evil spirits speaking – and everything needs to be tested).
Not only do they reject, shun or block, they get others to do the same… And others follow suite without following what Jesus asks us to do in Matthew 18:15-20. An intricate web of sins is woven as disobeying God is what sin is all about.
Relationships thrive on humility… as relationships take a lot of getting rid of the “I”. Letting go of pride, my comfort, my desires, my ways and being willing to accommodate the other person with faults, weaknesses and everything – it’s a LOT OF HARD WORK. It requires much sacrifice which is all about humility – that all are equal in the eyes of God and we are not superior to the other.
Singleness being the opposite of ‘relationship’ to a great extent can be a breeding ground of selfishness. God sometimes sets people aside to singleness for a time and a purpose – to lean on Him and lap up revelation and comfort from Him in a way that a married person cannot given demands on them. The single who wants to focus on self will jump into a relationship with a person ahead of God’s will to satisfy the flesh without following the Spirit. The acts of the flesh will be more inevitable than the fruit of the Spirit.
Then there is another category of singles who have become so selfish and self centred, that even when God does bring the right partner to their lives and shows them clearly they disobey because they don’t want to consider someone else’s interests, it’s too much of hard work.
Many believers love to do acts of charity – and perhaps even boast about it on social media. If we were the recipients of charity how would we feel if our photos are plastered all over social media? How would we feel that our interests have been valued? Would we question the motives of the ‘giver’? Acts of charity are good but that doesn’t require as much of a sacrifice of the type of relationship that God calls us to do? Love as Christ loved us! It’s an ongoing consistent love – a love that not only demands sacrifice of time and money but all of us, a love where we are consistently sharing life like the early church of Acts did. Where we see ourselves as a body of Christ with different parts that are so intricately connected that when one part suffers all suffer, and when one part rejoices all rejoice. We begin to see family as family of believers just the way Jesus Himself defined it – those who hear His voice and obey it doing the will of God!
We are called to love God and to love our neighbour (those whom God places on our path in our daily lives whether geographically close by or far away). It takes humility to love consistently, it takes getting rid of pride – me and myself – to love as Jesus called us to love.. And not loving each other in this manner – rejecting, blocking, shunning, ignoring, oppressing is being a part of darkness and disobeying God.
The acid test of being a believer is the quality of our relationships with one another – not just helping one off = but how we consistently treat one another through the ups and the downs.
Yes we have all fallen short of His glory but the heart that surrenders to God will recognise their shortcomings and have the humility to say sorry!
As I sat down to begin to type the reflection based on the inspiration I got last night, I heard my phone beep with a SMS alert with a scripture portion from below! God is speaking and confirming this message without a doubt.
Meditate on this passage before reading further! :
Imitating Christ’s Humility
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. -Philippians 2:1 -4
The fact is – according to Paul – that if you have any encouragement from being UNITED with Christ, then you will indeed value others above yourselves and be in one spirit and in mind. If we are shunning people who seek FIRST the Kingdom of God, then the question lies whether we are indeed united with Christ. If we have received any comfort from His love, then automatically we will extend that to others, not ostracize, reject or oppress!