Saturday, May 18, 2013

Romans 8, 9, and 10 "More than Conquerors"

All things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose {Romans 8:28 NIV) 

Romans 8:37-39 (NIV) says, 
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The key thing herein is LOVE. Love as it relates to relationships, reconciliations and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ are profoundly outlined in Romans.  However, it is very evident love is multifaceted and complicated as it relates to human relations. Nonetheless,  all things are as they should be regardless of our abilities to know or see that they are.  Remarkably, God loved us first and He so loved the world He didn't spare His Only Begotten Son but instead gave Him for the purpose of redeeming and reconciling people who didn't ask or even want Him. Understanding how great a love this is. What is man that God would consider him?  Why is it that He is so mindful of us that He would number the hairs on our heads. According to the Word of God, there is nothing that can separates from the Love of God.  From this moment on I demand and command this archtype of God love to be activated in me.  

Please take and prayerfully study Romans.

I believe Romans 8, 9, and 10 will help us not only understand but to over stand when people walk out of our lives we should let them. The standard that God's sets His affections on us is high. We should not tolerate anything less in our giving or receiving of love. But in order obtain that level of love we are required to become the very love we seek get and ourselves must be willing to love in the same fashion God loves us. But please understand that the life lessons that educate (lead out) us in the art love come from circumstances that test our resolve to love and to be loved. You must also except in order for love to be perfected in us hate must also be present. It is hate that exercises the muscles of love.

I read the most amazing article in the Huffington Post written by Bishop T. D. Jakes, "6 Biblical Lessons on Relationships"-- an eye opening read. For the most part I agree with Bishop Jakes. In light of his 30 plus years in ministry and marriage, I would call him an expert. I would also offer that it takes true courage, compromise and constraint to enter into any relationship. I am going list Jakes 6 Biblical lessons on relationships here but I am going to go a bit deeper.

Before I list Jakes 6, let say for my entire life I have pondered the mysteries of relationships (all types of relationships). If I did not know God, I would believed that I had wrecked every relationship I ever had. But I do know God and I know whether it is clear to me or anyone else no doubt all things are unfolding as they should. When I look at the Bible (my road map for living) I am made aware, in order for function to have its perfect work dysfunction must be present. There seems to be a central theme in the Bible which hinges on creating order out of chaos especially when it comes to God  and man; man and others and man and his ego (self) relating or interrelating.

Bishop Jakes 6 Biblical Lessons:

1.  Overcoming Our Differences in Relationships

God made us in His image and likeness yet we are all different. Different in every way imaginable yet we each have something in our differences that the others need. Let's look at a few examples from the Word of God. God places us in strange places and circumstances in life to bring about they very thing someone else needs to move to greater levels or to be set free. The Prophet Samuel's mother Hannah stood out (differed) from all the wives Samuel's father had--she was greatly loved by her husband but she was barren. She became so despondent about her barrenness that she made vow to God that would open her womb, produce a child (Samuel, the Prophet) who she would not raise because she vowed Samuel to the service of the Lord. Samuel  grew up in the service the Lord, became an advisor to Kings and a nation. Joseph (differed) from all of Jacob 11 sons. He was labeled a dreamer, despised by his brother's and virtually lived in exiled imposed by his brothers because he was different. Yet, his life took such turns the very thing that made him different save a nation from a starving and reconciled him to his family after decades of estrangement.

Overcoming our differences in relationships equates to being able to endure all the hurtful things said about you being different and test your ability to love in spite of being different. Overcoming also requires a level tolerance for your own uniqueness as well as the uniqueness of others. We are not all fashioned to do or be the same. How do you compliment strength or weakness in someone that you are in relationship with? The truth of the matter this is not just applicable in a marriage or intimate relationships; it is applicable in all relationships. Relationships come with expectancy. One person expects the other to be or conduct themselves in a certain way. When that expectancy is unmet time and time again problems begin to settle in the mind of one or maybe both.

Bishop Jakes resolves, understanding is the key that unlocks one capacity to overcome the difference in the relationship. I concur understanding is vital, but it cannot be done from a human (flesh realm).  The type of understanding needed must be Kingdom understanding. Kingdom understand modeled after the type that God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have for us. He understands that we are frail and human. He understands that we are born in sin and shaped in inquity. Until you possess that type of understanding you are ability to overcome differences in your relationships will be hampered by your expectancy you impose in the relationship.  Proverbs 4 is a good source to shed an abundant light on understanding verse 7: "And in all your getting, get understanding."

2. Healthy Relationships Require Emotional and Spiritual Freedom

This was an ouch moment for me, a rude awakening but it is truth and we all know the truth sets us free. "Healthy relationships require emotional and spiritual freedom" OMG. Where do I  start with this lessons? Let it begin with me. I will be real transparent, I cried and cried to break this yoke of bondage. This is warfare. Growing up and living in dysfunction has caused me pain that required me to cry out to God for emotional and spiritual freedom. Once I accessed that emotional and spiritual freedom, I tell you the truth, I will not lose it ever again. No matter the situation, the pain it may inflict or how tough it may appear, I will not, no, I can't let go of that emotional and spiritual freedom. The enemy will use those closest to you to distract you in effort to wreck havoc on your emotional and spiritual freedom. 

Let me give King David as an example of what I mean. David a man after God's own heart learned to be emotionally and spiritually free because he was continually challenged in those particular areas. Don't believe me just read Psalms for yourself. David loved women and he loved them hard. One particular loved resulted in child being born out of emotional bondage. David consumated this unholy matrimonial union by destroying a holy union. The counterfeit emotion of love (lust) led to his downfall and it ultimately cost the sacrifice of love and lost of life  to obtain his spiritual freedom. It was through that child's death that he got emotionally and spiritually free. In order to achieve emotional and spiritual freedom a death of the flesh must occur. Look at David's situation, he sits in mourning, fasting and sackclothes while this son is sick but once the baby died he got up, ate, bathed, dressed and rejoiced. He let go of the shame and weight of the sinful past, the pain that he had caused by his own actions and he allowed God to replace joy for his sorrow. The folks around him didn't get that. No one will understand it when you rejoice when they believe you ought be falling apart in despair. You cannot let their viewpoint pull you back into bondage you must walk in freedom.

3. It Takes Courage to Really Love Someone.

Bishop Jakes' viewpoint here is clear we like David love hard and if it falls aparts we hurt hard. No one wants to experience that pain ever. For me it makes me mindful of the way we reject God's love. How hurt God must feel at His Great Love being continually rejected and tossed aside. Don't think it neccessary to farther in this point. Simple mediate and reflect on how God feels at our rejection of His Great Love.

4. Healthy Compromise in Relationships.

Compromise is a big challenge in all relationships. Husbands and wives; parents and children; business partnerships, educator and student; and employer and employee all need healthy dose of compromise in order to advance in maintaining the relationship. Let look at the parent and child compromise because it is easiest to recognize the stages of progression as the child matures. As the children matures in years it becomes increasing aware of their ability to make their own decision. If the parent has trained that child up in the ways they should go they willing allow them to have more control of life and it evident in them being willing to compromise. Their compromises may be a later curfew, more independence in traveling alone or spending time with peers; things of this nature.  Likewise in our relationship with God, others and self. We grow in stages and levels that require more or less of a thing. God's Word speaks about our ability to partake of Word in stages and level. 1 Peter 2:2 (KJV) says, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby..."  1 Corinthians 3:21 (NLT) says, "I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren't ready for anything stronger. And you still aren't ready," The key in compromising or healthy compromise is to determine the stage and level one is at. A child is not able enter in to a contract with parental permission because that child does not have the capacity to understand the terms of the agreement.  The law usually state under 18 as a child needing parental control and anyone of any age with limited cognitive understanding or ability to reason.

Healthy compromise is also evident in the work and ministry of Jesus Christ. He could not heal where they did not believe. He didn't heal anyone unless He first asked and they believed. This is a Biblicial principle you will not find healing or the dead being raised taking place unless faith was present. Healthy compromise requires faith, belief and we all know the evidence of faith is in hoping for. You cannot have healthy compromise in your marriage if you do not have faith in your partner. You cannot go to the next level in your business or employment relations if you no longer believe or hope for...

5. Safeguarding Your Relationships.

"Safeguarding" is a powerful word, here in this context I believe it most closest signifies stewarding or stewardship. The literal meaning of safeguard is (a measure designed to prevent something undesirable); synonyms: [noun. protection-security-defense-guard] [verb. protect-guard-secure-shelter-defend-shield]. Bishop Jakes says this about safeguarding our relationships:
"In order to maximize your life and relationships, you have to minimize your load. You must focus on what's important when it comes to your relationships. Lightening your load means knowing when to release things. Most of don't realize that the key to release ourselves is within our own hands. You can move ahead and conserve your strength for things that count, things you can change, things you can control. Have the wisdom to see the importance of giving you all to your relationships today!"
I am do not agree entirely with Bishop Jakes and here is where we differ. As I dissect the word safeguard and trace it origins, I receive a different level of revelation. The word safeguard translation to Hebrew/Aramaic mishmereth [mish-meh-reth] watch, i.e. the act (custody or (concr.) the sentry, the post; obj. preservation, or (concr.) safe; fig. observance, i.e. (abstr.) duty, or (obj.) a usage or party--charge, keep to be kept, office, ordinance, safeguard, ward, watch.The word 'safeguard is used once in the Bible in 1 Samuel 22:23 (KJV). David is giving a promise to safeguard  keep the life of  Abiathar safe.  Abiathar has fled from the King Saul who is desires to kill both all with David. David and King Saul's relationship is remarkable in light of the love and hate that existed between the two men. There was a deep love and hate plagued the pair but David was charged to protect it. You can't find an instance of David acting in a manner that upsurped or conspired to act against his charge to protect the relationship though Saul hatred of him was murderous. He fled, he watched and even when opportunity presented itself for David to take Saul's life he safeguarded it. You will not even find an instance of David speaking ill of his King. His charge of keeping watch, duty, ordinance essentially outweighed his emotions.  

The truth of the matter is our relationships will not always go according to our plans. That simple truth is enough for us to safeguard the ordinances of our duties as children of the Most High and seek wisdom in our interaction that bring honor to our stewardship of the relationship that have gone awry. I was told by a wise man, "Jasmin, it doesn't matter how people treat you; but what matters is how you treat people." I found out that he was right. This simple truth helped me learned that I could never be responsible for others behaviors but my own behavior was the thing I should focus on. I went from being a person with a really bad temper and attitude to someone who would control that aspect to someone who grew in love despite having many relationships gone awry.

In essence, as Bishop Jakes says, I minimized my load. I do not carry the burden of what another person does, how the act towards me or what is said about me; that all them. I work toward safeguarding the way I know I am suppose act, speak and care in the portion of me relating to others. I am I always on, not hardly but the intent is to be aware, take care and measure that move me toward being the best steward of my relationships that I have been charged to be.

6. Evaluate Who You Are.

Value, self esteem and setting boundaries are all attributes that Bishop Jakes points to as being essential to these bible-based qualities of relationships. I would agree 200% and I would reference John the Baptist and Jesus Christ as two example of people who knew who they were, the knew their assignments and it mattered not what others did or said about them they were on point.

You must know that you value is not in others and there is nothing another person can do or say that can devalue your worth unless you allow them to. Your value is not lock or tied to a job, your spouse or children. Your value is not your bottom-line, bank account(s) or material possession. Your value is not in your invention, talent or fans. Your value is in you knowing what God has predestined your for. Your value is in you knowing that God created you with purpose and your pursuit of purpose is knowing that what God said He is going to do will be done. You have no business being worried about your life because you should be so intently focused on the God in you that nothing else matters.

Let's take a moment to reflect on the life of John the Baptist. It seems that even before John the Baptist was born he knew who he was. No where in the Bible do we see a baby being filled with the Holy Ghost except John. When Jesus also in his mother's womb enter the same space the in vitro John was quicken.  Luke 1:41 (NIV) says, "When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit." Jesus didn't encounter the Holy Spirit until John baptized him the river Jordan. The Word of God says, Jesus had to come and John had to prepare the way for His coming.

A large part of you knowing who you are is knowing who you are called to serve. The maybe a point where you need to know when it time to fall back because your serving is over. Again John the Baptist and Jesus serve as excellent examples of my point. John prepared for his assignment in vitro and as Jesus comes to assume his assignment John is notably falling back. How many us recognize when it is time to fall back? The signs may be very apparent but many us will have a hard time falling back especially if we have become used to being in the headlines. John shows we can readily fall back and not be forgotten if you have adhered to God's purpose for us.

The entire matter about relationships is something I considered to a life-long study of mine. At 50 years old I believe I am an expert on the subject not entirely because of what I have undergone through studying but I believe God predestined me to be an expert who can prepare the way for others to learn.  My ability to relate well with others comes at a price and that price I do not take lightly.