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Weekly Messages

January 16, 2012

What Is Your Most Important Relationship?

If I asked you what your most important relationship was what would you tell me?

  • Is it your relationship with your husband or wife, your parents or your children?
  • Would you say it was a co-worker or a good friend?
  • If someone that did not know you very well looked at your life would they be able to identify your most important relationship based on the way you treat it?

Most of us will say our most important relationship is our relationship with God. Those would be the words we would say, but is it the truth? Would someone on the outside be able to tell by the way we talk, walk or act, or would they be totally shocked by our answer? The truth is that people ought to be able to tell who we are in relationship with and they should be able to determine the strength of the relationship based on how we act and what we say.

What are some of the signs of a true love relationship, whether it be a relationship with our creator or a relationship with another human being?

  • How we spend our time is a great indicator of where our heart is.
  • How we spend our money.
  • We want to learn more about that person and we do the things that we know will make them happy, things that will put a smile on his or her face.
  • Selflessness not selfishness.
  • Giving, sacrificing
  • Giving up your desire or need to be right because the relationship is more important than being right

Are these things any different if your love relationship is with God or another human being?

The truth is that our most important relationship should be with God, the God who created us and knows us inside and out. He knows are end from our beginning, nobody else knows us like that, they may guess or assume, but they don’t know.

John 3:16, tells us 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

What kind of love is that? Have you ever had a relationship with that kind of love? What are you doing to show that you love Him back? The truth is that His love is a free gift, but when you love someone you don’t do for them because they require it you do for them because you love them. You identify their love language and you do what is necessary to make them smile.

God is looking for us to love Him back. To love Him enough to forsake the sin that so easily besets us. To love Him so much that we put Him first, not just talking about it but doing it. How much time do you spend with God on a daily basis.

Remember that God is a jealous God Exodus 34:14 says, 14 You must worship no other gods, for the LORD, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you. That is what He has spoken about you. He is not into sharing. He feels stronger about you than a crack addict feels about his next hit and He will go to war with and for you about that relationship. Nobody loves you more. He will allow you to go down some blind alleys looking at some stuff and chasing some stuff that looks good all the while knowing He is going to draw you back to Himself.

So instead of chasing after all the stuff that glitters and cannot really satisfy we need to chase after God and allow Him to work out the details of our lives. Chase after Him by studying the word, spending time with Him in prayer and medication, worship and praise. If you spend the time with Him first and make Him a priority He will teach you how to make your other relationships right. Stuff you did not even realize was wrong, He will straighten out for you, revealing error and guiding you in the right direction to save and preserve life, yours as well as the lives of others that you come in contact with.

If you have not yet realized what your most important relationship should be I will tell you, it’s not your husband or wife, son or daughter, mother or father. Your most important relationship is the one you have with God through His son Jesus Christ. Allow it to direct and be the foundation of the relationships you have with everyone else.

Take some time to evaluate the present condition of your relationship with God. How does it look? Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can have a bad relationship with others and still have a great relationship with Him. It does not work that way. Our relationships with others are a direct manifestation of our relationship with God. If you are ignoring the people that have shown you the most love or disregarding them or their feelings know that is not coming from the heart or spirit of God.

If you are not attempting to help the least of these, the have nots and everything in your life is focused on you, that is not coming from the heart or spirit of God. Operating in a spirit of rebellion or disobedience that is not coming from the heart or spirit of God. Allowing everyone else to pick up your slack while you slack is not coming from the heart or spirit of God. Laziness and slothfulness, selfishness and the like does not come from a right relationship with Him.

Your relationship with God will dictate how you treat others and also how you treat yourself. Your relationship with God will dictate your attitude and your actions. Dressing it up on Sunday morning and taking it to church does not make it right, what makes it right is a personal relationship, a real personal and honest relationship with God that helps you to walk it out the way He wants you to.

Living any kind of way and excusing it away does not honor Him or show us to be in a right relationship with Him, but it does send a message to an unbelieving world, that we are no different than the world.

I shared with you before that God has done a work in my relationships with the people in my life, at work, in ministry and also in my personal life. I thought I was okay, but He showed me that I was not, there were some things He wanted to correct and that is just what He has done. He showed me a spirit of rebellion in one of my relationships and that inability to submit was disobedience to Him and what He had told me to do.

I don’t know where you are in your life or I should say where you think you are, but this is the time to make any necessary course corrections and put the focus on God. Allow Him to work it out in you and in your relationships starting with your relationship with Him.

Scripture Reference:

Exodus 34:14:

14 You must worship no other gods, for the LORD, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you

 

January 9, 2012

A New Year!

While contemplating the new year and all that it had in store I was challenged. Challenged with what to do, challenged with where to go and which way to get there, just challenged. My friends were all going out for new year’s eve and I had no plans.

I could have, many opportunities and doors were open to me, but my choice was to make no choice. I did not know why and as the day went on I found myself becoming more and more agitated and upset about what, I could not tell you. The tears came for no reason or none that I could easily put my finger on. God had made many promises to me and I was overjoyed at the possibility, but all of a sudden that day I felt like an emotional wreck.

I spoke to a friend and she tried to cheer me. She tried to answer the question, but the only problem was I did not know what the question was and when you don’t know the question there can really be no answer. She offered to come by and visit but that did not fit. I knew I needed to be alone, me, my heart and my God.

Later I got the opportunity to speak to another sister friend and daughter and shared how I was feeling. She said, “do you know what you have been through this year? You are a warrior. Did you ever take a minute to cry or to grieve what had happened?” She went on to say that in spite of all of that, you continued to minister to us, to listen to us, to be there for us.” All I could say was wow. She was right. While I had not done ministry in the way I was accustomed to doing it, I was still doing ministry.

Things were different. It was not being done in a group setting like when I was over the prayer ministry or doing bible studies. There was a lot more one on one ministry, which allowed me to be more transparent, to share who I am and what God had done and was doing in my life. The challenge to who I was and all that God had called me to be had been greater.

Wrongfully accused of things I did not do and watching God use those false accusations to show me the things He really wanted to show me. My boss counseled me wisely to look for the thread or truth and God showed it to me. Loving people that did not love me, and knowing they did not love me, it was difficult, but it had to be done. Going from walking in my gift of administration to really walking my life out using my primary gift, which is the gift of encouragement, no matter who it was or where I was.

It was time for Angela to be Angela, no matter what. Seeing the person in their totality not just for what they did or did not do. Sharing intimate parts of what God was doing in my life without fear of being misread or lied on was difficult, but necessary. A lot happened in 2011 but while it was painful, it was stressful and challenged me to the very core of who I am, it was all good. I had a desire to change and it changed me. I wanted to grow. I wanted to be all that God had called, purposed and created me to be.

I remember one of my peers saying Angela, nobody can recreate themselves and she was absolutely right, we can’t but God can do anything with a willing vessel.

God was using every challenge and every hurt to change me from the inside out. He wanted to remove the unnecessary watching and questioning. I had to stop looking that sister upside her head no matter what she was doing or saying to or about me.

Yes, the minister, the called, the chosen, was having a problem with the way people were treating her. She was having a problem with people, personalities and their issues, the very things God called me to minister to as part of the New Beginnings Ministry. I had money thrown on the table at me during our classes instead of being handed to me. Women walking past me as though they could not see me to get to my business partner at the time as though I did not exist or had done something to them. He said the same thing I said, but they did not want to hear it from me.

No matter how they treated me, I had to show love. She was not going where I was going, but my purpose required me to make the changes. Lied on yes, talked about yes, and called to love them any way yes. He wanted to change my thinking and raise my trust and faith in Him, not them. The faith walk is one that all of us must go through if we really want to walk in all that He has called us to walk in but......... it’s not easy. If it were easy we would not need God to get us through it.

My business partner at the time said why didn’t you tell me, I would have dealt with it. The truth is there was no way for him to deal with it. I had to get through it. He was not going to be there every time someone mistreated me or lied on me. I had to learn how to endure in love. I had to learn how to endure when the person that had become my enemy was someone that I thought I had a good relationship with or someone I had tried to help. It did not matter who it was, I was going somewhere and I had to be prepared to love them anyway.

Moving into the new year I was challenged. I stopped to get something to eat last night and ran into a minister from my church. She wants to do some ministry together. I have seen her for over a year at church, but we have never talked.

She said I have had my eye on you. We discussed some pleasantries, how was your new years etc. I told her about my new years eve and she said, “God was purging you”. Again all I could say was wow. I had to release the things the stuff that had gone on in 2011 to move into 2012. There was no bitterness, no hurt or unforgiveness clinging to me, but the stuff happened and I had to release it because even though I was not showing it, it was still in my bag. I still had to go through the emotional responses that are associated with each event.

None of us is too spiritual to feel or have feelings, especially when we care about people and I had begun to earnestly and seriously care and love them.

As a result of everything that happened in 2011, I am stronger, I am better. I would even say that my aroma is sweeter. Instead of looking at everything that happens and saying why did that happen, I have begun to say, “Thank You God,” for the situations and the circumstances and to ask Him to show me what I am supposed to learn from it.

When we realize and accept it is all part of our preparation, like the preparation of Joseph in Genesis 37-50, it makes it a lot easier to deal with and to get through. The bible is clear in Romans 8:28: And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. The bad things that happened, the hurt we experienced works together for my good, for my sweet aroma.

Ask Joseph and his family. Ask me. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph, said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people”. When we walk through the things God has allowed us to walk through we will be just like Joseph, no bitterness and no unforgiveness, just completing our assignment. We will be just like Jesus.......... He also had to complete His assignment in spite of the way people treated him.

As a result of what God allowed in my life my ministry direction, has changed. My focus is now relational fitness. The things that use to bother me don’t bother me any more. I can now reach out differently to the one that means me no good. When I started over 9 years ago this was my weakest area, today my greatest desire is to see relationships healed, reconciled and restored.

We serve a relational God. He thought so much about relationships that John 3:16 says, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” That is a serious love relationship.

I don’t know what you have gone through, but I do know that just like me, just like Joseph and just like Jesus, God has a plan that includes it.

Scripture Reference:

1 Corinthians 2:9:
9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.”[a

 
Tuesday, 12 July 2011 08:29

What Is Your Goliath - What Are You Afraid of?

I was reading a devotional the other day about Goliath and how David slayed him. The bible says David ran to his Goliath. David was not afraid he knew that fool had to go down and that he was God’s chosen vessel to get the job done. What have you been chosen or purposed to do and do you take the same attitude and approach that David took or are you running from your situation, circumstance issue-your goliath.

If you have never read it I encourage you to read the story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. Nobody believed that David could slay Goliath, not even his brothers. His brothers actually told him to go somewhere and sit down. Many people have done the same things to many of us,

  • doubted us and our ability
  • doubted the call of God on our lives
  • even going so far as to tell us what we could and could not do

Now is the time for us to address our situations and circumstances and to prove our doubters wrong. Now is the time to first identify the goliaths in our lives. What are they and where did they come from? What in us is causing us to give them power? Is your Goliath:

  1. Fear of being Exposed-found out
  2. Fear of losing something you hold dear-a relationship, a job
  3. Dealing with issues from your past
  4. Standing against ungodly opposition or just doing what God has called you to do because it is unpopular-not politically correct but biblically correct
  5. Death

What is that thing that struts in front of you making fun of you and daring you to say anything?

David used a slingshot and a rock to kill his enemy-what is your strategy?

What are you doing right now to serve notice on your enemy and let him know you have the victory?

No matter what the enemy tries to bring against us we can stand strong knowing that the bible has an answer for our Goliaths. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 1 Corinthians 15:58 says 58With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don't hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort. Jeremiah 1:8 says, 8 And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Isaiah 54:4 says, 4 “Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. Don’t be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you. You will no longer remember the shame of your youth and the sorrows of widowhood.

Isaiah 54:16-17 says,
16 “I have created the blacksmith
who fans the coals beneath the forge
and makes the weapons of destruction.
And I have created the armies that destroy.
17 But in that coming day
no weapon turned against you will succeed.
You will silence every voice
raised up to accuse you.
These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord;
their vindication will come from me.
I, the Lord, have spoken!

1 Peter 5:8-10 says,
8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters[a] all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.
10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.
And with all of those scriptures written to assure us of God’s protection and His warning that we are not to fear we still allow FEAR-False, Evidence, Appearing, Real to try to overtake our minds and stop us from walking in the victory that God has for us. Time out for that, it is time for us to be like David and run at the very enemy that is trying to stop us. If David was afraid he did not show it, he ran at his Goliath and that is what we need to do.
Some things you need to remember about your Goliath:

  • Just like the goliath that David had to fight the things we have to fight are a lot of smoke and mirrors. Big talk, and a loud mouth.
  • You have to use your own weapons and anointing. It is time to pick your own weapons and armor like David did. Remember that what works for someone else may not work for you. You cannot wear your cousins armor or walk in your sisters anointing. If you are going to fight and gain the victory, you are going to have to use the weapons that God has provided for you and walk in your own anointing. David could not wear the armor they tried to give him because it was too big and his weapon was 5 stones and a slingshot not armor and a sword.
  • They can’t move that fast our God can beat them
  • When you step up realize that there will be opposition. Don’t be surprised by where the opposition comes from. David was opposed by his brothers, but he did not allow that to distract him from his purpose and neither can we. People may not have faith in you, but it is our responsibility not to look at people but to look at God.
  • They keep taunting us because they know that they can. When you put a stop to it, it will be stopped.
  • Faith will be required. David said 45 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Daniel and the 3 Hebrew boys had to exhibit the same type of faith when thrown into the firey furnace and the lions den.
  • Instead of running away from our goliath’s it is time to run towards them and secure the victory that has already been given to us. 48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. Are you running to meet your Goliath or slinking back in fear? It’s time to give him a run for his money.
  • Everything that happens in our lives is either God authorized or God allowed even our goliath situations
  • The enemy is prowling like a lion, but he is not a lion, he does not have the power or prowess that a lion has, but if we allow him access or allow him the ability to scare us he will continue to do it. We have to stand strong against him and have faith/trust in God, not in ourselves or in our own abilities, but in God.
  • When God delivers you from your Goliath others will see it and you will be a witness for Him.

Everybody else might be afraid, they might be running, but be sure you hear the Word of the Lord to you and do what He tells you to do, it does not matter what everybody else is doing. Remember if God called you to this, He will definitely bring you through it, that is His job and His promise to you. Don’t be afraid of your Goliath, it may be the very thing God wants to use to deliver you, your family, city, state or nation. Run to it in faith.

Assignment-

Identify areas in your life where you have allowed the enemy to wander around unchecked, taunting you and causing you to run scared. It is time to take up our weapon of faith and stand against him.

Scripture Reference:

Passage 1 Samuel 17:48:

48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him.

 
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