40 Days of Prayer: Identifying Covenant Relationships
The Kingdom of God is built on relationships. God created us for the purpose of being in relationship with Him and with one another.
In our circle of relationships, we spend a great deal of time with family, friends, co-laborers, and co-workers. Healthy relationships are an essential part of kingdom living.
“God sets the lonely in families…”
Our scripture text declares that God joins us as a family unit. It is very likely that over time our relationships become a bit strained. In the book, “Covenant Relationships” by Asher Intrater, a prominent leader in the Messianic Jewish community, the author tells of a season when he, and his two colleagues were in conflict with one another. As dynamic leaders in their own right, it would have been easy for the three men to go their own separate ways and pursue promising ministries.
However, God spoke a life changing word that reset their focus: “I’m not in the business of building ministries. I’m in the business of building the Body.”
The message was a clear and supportive confirmation to continue their fellowship and walk in love with one another so that the Body of Messiah would be strengthened by through their Kingdom work.
Personally, whenever I find a person hard to love this is usually an opportunity to grow in my capacity to love like God loves. God desires to make us better in every way, including the way we relate to one another.
Question: Has anyone ever encountered a difficult relationship that caused you to grow in your love walk?
As members of Yeshua’s (Jesus’) Body, we are not members of an organization (a congregation). We are members of the God’s family. We are interconnected by cords of God’s love.
Question: In what ways have you grown by being interconnected with other believers?
Just as our bodies have varying parts that work together to promote our personal well-being. Each person in the Body of Messiah has a unique gift, given to us by God, to edify the Kingdom of God. We each have a role to play in God’s Kingdom. Some of us are called to inspire, some to educate, and some to administrate. Each role is significant, unique, and the purposeful.
Question: What is the gift that God has given you to bring to His Body?
“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!”
Let’s face it, it takes a lot of effort and prayer to maintain healthy relationships with one another. However, the outcome will always be worth it.
We do not live in a perfect world. Offenses will come. We often say the wrong things without meaning to cause pain, but we do. Often our good intentions are misunderstood. Let’s face Satan is a master of causing misunderstandings, confusion, and conflict.
However, Yeshua said… WOE… to those who become offended. Offense is the bait of Satan. Offense is the open door that the enemy uses to slither in and destroy relationships. How many of us have had that happen? We must keep our hearts free from offense. We must have the unoffendable spirit of Yeshua Messiah. (Book: “The Bait of Satan” by John Bevere).
When we are deeply committed to one another, we are more likely to stay connected to one another through hard times and work out our problems and overcome offenses.
“I am the Vine. You are the branches…”
A cut flower although it is beautiful, will soon wither because it’s not connected to the source that gives it life.. Like the flower, we must be connected to be alive in Messiah and experience His fullness. We are each members of one body… connected to one another… and ultimately to God.
Even when there are problems that affect a community like sin… when accountability and support are provided through strengthening relationships and faithful companionship, restoration and wholeness can easily occur.
“Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
The Bible says that we should “endeavor” to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. To “endeavor” to do something is to put forth an “effort” to do something. We must put forth an effort to walk in unity and in peace with one another.
Ways We Can Demonstrate Love:
Complete One Another – Help someone accomplish their goals.
Compliment One Another – Express to others how much they are appreciated.
Celebrate Each Others Journey – Celebrate someone’s victories and accomplishments.
Find Out Something Unique About One Another – We will understand one another better when we know what a person has had to overcome.
God Is Relational
One of the most wonderful revelations we can ever experience is the Father Heart of God. What do you think of when you hear the word “father”?
Do you think of love, protection, provision, warmth, mercy, and parental tenderness? Or does the word “father” paint a picture of someone distant, absent, harsh, and withholding love?
Every person has their own expression of what God is like, based on the feelings, impressions, and experiences that we encountered with our earthly father. Our experiences with our earthly father, usually impacts how we relate to our heavenly Father – and to others.
Good experiences bring us closer to knowing and understanding the Father Heart of God – enabling us to share His love with others. Bad experiences create distorted images of our Father’s love towards us and hinders our relationships with others.
We are “accepted” in the Beloved. To be accepted means that we do not have to labor for approval. We can enter into God’s rest because His love for us is not based on performance.
As children of God, we have the Spirit of Adoption. Abba is a good-good Father. We are much loved children of God. We are blessed and highly favored of God. Receiving the Father’s heart towards us, is the cure for the insecure.
A person with an orphan spirit will often struggle in their walk with God in fear and in rejection because an orphan doesn’t know the love of the Father. However, a son walks in confidence because he knows that he is loved by the Father.
In conclusion, let’s take a look at three types of friendships that we may encounter in life. In life God will send a myriad of people in/out of our lives. Every encounter will weave a beautiful tapestry of experiences in life. However, if we do not look at these encounters from their proper perspective we will cause ourselves pain that Messiah never intended us to experience.
Confidants – These are your covenant relationships. You can tell them anything and this person will not change their minds about you. This person will pray for you, confront you, and love you unconditionally. Every David needs a Johnathan. If you dont have a covenant friend in your life… pray and ask ABBA to send your Johnathan.
Constituents – If you are a mentor or if you are in ministry, you will encounter a lot of constituents. These are the people that are connected to you because of what your friendship offers them. In ministry that’s a good thing.
The problem that most of us face with these types of friendships is that closeness often brings a connection that makes the constituent appear to be a confidant. But don’t get it twisted, as soon as the constituent receives the empowerment they need… they move on… That’s because the person was never attached to you. The person was attached to what you had to offer. So when you are dealing with a constituent keep in mind that constituents are not confidants.
Comrade – The comrade is your co-worker / your battle buddy. You serve on the same committee together. You both fight for the same cause. However, when the battle is over or the task has been accomplished, the comrade will go on their merry way, because the comrade was never attached to you… the comrade was attached to the cause. So keep in mind that comrades are not confidants.
Today, and always, let us apply these tools so that we can walk wisely, prayerfully, humbly, and lovingly with one another. When we do, we will experience God’s best in our relationships – Amen.
Worship Experience:“I Need You To Survive” w/ Hezekiah Walker