Victory Through Relationship
The currency of the kingdom of God is relationships.Life is not about what you have, your title, or your bank accounts. Although all those things are important, life is relational. We exist and perceive our identity not in a vacuum, but in relation to whom we are connected. I believe that God wants us to experience the abundant life, one that is superior in quality…and for us to have victory in our relationships!
Statistics have shown that happiness is positively correlated with stable, healthy relationships. When you have healthy relationships and feel loved and accepted for who you are, you are much more likely to be a healthy, happy person. In connection, we find comfort, safety and nurturing that allows us to develop as a whole person. Your relationships can even affect your biochemistry, which affects your physical body. It isn’t any surprise then, that Satan would try to affect our ability to be healthy and whole in relationships, or to choose the wrong individuals with which to have relationship. We only experience victory through relationship with Jesus Christ. Our first victory begins with that one thing – relationship.
Relationships are the most important aspect of life, but unfortunately, relationships can needlessly become difficult because of past trauma and experience. Everything that we need comes down to our relationship with Jesus Christ. Complete victory in the kingdom of God often comes through our relationships with other believers. God created us for relationship! The two fundamental building blocks of society are the church and the family. We need wholeness in our relationships so that we can have wholeness in the church. So how do we reach the point of being whole and healed in our relationships?
Let me share with you what God showed me. For a long time, I was not healthy or whole in my relationships. My idea of what was “normal” was in fact, “not normal” and I had to study, digest and apply God’s Word to my life to find wholeness. God will take what is unhealthy within you and begin to work on you through the Holy Spirit. If you are willing, He will bring you to the place where you are whole in Christ in your relationships. You can’t conquer what you will not confront! When a relationship is healthy, we can cultivate that relationship. When a relationship is unhealthy and toxic, we should distance ourselves from that person or prayerfully consider severing from our lives.
Through the Holy Spirit working in us, we can obtain victory in our relationships. The Bible says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it springs the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23). Here is a delicate challenge! If I put up too high of a wall around my heart, I become a prisoner to myself. It is easy for me to isolate myself from the good relationships God has for me, because I’ve been wounded in the past. But if I’m not guarded at all, I’m vulnerable to the wounding of malicious, destructive people. So I have to be responsible to guard my heart.
The Bible tells us to “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits” in other people before we ever get into a relationship with them (1 John 4:1). This means we shouldn’t jump into a relationship too quickly, whether it’s with a person or an organization. It takes time to really get to know a person or group of people. You shouldn’t make a decision based on one experience, because you’re only seeing a sliver of the person or group. Anybody can show you a side they want you to see for a time. How many people wake up one day and wonder who the person is lying next to them? Often people have “purchased” something based on false and misleading advertising. They didn’t pay attention to the fine print.
Listen up: never lose your identity or compromise your character for anyone!
If they don’t like you, all of you, just the way you are – then walk away. You cannot lose who you are for them! Ultimately, you will be hurt by their self-interest and lack of conscience and consideration to your well-being. In Genesis 29, Rebekah, Jacob’s mother, had two daughters, Leah and Rachel. Jacob fell head over heels in love with Rachel, and he made an agreement with Rachel’s father Laban to be able to marry Rachel. Jacob agreed to work for Laban for seven years in order to marry her, and the Bible says it passed in a moment because of Jacob’s love for Rachel. After seven years of labor, Jacob has his wedding. But when he awakes the next day, he finds that he has married Leah instead! Jacob works seven more years to marry Rachel. He loves Rachel so passionately, but he did not love Leah. Leah was caught in a web of deception that was not her doing. Leah knew she was not the wife who Jacob wanted, so she began to try to gain his affection. She started having children, thinking somehow that if she gave him children, he would love her.
Toxic sign #1: Gaining Jacob’s love become an obsession for Leah.
The starting point for turning unhealthy relationships to healthy ones is by eliminating the idols in your life and putting God first. Even though Leah had a covenant relationship with God, and was birthing blessings given to her by God, she did it for the wrong reason. She was parading her blessings of children around to try to gain Jacob’s affection. The love and affection she desired from Jacob, who was not able to give it to her, became her god – an idol. After we have eliminated the idols from our lives and put God first, we must identify and accept the reality of our relationships.
One key to having healthy relationships is that you are not trying to be someone else’s God. There’s a huge difference between helping a person and carrying a person. Only God can fix your heart, mend your mind and meet the unfulfilled needs in your life. No other human being can ever complete you, and you can’t complete another person. When you begin to get away from unhealthy relationships, you will experience some criticism. You will need to be rock solid in your conviction that you deserve better because God has shown you better. Sometimes we find ourselves in a place where we have a few unhealthy relationships that will require some distance. Ending relationships takes a lot of emotional energy, and when you find that this is the case, end unhealthy relationships progressively. Don’t ever burn a bridge unless you have to – leaving things in a state of mutual respect is always best. Be sure going forward, that you form relationships to fit.
The currency of the kingdom of God is relationships. God never intended for you to be alone! You can’t conquer what you will not confront, and you can’t confront what you don’t identify. There was a time when I was not healthy in the area of relationships. If we are willing to study, digest and apply God’s Word to our life to find wholeness in relationships, God will take what is unhealthy and begin to restore you through the Holy Spirit. God wants us to experience the abundant life, and for us to have victory in our relationships. God is no respecter of persons – what he will do for one, He will do for another. God will restore to you the joy of relationship just as He has done in my life! God has relationships for you that will bring you blessing, multiplication, and joy! Get ready!