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YWAM DTS Notes on Relationships based on lectures by Shirley Brownhill

 

The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.  John 17:22-23 (NASB)

God can be made known to the world as we labor together in unity. 

We are in relationship with God and with others, there are many circles of relationships.  With God let me not be an outer court dweller but an inner court.  Iíve got to enter into relationships.  Iíve got to speak truth in relationships.  We may think itís loving to withhold truth, but we need to speak the truth in love. 

God is not in the business of reformation but in making all things new, Gal. 2:20 (II Cor. 5:17).  Too often people live in rebellion or have been wounded in rejection and then manifest self pity, self hatred, depression, and negativity.  We as believers are to represent Godís nature and character to others.  My primary concern should be, whatís the opinion of God? We must take personal responsibility and not blame others.  We are to be committed to humility, walking humbly with God.  What ever you are at your worst, that is your level of maturity.  Our private world and our public world should match.  Stop blaming others for your heart response.

Unity and oneness are emphasized in Jesus prayer in John 17, ďthat they might be one, as we are one.Ē   The way you relate to God is the same way you relate to people.  It may not be reluctance, but not knowing how.  The Church has mystified knowing God. 

Find your voice in the context of the way God has designed you.  You donít need to pattern your response to someone else.

Joshua in Joshua 1 Ė 3, is told to be strong and courageous.  Get more courageous, get out of the fish bowl, into the pond, the river, even the sea.

You have a built in sense of the supreme value of love.  Only Christ can fill this desire.  You can invest in heart, mind, soul, and strength fully in God and not be disappointed.  He should be our first port of call.  Holiness comes through humility.  When we love God first and above all, then our need for divine unchanging love is met.

Identity and destiny go together.

Satan is the relationship wrecker.

As far as it depends you, be at peace with all menÖ Rom. 12:18

Donít let the sun go down on your wrath Eph. 4:26

Righteousness is being rightly related to God and others.  The fear of the Lord is to keep His commandments, walk in His ways, listen to His words, cling to Him, love, and serve Him.

Often our difficulties in relationships with others are related to forbearance issues.  (Forbearance is the act of forbearing or being patient with others exercising tolerance and restraint in the face of provocation.)  If we donítí get along (with other believers) we have no voice for evangelism.  We get oneness around Him, together we identify the mind of Christ.  Culture must never ever have a louder voice than God.

There is no plan of God for me to reach spiritual maturity alone.  The emphasis of the New Testament is our relationship with God. Belonging to the body of Christ is not technical or theoretical it is real.   We reach our maturity as we belong to one another.  Missionaries leave the field because they canít get along with other missionaries.  There is a failure to exercise forgiveness and reconciliation.  If you are in an army, if you are separated from your unit, you should attempt to communicate and rejoin you unit, while hiding in a safe place.  You cannot fight alone, even with the equipment of Ephesians 6. 

The greatest quality of a leader is self control.  Sometimes we make life difficult for leaders by picking up on non issues.

A Christian witness could be called a withness, the report of one who has been with God.  

Relationships are not based on perfection and are not to be conditional, ďI will be your friend as long as you meet my needsĒ. 

Sin separates, sin divides.  The challenge is to love even our enemies. 

Relationship and unity is demonstration based, we donít just talk about it.  We should be able to say, ďcome live with me, and you will see Jesus.Ē

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Heb 11:6 (NASB) We have to get ourselves into a position of faith.

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren  1 John 3:16 (NASB) We need to lay down our lives for each other.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

Phil 2:3-5 (NASB)  No selfish ambition, but having ambition for others.

An offense or imperfection in another can produce in us a downward cycle: 

Reserve

 

 

à Directed at others

Distance

Resentment

Judging

Criticism

A lack of confidence

 

à Personal pain, canít distinguish how you got there

A lack of fellowship

A lack of love

A lack of unity

Offer excuses

 

à Start to blame

Blame

ďI deserve betterĒ

Vindictive

 

à Move in pride

Revengeful

Four primary aspects of relationships:

  1. Love

And He said to him, " 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' 38 "This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' Matt 22:37-39 (NASB)  See also Deut. 6:5.  You may not always have emotion toward loving God, but always commitment. Speak out how good God is.  To love God involves every aspect of our lives.  He must be the object of our affection.  He loves me with a love that is totally dependable.  Love needs to be expressed, many times in many ways.  Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints , practicing hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you ; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord. 20 "BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:9-21 (NASB)  Heap burning coals is an act of kindness for their warmth, thus ministering to their needs in practical care.  We are to ministers of reconciliation.  My job is representing Him, to reach out in the opposite spirit of enemies or of those who offend.  Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 2 Tim 3:12 We love, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19  "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 14 "You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 "No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17 "This I command you, that you love one another. John 15:12-17 (NASB)  Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Cor 13:4-7 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 Hatred stirs up strife,

But love covers all transgressions. Prov 10:12 (NASB)

Donít assess how much others are loving you, just love them.

  1. Trust

Trust is essential to life, it is life giving.  Babies are born trusting.  Characteristics of trustworthiness are consistency and reliability.  We ought not be sometimes grumpy or moody.  We give eye contact to one speaking, communicating value.  Trust is when I voluntarily make myself dependent on another person, for some outcome, or for some thing.  Trust is a choice.  There is to be no contingency plan in place.  Trust strikes at the root of independence.  We are made to be risk takers, not thrill seekers.  Trust is both a crisis and a process.  All relationships involve trust.  Marriage is not a contract but a covenant, to be loyal for the rest of my days.  Trust is an active commitment to fulfill the heavenly vision, trusting the Father and one another.  Be trustworthy, let your yes be yes and your no, be no (Matt. 5:37).  God doesnít want islands, He wants us to be together, shoulder to shoulder.   Trust depends most on good character: loyalty, faithfulness, commitment, steadfastness, and honesty.  Öhe who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. Psalms 15:2 (NASB)  People have to trust leaders.  Leaders need to trust those they lead.  The greater responsibility rests with the leader.  They decide what is to be done, when, and by whom.  Leaders exercise power and have tremendous responsibility.  They generally have more access to information and knowledge.  When a leader fails, it is a breach of trust.  When you trust a leader, you trust: their judgment, their future pointing direction, their integrity, honesty, and truthfulness.  If the leader will admit mistakes, and lead back to safety, the people will continue to follow.  To make a mistake in leadership is costly, but to not admit it is fatal. You begin to operate on a false foundation.  Trust a leaderís perseverance, anyone can lead when things are going well, but real character comes out in hardship.  The criteria for a leader are capability and character.  Character is the more important criteria.  Character doesnít develop or change suddenly.  It takes three months to change and three months to establish the changes, thus six months of DTS. 

  1. Honor and respect

First give honor to the Lord.  For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:21 (NASB)  Give recognition of worth and value to others based on the fact they are made in the image of God.  The New Testament emphasis is more on character than on spiritual gifts.  Character valued in this generation will inspire the next.   Recognize and affirm effort and intention as well as action.  Lack of honor and respect often breeds feelings of inferiority and insecurity.  Recognize gifts and affirm character.  Pride and inferiority can keep us from expressing affection.  Speak out affirmation, donít keep it to yourself.   Discipleship is 10% correction and 90% affirmation.  Encouragement means to give courage.   25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 "It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Matt 20:25-28 (NASB) Serve without expectations and unconditionally.  Sitting down, He called the twelve and said* to them, "If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all." Mark 9:35 (NASB)

  1. Communication

This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;  James 1:19 (NASB)  For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. 3 Now if we put the bits into the horses' mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. 4 Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. 5 So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.

 See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life , and is set on fire by hell . 7 For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race . 8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. James 3:2-10 (NASB)

Declare sin to one another.  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16 (NASB)  Jesus does not say to ignore the speck in your brother's eye. He says "first" take the plank out of your own eye, "then" you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye (Matt. 7:3-5). When bringing sin to the attention of another believer, donít do it in an accusing way or in aggressive manner.  Accountability and reporting are very important to team ministry. 

Avoid gossip.  What do you do whey you hear a negative comment about someone without knowing their character?  You should ask the person to stop.  Donít listen to gossip or pass it on.  References: Prov. 16:20; 17:9: 20:19: 26:20; I Timothy 3:11

A person's love for God must show itself in love for people.  "Anyone who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen" (I John 4:20). 

What God is saying to me

Often our difficulties in relationships with others are related to forbearance issues.  (Forbearance is the act of forbearing or being patient with others exercising tolerance and restraint in the face of provocation.)  If we donítí get along (with other believers) we have no voice for evangelism.  Missionaries leave the field because they canít get along with other missionaries.  There is a failure to exercise forgiveness and reconciliation.  My job is representing Him, to reach out in the opposite spirit of enemies or of those who offend.

I have been impressed the last few days to pray more for the tearing down of spiritual strongholds in Thailand, to do some prayer walking again when we return.  There are centuries of Buddhism, animism, and holidays that invite and allow the Enemy to blind the precious Thai people to the Gospel.

Again I was reminded not to be independent, but serving and growing together with other believers.   I was reminded not to take up again an offense already dealt with.

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 2 Cor 5:18-19 (NASB)   God not only wants us to get along, and to love one another but also help others to be reconciled.

Donít assess how much others are loving you, just love them.

 
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