Friday, June 26, 2009

Can't we all just get along?

Thank you so much for loving my family and me and for lifting us up in prayer. We see His people being committed to living out His love and grace and it encourages us to stand firm! Thursday night The Engineer and I spent some time together in prayer and our God met us on the floor of our family room. He is calmed our minds, reminded us of His great love for us, and has informed us He is in complete control! Amen! Please know that we lifted you up in praise! We praised God for you and will continue to do so. Please know we would fill honored to pray for you and your family too! Your prayer requests are always welcome here! We believe that when Gods people pray He listens!

We will continue on in our relationship series today. This one I feel is for everyone out there! I know pretty bold statement for a girl to make huh? But really as I have prayed over it and read His word, I believe everyone has a relationship that needs work, could be a little better, needs a huge dose of Gods love and grace, am I right? I know I sure do! I want to bring glory and honor in all I do, and being that He is the creator of relationships I most definitely want Him to be glorified through mine. Not from anything I am doing right, but by allowing Him to work in them and through them! Amen!

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:1-11

Each one of us chooses our attitude. We can either go through life expecting to be served or look for opportunities to serve others. I can waste a whole lotta time hoping, wishing that someone else will change to make my life easier and more comfortable, or I can ask God to humble me and show me how to love this person. How to serve this person. I can’t help but wonder how many times it crossed the mind of our Jesus, in the ‘real’ humanness of His mind as He was on the cross, ‘why do these people deserve my love, my commitment?’ I can hear Him asking His Father ‘why do I have to be the one to work out this relationship?’ I believe Jesus lived every moment of His life on purpose. Every step He took to the cross was on purpose. Every thing He did was to restore a relationship. A relationship between a Heavenly Father and His people.

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" Mark 10:45

Have you ever been tempted to ask ‘why me?’ ‘Why do I have to be the one who works harder in this relationship?’ ‘Why does it feel like I am doing all the work here?’

I have asked these questions many times! I have learned that the best place to take these questions is to the throne, the throne of an all knowing God. Yep march right up there and ask away. But when you do, be ready to hear His answer, allow Him to speak to your heart.

He seems to have a pretty stable and solid answer for me each time I ask:

Nichole you are to love others as I have loved you. You are to extend grace to them. The grace that you so freely live in is not just for you, but it is meant to be shared.

I can’t imagine the pain that the cross caused to our Jesus. I can’t imagine the perseverance it took to live out the purpose His Father asked Him to live out.

I can imagine some of the pain that I have felt being in relationships with others here on earth. Relationships that have left me broken hearted, hurt, disappointed, confused, and lonely. I have also caused some hurt, pain, and disappointments to others.

**Can’t we all just get along?

Friends being in relationships with others is NOT something we do in our strength. But rather in allowing God to work in us and through us.

**What kind of people are you attracted to?

Well to be perfectly honest I am attracted to people who give of themselves. They are great listeners. And after time spent with them you feel encouraged to be a better person.

See I believe with my whole heart that people were, are and will continue to be attracted to Jesus, why? Because Jesus gave of Himself. He lived His life to serve others, and knew that His reward had eternal purpose.

**You will gather others around you only by giving of yourself away.

One thing that has been a huge help in my relationships with others is truly asking God to help me see them from His perspective. He is helping me to learn that everyone He created, He created in His image! And that if I truly love Him, then I need to love those He created.

We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And He has give this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:19-21

There is disunity everywhere we turn these days. In marriages, between parents and children, between families, in the work place, in Congress, between different countries, between different religious groups, in the church.

I believe it hurts God immensely to see such disunity. Why? Because He sacrificed someone very dear to His heart to restore unity.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (emphasis mine)

His sacrifice was for all!

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

This verse above encourages me to pass on this same love to those around me. I am reminded I didn’t deserve this love nor can I earn it, it’s a love that God gave freely to us. A love He was willing to grace us with to restore a relationship.

This is how God showed His love among us; He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10

**Can’t we all just get along?

I don’t know about you, but I can’t! I can’t do it. I can’t get it right. Not all of my relationships are perfect…I know scary thought since I am going through this whole relationship series…but it’s the truth.

Dear Friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:11-12

That’s what I want! For His love to be made complete. I want to be submissive to Him and the work He is doing in and through me, so that He can love those around me. He is more than able and it looks so much better when He does it!

Father God may we truly seek to be in an intimate relationship with You. A relationship made possible by Your Son. May the desire of our heart be complete submission to You and Your will. Fill us with the power of the Holy Spirit to live and love on purpose. Amen.


Irritable Mother said...

What a great post for me to read today. Going up north to spend the weekend with my parents - toward whom I harbor bitter feelings, for reasons too many and too picky to list.
I know the grace extended to me and the love showered on me by God is far greater than that which I need to give. But it's still hard.
Can't do it.
Need You, Lord!!!

Thanks for this very timely encouragement today, Nichole.

Leslie said...

Hi Nichole, I haven't been by lately even though I've been wanting to stop in. As I was reading this post, all I kept thinking was "self-sacrifice". We need to make sacrifices in order to love in the manner that God wants us to love. God sacrificed His own beloved son for us! At times we make feel we are making all of the sacrifices in a relationship, but by God's grace, other people do the same thing for us. We just need to keep our eyes on that sacrificial lamb every time we begin struggling in a relationship.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Runner Mom said...

Dear Friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:11-12--I love this!!

Nichole, this post was awesome! It truly spoke to my heart and reminded me of God's Truths. Thanks so much!! Have a great weekend.


Cindy said...

A good friend of mine always says, 'Can't we all play in the same sandbox together?'.

It is impossible to please everybody and get along all the time ~ at least without the help of our Father.

I know right now I am at a place where I want to shut myself off from all relationships and the world ~ to go into a state of hibernation and retreat.

I also know that is NOT God's idea or plan for our lives. We grow from walking through the trials and NOT around them.

Thank you for your words ~ I am so weak right now ~ but HE is strong!

Blessings, Cindy

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

In complete agreement! Praise the Lord. Love you Nichole! Thanks for allowing God to use you.

Sande said...

You know what I felt Him telling me reading your revelation .... We cannot form a relationship with anyone whilst we are constantly picking at their faults. Even if we just salt a little fault finding into that relationship, it causes a deafness or a hardening of the others heart toward us. They may as well put their fingers in their ears and sing 'la la la la la la'. Cannot force, control, manipulate, judge, fault find, criticize into relationship....! Like Christ, we woo, encourage, showcase the "made in His image" greatness in them, and ENJOY them. That's why He created us, why He bought us back into relationship .. not to work for Him [although we do because we want to more than anything] not to have fire insurance or a ticket to heaven [even though we have His Kingdom available to us NOW ... here on earth as it is in heaven] but because He made us so inviting, so attractive, so fulfilling, so fascinatingly irresistible for HIM to enjoy.

Should have blogged that one :) Your post prompted a tasty truth ... thankyou.

Sue J. said...

I ask that question "Why am I working harder in this relationship?" far too often. With my unbelieving spouse, it's obvious. Unequally yoked and pulling more spiritual weight. And when I fall short, which I definitely do, I'm reminded of those words in Philippians; and I need to reset the humble meter!

Loving one another is not easier for the fallible human being! "Getting along" is not exactly easy. Asking God to re-frame our relationship situations, so we can see them with His eyes, is so important. Jesus said this is my commandment; we CAN do this, with His help!

I'm glad that God is granting you His peace in this time, and keeping you focused :-)

Lori said...

This post leaves me with so much to think about! Thank you dear Nichole for opening up this relationship series EVEN more!

God has shown me over and over again, just this month, that when I set out to look at others' through His eyes, I see them differently. By His grace He is showing me how to love on them through my heart, not just by my actions. I too have begun asking for his help; I know I can't do it on my own. It's hopeless. But, I've been blown away, by the fact that just by simply going to Him and asking Him, He's opening up so much more than I ever thought.

This past month I've gone through a couple of situations with my extended family where they have needed much of my time. Honestly, I'd rather give my time to my own family and friends. Each day He has shown me that by humbling myself and seeking Him to do it, He will walk along side me to show me how to do it! He's blessed me by showing me when we seek His Will, not our own, things just work out. He's changed my attitude and at the same time opened up a little scum on my own heart! It's quite easy for me to spot "the evil" amongst my extended family, but this week I've noticed a tad bit of my own! I've asked God to show me, and He has! ouch! Just when I think I'm doing good (hah!) and I'm "on purpose" seeking His Will to nurture my relationships with my extended family He enlightens me some more! 4 different times, just this week (!) I felt the Spirit poking me to not add fuel to the flame. Each situation was a bit different, but each time the Spirit was loud and clear, and as I paused and "listened," I was able to turn around what they were saying so that they saw things from a different perspective. It was a God moment and I felt so close to Him, knowing that He was coming out of me. Kind of like a light bulb moment! Glory to Him. Daily, I pray that my light will shine for all of my unsaved, extended family members, and it was like aha! So this is how you do it! :) :)

*You ask God to show you the way.
*You cling to Jesus and allow him to come out.
*You love those around you!

On purpose I was seeking to look at these family members through His eyes, and miraculously, He was allowing me to. I even felt joyful serving them and spending time with them. This week I felt God going with me because I said, "HELP LORD!"

I see God's light in all people and circumstances. "In the Lord you are light. Live as children of light." Eph. 5:8 "How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!" Psalm 133:1

Love all your comments, dear sisters! Lori - AZ

My Army Brats and Me said...

You are so passionate. That is why I am totally drawn to you. I love that you can take the time to pray with your man on the floor and remember all of us. I know Nichole that you have me covered. I feel it. I feel so lucky to be your friend. God is good!
Love ya
fighting like a girl

From the Heart said...

I agree with the others that this is a timely post. I needed to read it and I want more than anything to be closer to the Father. He has done so much for me, how can I not give Him my all. Thanks for your encouragement in our relationship with the Father.

I have prayed for you and your family. I'm so glad you and your husband have found peace. God loves you both and I know you love Him and that makes the enemy mad so he tries to trip us but with God on our side and the fact we are covered by the blood of Jesus he cannot hurt us in any way, shape or form. We just have to tell him to flee in the name of Jesus.
Bless you my dear friend in Christ,
From my heart to yours,

Kimberly said...

I love that you openly admit that you can't do it. That you need Him. I mean, really. You could say, "Hey, look at me. Listen to what I have to say about relationships because I've got it all down pat." But, nope. You aren't pointing to yourself. You are pointing, as always, to Him.

Whole lotta needin' Him over here!!!
Love to you,

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

God has given me so many relationships along the way to rub off my rough spots. When I bend to them...when I try and rise above some of the pokes and prods behind difficult relationships, I move onto my perfection. It rarely feels good, but I can trust that it is always right.

Great teaching, friend. Keep to it.