Saturday, April 14, 2012

Honor & Life Messages

Lately the Lord has been speaking to me about "life messages." By this, I believe He means the individual purpose and significance He has birthed in each of us that we are assigned to carry into our world. We are all created so differently, and for good reason, He loves variety - just look at the animal and plant kingdoms! As there are so many lifestyles, cultures, and temperaments - God cannot have ministry that is one size fits all. When you look around at the vast expanse of Christian programs and literature, it can be a bit dizzying and can even push some people towards cynicism and further to criticism - particularly if a ministry's style does not suit you, your tastes, or your current spiritual maturity level. Can I encourage you to not buy into that and continue reading with an open heart? I had such a strong desire to put this blog together, because I know this is a common ploy of the destroy the unity of the body of Christ and fragment us over sometimes serious but often inane differences.

The principle of honor (respect, esteem, value) is such an important one in every arena, but sadly there are still some folks out there who haven't quite let God refine this characteristic in them. I know, because I have been one of them! To be honest, I have been successful at doing this on a high level, meaning with large and visible ministries, and seeing the good they are doing in the name of Jesus, even if it isn't ministering strongly to me. God has led us to sow financially into various ministries like this and bless them to continue on in their work; this is going beyond simply acknowledging their mission but is supporting and esteeming their mission to the point where it affects your that is honor.

All of that being said, I had been having a more difficult time with honor in more personal and close to home relationships. Struggling to put the pieces together and love, respect, and honor others - especially when they have not been honoring you - can be quite difficult. I have been seeking God over this matter for months, and it is crystal clear that love and honor are very high on His priority list for me right now!

As I prayed and sought Him about it, He spoke to my spirit in such clear terms (and might I add, not angrily or condescendingly, but calmly and in an encouraging way) about the concept of every individual and their life message. Just as corporations have mission statements and core values, God has created each of us so uniquely, with backgrounds, experience, education, and interests that all fit together to create the exact life message He destined for us; that life message is vital to a lost and dying world, and He wants all of us to find it and come into our own in terms of purpose with passion.

When you think about #1 His brilliance and #2 His plan, it boggles the mind for little old me to begin criticizing whomever for what I think they are not doing correctly. My responsibility is to honor them and the life message that, most of the time, I can see so clearly written all over them. While doing this, it is also extremely important that I be pursuing my life message with singleness of vision, regardless of what others may be thinking, saying, or doing about me. I do wonder sometimes how many life messages have been abandoned or even crushed as a result of others' jealousy, mistreatment, or plain misunderstanding.

Can I challenge and encourage you on both of these fronts, to be the type of person that honors others, regardless of whether you understand them, and continues to relentlessly pursue your own life message, even if it's sometimes alone? The King has need of you; answer His call and don't let the enemy have one more inch (make that centimeter!) of ground in this area :).

I Samuel 2:7-9
The Lord makes some poor and others rich; he brings some down and lifts others up.
He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump.
He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honor.
For all the earth is the Lord’s, and he has set the world in order.
He will protect his faithful ones,
but the wicked will disappear in darkness.
No one will succeed by strength alone.