If you’re establishing a relationships outside of the life of Christ, you’re establishing a soulish, fleshly and ultimately Kingdom-distracting union. Does this seem harsh, over the top, or extreme? Ask yourself. Has any relationship that I’ve made in the flesh ever directly benefited my spiritual life? Has it ever produced the life of the Kingdom? Personally, I would have to answer no. Sure, God is a miracle worker and can bring forth the purposes of heaven even through my blunders. But this is more about His grace and graciousness to me. Regardless of the final outcome, however, my fleshly-established relationships have caused me needless pain and suffering. Suffering I might have avoided if I had stayed in Christ, allowing my life to emanate from only Him.
Relationships Just for ME
Why is this? Why don’t I have the right to make relationships like I want? I have the right because of free will, but just because I can, doesn’t mean I should. When we were crucified in Christ, our lives ceased to be our own. Christ’s life is my life. My life ended and He now lives His life through me. Now my life is found in Him. My life is hidden in the heavens. I am supposed to have no further self-interests because I am no more.
Think about it, if I am establishing a relationship with a motivation for self, then it’s selfish and fleshly. And if it’s flesh, then it’s sin. “Oh John, you’ve just gone too far there!” But Jesus Himself said that if you are not for Him, you’re against Him. If you’re not gathering, you are scattering (Matthew 12:30). Basically, if you’re not building the Kingdom, you’re tearing it down. And the practicality of this scripture is frightening. It’s not just theoretical, it’s actually lived out in every aspect of our lives.
Relationships Check Up
Is this an easy word? Do I like this truth? Well, if I did, I probably wouldn’t be writing this. I am by no means TELLING in this, I am hearing. God is pricking my heart that He alone is the definer of my interactions. My motivation and desire to gain something for self doesn’t obscure the reality in which I speak. My life is Christ’s life; it’s not my life!
What is the benefit of this hard truth? Remember my post, “What’s in it for me?” There is something higher than gratifying relationships for self today. My eternity can be visible now as He, not me, lives my life. I can experience Him not me. I can know Him through me, in my relationships. This is huge and a must-not-miss experience.
This doesn’t mean I’ll only have relationships with believers. No, God leads us to have relationships with unbelievers for various reasons. The point is that these relationships will be for Him, not self. His relating rather than my self-serving extractions of need. Have you ever heard someone say of their soul mate, “They complete me”? Yuck. This essentially says, “Thank God I finally found a source that fills what I was missing and wanted.”
Christ is ALL
Let me shoot this high. Martha talked about the Hebrew translation of Isaiah 48:12. I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last. The Hebrew words of this is Ani-hi and harishon af ani haaharon, which literally translates as, “An ‘I-He’ [a union between me and Him] is the first, and an ‘I’ [which is only I] is the last.” This can be a little confusing, but for me it is absolutely amazing. I read it as, first I come into union with Christ and then the He becomes all there is.
St. Gertrude prayed about this: I am You. You are I. I am not You, You are not I. I and You, we are a new being: an I-You.
Wow, I am a New Creation, He in me!
Frankenstein Monster: Self from the Grave
All my dragging up of the self, who is a Frankenstein monster, only produces death and destruction. My self-life exhumed from the grave only seeks to destroy that which is glorious—the Life of Christ indwelling my very body. The repercussions of seeking relationships for self are just not worth it. Experiencing Christ’s relationships through my body is so fulfilling, so satisfying and it’s amazing to know more of Him.