Today I have arrived in Spain after a great week in Portugal. Bonnie is with me and we enjoyed good friends in Portugal. Now we are with several pastors and leaders for a few days of RIM gathering before I head to Angola, Africa on Friday. I know it will be a great week with God and and one another.
I have been addressing the subject of honor in the community of God. To be an expression of God’s community in the earth we must value who God is. He gives us life, breath, and all things. We must value being loved by Him and loving Him. A community of God is made of members who value God’s will above their own. A culture of honor values God’s presence before knowing His purpose, but also embraces His purpose as a responsibility of inheritance in life. A culture of honor gives value to human life. When we place another human being in a vulnerable position of trust and we seek to take their life we are violating the honor of human life. This is murder. When we look in the mirror we must remember who we are. We are children of God made in the likeness and the image of our Father in heaven. This leads to another value of honor. We must honor relationships.
Exodus 20:14 You shall not commit adultery
Jesus said to the people of God, the Pharisees, that they must value a relationship with God more than their perceived ideas of His laws and commands. Their desire for the law above a willingness to know Him inspired Jesus to call them adulterers. He related their hate for Him to the sin of adultery. Paul revealed that the Old Covenant relationship with the law was only meant to point to the day when men could finally have an intimate relationship with God by grace. To hold on to the Law in a day of grace was to commit the sin of adultery.
There is a relationship that is a model relationship of God and His church. The relationship of a man and a woman, a husband and a wife, is a relationship that God calls one flesh. God is the one who authorized the covenant of marriage. In marriage two individuals become one individual made of two parts with all of the possibilities of failure. The deepest most intimate relationship that exists in all of creation is a relationship connected by spirit, soul, and body. Marriage is a covenant where two different spirits, two different souls, and two different bodies are put together in one relationship that is to be inseparable. When it is embraced for what it is meant to be, it cannot be separated. It is not to be destroyed by the diversity that is found in each partner, but made one in greatness by the joining of the two. Marriage is sanctioned by God as the guarantee of the future. The marriage covenant is dependent upon a revelation of giving, for without a revelation of giving the two cannot become one. There is no room for an attitude of getting. If an attitude of ‘what do I get’ comes into this relationship, the relationship fails. This relationship is God’s means of filling the world with life. Two different things, one male and one female. Two different kinds of spirits. Two different kinds of souls. Two different kinds of bodies. Different than any other creature. Triune in their makeup. Like animals in their natural reality, but like God in spirit reality. They are made spirit-natural – spiritual. They are not like created things, such as animals, that can only become excellent examples of natural beings. They are not like angels, who are only spirit, who can only become excellent examples of spirit beings. These human beings are to be spirit-natural, bringing God’s Spirit to the natural realities of the world. God’s means of doing this is relationship – covenant relationship. When one partner and another partner come together they are fruitful. When one gives and the other gives, something new lives. When one gives and the other takes something dies. When one takes and the other takes, everything dies. When one says, I have come into this relationship for you to meet my needs and the other says, I have come into this relationship for you to meet my needs; that self-gratifying agenda of each causes death to prevail to the destruction of the covenant. When each individual lives for their own gratification, something is going to die. After a process of time in taking, taking, and taking, an individual will discover that this kind of desire can never be satisfied. They will begin to look elsewhere to get their needs met. When someone embraces a pattern of seeking a relationship to meet their own needs, they are entertaining adultery. This is a perversion of true relationship. True relationship is not about what one gets, it is about what one gives to another. A giving relationship is dependent upon God’s miraculous love.
We have a need for relationship, not so our needs will be met. We have a need for relationship because we were born to meet the needs of others. When God joins us in a covenant love we become empowered to be a blessing, to give greater value to another, to bear fruit that is beyond what we are today, and to be a blessing to the world around us. The foundation for true relationship is self-gratification. It is a world-impacting, world-changing power of life! A culture of honor doesn’t commit adultery because a culture of honor understands the value of relationship.
Ted J. Hanson