Today I am in Bulgaria. I have had a fantastic weekend with people who are hungry and willing to embrace all that God wants to give. It is great to see what God is doing in His family around the world. The Holy Spirit is truly at work in empowering the family of God to embrace the transformations that come by God’s presence. I look forward to seeing what God is going to do to further reveal His people in the earth. God’s grace is sufficient to transform us into all that He has in mind in order to be seen as the people of God in the earth.
I have been writing on a culture of honor in the family of God. Our honor is first to God, for He is the One who brings salvation and the liberty of life in every day and in every way. Secondly, as the likeness and the image of God our Father, we have a need to worship Him. We don’t worship Him to get His blessing. We worship Him to be like Him. When we worship Him it changes our world. Thirdly, we are a family of purpose in this world. We bear God’s family name and we must never take His name in vain. We honor His character, nature, way, power, and authority in all that we are and do. He is a holy God and we are His holy people. Fourthly, we are a place where God rests in this world. Every aspect and every season of our lives begins with God’s presence in and with us. It is with a foundation of His presence that we face every new measure of destiny in our lives. Fifthly, we must honor our family inheritance. We must become an expression of true community with a generational manifestation of the destiny of our family name. Each generations increases in the glory of who God is. Sixthly, we must show honor in our relationships with one another. Covenant relationships are not about getting; they are about giving life to another because we value who another is. Each of us are a one and only individual that expresses God’s life in this world. When we understand the value of one, we give our lives to give life to another for the sake of something greater in this world. Seventh, a value for life is a part of a culture of honor and we honor the expression of life that each and every one is. For this reason, God gave His only begotten Son to die as the price of value for each and every child of God! We are not just one in seven billion. Each of us are a one and only one. This is your value and this is the value of your neighbor. It can only be understood in a culture of honor that knows that each and every one has been born to reveal something of the likeness and image of their heavenly Father in this world. Eighth, we must show honor for the possessions of another. Those in a culture of honor must give honor to what was given to each one. There is no room for jealousy for God has given a measure to each of us for the glory of His name. A ninth value in a culture of honor is in our protection of the reputation of one another. We must never lie or even speak our perceived understanding of the truth in a way that damages the reputation of another human being. The tenth aspect in a culture of honor is one of honoring your neighbor’s measure of rule. We must honor the authority given to another.
Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
This is different than just possessions. Seeking to take what belongs to someone else so it will be yours is steeling. That is dishonoring the possessions of someone else and honoring each one’s possessions is part of a culture of honor. This honor in Exodus 20, verse 17 has to do with boundaries, authority, and influence. In a culture of honor, we must recognize boundaries. We cannot be jealous of what belongs within the boundaries of someone else’s sphere of authority. God wants each of us to know who we are. Honor is giving real value to who someone else is and then recognizing that with our attitudes and actions. In a culture of honor, we must also honor ourselves for who we are and others for who they are. Each of us makes a great self, and a terrible someone else. We are best at doing what we want to do in our hearts and not so good at simply doing what we are told. We must discover the desires in our hearts that come from God. It is important to discover the God-given desires in our hearts that enable us to walk in the boundaries, authority, and influence of who we are meant to be.
When we discover the desire to do what we should be doing in life, we will be good at it. This is God’s plan for our lives. We are each given a different measure of rule in life. We must each recognize our responsibilities in our lives. Bonnie and I have been married for over 39 years. As her husband I should desire to love her with all of my heart, all my soul, and all my life. There are times where I am tempted to not love her in some way. If I embrace that temptation in any way, I am being irresponsible in my God-given boundary, authority, and influence as her husband. There can never be a moment in my life where I question whether I should be her husband or not. I am Bonnie Hanson’s husband. I have to choose to position myself before God in a way that He can give me desires in my heart that make me the husband that Bonnie needs me to be. This is true for every area of responsibility in my life. I am Jonathan, Aaron, and Joanna Hanson’s dad. I am grandpa to Aubrey, London, Kaden, and Zaria Hanson. I am a son of God. I am a man of God. I own a pickup truck. I own a house. When my house or my truck are in need of repair I am responsible to repair them. I am responsible to be all that I am in life. I have been chosen by God to travel to the nations. I have to do extensive travel. While traveling I most often fly in coach class. I do not fly in first or business class often, but I see people there. I even get an upgrade every now and then because of the number of miles I fly each year. When I enter an airplane I sometimes walk through the business class section, but I have to rejoice in my seat or I will sit for ten hours on a flight in misery because of my attitude. I cannot be jealous of the person in business class. If I don’t accept my place of sitting I first of all dishonor me and secondly I dishonor the little old lady that I am sitting next to on that flight. What makes me better than her?
Boundaries, spheres of influence, and what has been given to you in life are a God’s given responsibility of honor. We must each be responsible in the boundaries of our lives. If we despise who we are and we want to be someone else, the first person we dishonor is ourselves. If we are jealous of someone else’s wife, we first dishonor ourselves and secondly our wife. If we desire someone else’s life, we dishonor ourselves and we dishonor them.
We must never be jealous of another person’s life. There is a price to pay for living in every neighborhood. What God expects of me is not the same as what He expects of you. What He expects of you is not the same as what He expects of someone else. He expects each of us to appreciate the boundaries that have been given to us in life. We must each be responsible with what has been given to us. We must each appreciate the boundaries that have been given to us. It is not just the things we own, but the influence of your life. This includes our family, our home, our business, our ministry, or whatever we have been given responsibility for in life. A person of great wealth has to be responsible with the wealth that has been given to them. Each of us must pay the price required to live in the boundaries given to us by God.
What has been given to you is not what has been given to another. You don’t want to covet what has been given to another, because you are not able to be responsible with what is theirs. It is a violation of the boundary, authority, and influence of your life to desire the life of another. This is despising what has been given to yourself.
We must each be faithful with what has been given to us. In the world we are taught that bigger is better than smaller, faster is more important than slow, rich is better than poor, and so forth. In the realities of the cultures of heaven, bigger is not better than smaller unless you are supposed to be bigger. Sometimes those who are smaller can reach those who are bigger cannot.
When God says to not covet what your neighbor, He is simply saying don’t dishonor yourself. Don’t dishonor what has been given to you. It is not real to desire what has been given to someone else. You cannot handle their measure of responsibility, big or small. You can only handle what has been given to you and what has been given to you is meant to be a boundary, an authority, and an influence of life in this world. It is about responsibility before God and men. In a culture of honor, we must each tend to our own measure. No one has the same measure of influence, but the measure of influence given to each is for the sake of the big picture of humanity and the testimony and purposes of God in life.
Ted J. Hanson