My New Way of Engagement - The Higher Reality

January 18, 2019

 

 

 

The Lord spoke to me tonight about something that I don't completely have all figured out yet, but I believe is so important in the context of friendship in the life of the born-again Christian.

 

This the beginning of a revelation that I believe He will speak more to me about in time.  

 

Earlier today, I found myself upset because a friend of mine kept engaging with me in fleshly ways, trying to connect with me on the level of my past brokenness and insecurity.  When I say "brokenness," I don't mean a sinful lifestyle or anything.  The brokenness I mean is in reference to old, negative thinking and insecurities that would keep a person in bondage.  Things such as fear, rejection-thinking, anxious thoughts and feeling a sense of inadequacy.  These struggles were something that I had indeed shared with my friend awhile back, but today I found myself fighting to not be a little insulted when she began to speak to me as if this was something that I was currently struggling with and that it would therefore be ok for her to sink deeply into these thought patterns herself.  Why would she engage with me on this level when this is joyfully so very far from where I currently am?  I was baffled by her conversation.

 

I quickly sought the Lord on my internal response to this.  In all honesty, everything within me wanted to say to her that just because I've shared past weaknesses with her does not mean that's where I am at these days. I felt the need to defend myself. Yet anytime I go down the defensive road I know that what I really need is the Holy Spirit's guidance and truth.  So I ask Holy Spirit if maybe there was some lie I was believing, or some shame that I had not dealt with. What the Holy Spirit revealed to me was actually quite unexpected.

 

The Holy Spirit showed me that some people are going to engage with me at the level that I regularly engage with them - regardless of where I am currently at in my walk. What I mean by this is that if I continue to consistently connect with someone based on the level of their struggles, even if I am counseling them or I am trying to be empathetic, we will always remain at that same level in our relationship until I begin to pull them up to the place that Jesus gave His life for them to be at.

 

Compassion and empathy are beautiful qualities, and I try to engage with others at the level of "understanding" of where they are coming from. However allowing the lies to linger in their thinking is NOT at all compassion. Jesus Himself is full of compassion and the Bible records many stories of Jesus showing that compassion, but Jesus never allowed them to stay where they were at! 

 

 

Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him. - Matthew 20:34

 

Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” - Matthew 15:32

 

 

As a minister of reconciliation and someone who has the new nature of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:11-21), I have the great honor and privilege of being able to remind another born-again believer who they truly are and helping them push through the lies that the enemy feeds them. The enemy would want our flesh to stay in a certain place - in our "rights" and our self-pity or fear - but our identity as Sons and Daughters means that we have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer us who is living but JESUS living within us (Galatians 2:20). That means we look and think different. We have a different nature and a different level of authority. We have words that can move the mountains of trouble and difficulty in our world, and we have resurrection power that can destroy legions of demonic forces.  We are seated with Christ in Heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) and  are therefore no longer "mere men/women."

 

An ongoing lifestyle of sin is a different issue; I'm referring to the everyday struggles and insecurities that hold people back. I'm talking about wrong thinking and thus wrong believing. I am also not talking about being a judgmental jerk or a self-righteous Pharisee.  As a brother and sister in Christ, it is our great honour to lift each other up to the place in our thinking that God has created us to be. To remind one another who we are in Christ. To not allow one another to stay in places that are ordinary and average but to push one another to love and good deeds and right thinking and the extraordinary life that God paid for us to have by the blood of His Son.

 

Empathy and "relevance" is not an excuse to allow other Believers to live below their TRUE reality.  God does not focus on our sins, our mistakes, or failings and neither should we.  Sometimes we need each other to help us remember the higher reality we actually exist in as one who is born-again.  As my friend Mark Greenwood says, "righteousness exalts a nation, not relevance" (Proverbs 14:34).

 

My husband is a fine example of someone who pushes others to be the child of God that they are. There have been times in the past that due to my own self-condemnation I would be infuriated with him for reminding me (gently) who I was in Christ. When he would not justify my feelings or agree with my wrong thinking, as much as I believed I needed to "vent" and deserved pity, I would have so much anger towards him! Sometimes I even had a temper tantrum. But over time I've come to realize that he was indeed championing my freedom and his love for truth far outweighed my frustration in that moment. As I've grown in my intimacy with Holy Spirit I have realized that my husband is the best friend that anyone could ask for, and although I often did not understand why he could not just let me voice my insecurities, anger or fears (often while whining like a child), it actually pushed me to new heights time and time again.  My husband's godly responses forced me to change the way I was thinking and to push away the self-condemnation ... which is no longer mine anyway (Romans 8:1)!

 

Because I am a new creation in Christ and because as He is so am I in this world (1 John 4:17), I can stand with my friends and use gracious words to draw them back to Heaven's perspective. My new level of engagement is going to be at the level that Christ would engage others:  A new covenant engagement that reminds people who they are and allows the perfect love of Christ to flow through me and push out any fear in their hearts. This revelation has completely changed me and the way that I think.

 

Whom the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36).  This is the reality of the born-again believer in Christ!

 

 

Much Love and thanks for reading,


Mandy

 

 

 

Image Credits

Creator:MariuszBlach

 

 

Empathy and "relevance" is not an excuse to allow other Believers to live below their TRUE reality.  God does not focus on our sins, our mistakes, or failings and neither should we.  Sometimes we need each other to help us remember the higher reality we actually exist in as one who is born-again.  As my friend Mark Greenwood says, "righteousness exalts a nation, not relevance" (Proverbs 14:34).

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