Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Secret Covenant of Spiritual Relationships

So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the LORD even require it at the hand of David's enemies. And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul. …. David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, David the most.  And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, The LORD be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.         (1Samuel 20:16-17; 41-42)
                                        Jonathan and David
David and Jonathan’s relationship is one of the most beautiful pictures of   an enduring, loving friendship in the Scripture. Their relationship   passed through many difficult trials and yet, it always grew stronger and remained steadfast. It serves as a lasting example of maintaining friendships in difficult times and circumstances. It was one in which the Lord Himself was committed to keep, for He was a part of the relationship.

It would be good to find out what their secret was.

These men were not weak. Both of these young men were valiant warriors and born leaders. Both had a heart for God and both served Him with their lives. These were men with massively different upbringings and circumstances and their relationship could have cost both of them their lives. Yet they deeply loved one another and their relationship prevailed through much adversity.

The words contained in the twentieth chapter of the book of first Samuel were probably the last words they would speak to each other alive. I believe, contained in those words, and is a great revelation on how to obtain lasting and fruitful friendships in God.

The secret is contained in the words …..“The Lord be between me and you …forever”.

In these 8 words lies the answer to how relationships can become as lasting and beautiful as Jonathan and David’s did amidst so much adversity. Simply put; they covenanted together to keep the Lord always between them. He alone would define and maintain their relationship. How they were with the Lord determined how they were with each other.

Normally relationships are defined as the interactions and mindsets between the people involved. A relationship consists of what the people in the relationship believe about each other and that is determined by how they perceive what transpires between them. Though other people and circumstances may influence that relationship, it is primarily between the two of them. If I have a problem with the other part of the relationship I just go and try to straighten it out directly with them.
                                 Spiritual  Relationships
In the Kingdom of God this is not how relationships are supposed to work. In all ‘spiritual relationships’, whether it involves a husband and wife, parent and child or friend and friend, there should always be three entities involved in the relationship, not just two. And even the position of those three entities in the relationship is important.

In Kingdom relationships there will be you, the person you wish to have a relationship with, and God standing between you both. In other words you choose to never get any closer to one another than you are to God. If this positioning is wrong; the relationship will be wrong.

The Lord is not supposed to be on any side of you that places someone between you and Him. He is supposed to be between you and everyone else. This is the proper position to experience the most intimacy in any relationship. In this manner no one ever comes between you and the Lord and you do not come between them and Him. He is to always be in front of you with people.

Pushing God out of the way or not considering His will in order to get closer to the other person will result in distances being created between you and the one you want to get close to.

The simple secret to having strong, lasting, fruitful relationships in the Kingdom is to see that God stands between you and everyone you are in relationship with. If both parties in the relationship ‘place’ God between them, every interaction would have to go ‘through’ Him.

In other words I cannot say anything to you that doesn’t ‘pass’ through Christ. Whatever I do to you I have first done to Christ. Whatever you do to me is first done to Christ.

If I ‘install’ Christ between me and the other person I will be much more careful about what I say, knowing it will first be heard and felt by Christ. Trying to ‘go around God’ will only decrease intimacy not enhance it.
 If you hear something from the other person and Christ is between you both, you will ask Christ what did he really say or… what did You hear?

We should look to see how it affected Christ not just pay attention to how it affected my own personal feelings. That is especially so when I don’t understand what they did or said, and even more especially, if what they are saying or doing is really hurting me.

If we really believed that Christ was standing between me and my friend, wife, etc., we would always be looking for Christ’s approval of what I did and said. I would always be checking Christ’s reaction first and if Christ heard or is seeing what I just heard or saw. I might work a little harder to hear what they were trying to say and not so quick to be angry and retaliate. (James 1:19)

The secret of our love and relationships with each other is that Christ stands between us and everyone else.
So my dear friends let us strive to be close and …. May the Lord stand between you and me forever.

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