Are you relationship ready? Part I
“The relationship litmus test”
Synopsis of Bible Study 01/27/10
In starting to study this series, we need to ask ourself are we really ready for a relationship? If you are already in a relationship, you should ask do you have areas that you need to improve on. None of us have arrived and we all evolving and becoming. Relationships are very important to us, because God made us relational people.
There are 7 principles that we will discuss tonight. These are things we need to have in order to show we are ready for healthy relationships.
I. Sound priorities
1. Our actions show what we value more than our mouth does. Your priories must be in order. Many of us say we are sold out for God, but truly it is about our actions. Our priorities must be in order. We need to ask our self where we spend most of your time. Where do we make most of our investments? It is all about what do you value the most. Matthew 6:33 says 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.-The kingdom is God refers to God’s way of doing things, so the scripture is talking about us seeking first God’s way of doing things. Righteousness is when God affirms our behavior. Therefore we want to be affirmed by God of doing things right, rather than letting culture to affirm us. Often what culture affirms as being right conflicts with what God said is right? Following what culture says is right causes us to end up in dysfunctional relationships, because something may be cool with culture, but it might not be of God. We want to seek God’s way of doing things while looking for his affirmation of our actions. If we look for God’s way of doing things first is the first order of our life, then everything that we are looking for will be added unto us. This scripture reminds us that if we do things the way God wants us to, then things will come unto us. We won’t have to find it, because it will find us.
2. When our priorities are in order we are saying that we are clear that God has first place in our life. There are many that allow relationships to take precedence over God. The best relationship you could ever have is one with God. The next best relationship you could have is a relationship with yourself. If you don’t have a healthy relationship with God and yourself, then it can put you into dysfunction with people. Lots of people were truly in love with Jesus until with that person. Now that they got in the relationship, they quit coming to church. This is an example of someone that has their priorities out of order. They value their relationship more than their relationship with God. If you do this, God will step back and allow you to let that relationship be your god. God will allow you to call on that relationship when you get sick instead of calling on him and you will find out that they can’t heal you. It is important to know that you need God in your life. God has to have first place in your life. Luke 12:34 says 34For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.- Where treasure is, your heart will be. If your heart is straight, then it is clear your time and investments will be spent on God. This suggests a person that has sound priorities. It suggests we have order and structure n our life. If you look at creation and everything that God did you will notice that before God made Adam, God put things in priority or in other words put them in order. When Adam showed up, everything he needed was already in order. God is a God of priority. Why would God make fish before he makes water? He makes water before fish, because he understands priorities.
3. We must:
a. Put God before goals. – Before perusing our will, we want to do things for him on the earth.
b. Put family before friends.- Our family is more important to us than hanging out with our friends. Not going to neglect family while running around with our friends.
c. Put Worship before the world. Don’t allow things to take precedence over worship. If people see you not coming to church, they will plan stuff during church, because they don’t go. Plan stuff around church, instead of church around stuff. Ex- Bishop explains playing basketball @ 5 in the morning for exercise. One of the guys that Bishop plays ball with Bishop said that he would come to church, but he just couldn’t get up that early in the morning. This is shocking. The guy can get up early to play ball, but he can’t get up early to go and worship God.
d. Saving before spending. The recession should have taught us about that.
e. Producing before play. If you work hard you can play hard. You can’t just play all the time and not work.
II. Solidified purpose
1. This means we know why we are here. What are you hear for? What has God deposited in you? If you don’t understand your purpose, you will live life through somebody else’s purpose. This makes for an unhealthy relationship. If you hook up somebody and you don’t have purpose or goals then one might refer to you as Brother So & So’s wife rather than calling you by your name. What are you supposed to do? In relationship you are here to support who God joined you with, but you should also be to a point where you bring purpose to the table too. God takes your purpose and your mate’s purpose and uses it together for his purpose. If you don’t have a purpose, then you will frustrate a person that is operating in purpose, because they will always be busy and you will just be standing around. Jeremiah 1:5 says 5Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. – God says he already had something in store for your life, before you were born. 1 Corinthians 15:58 says 58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. – When you are working for God doing what he told you to do, it will never be in vain. God will always honor your work. You are not ready for relationship, unless you know what your purpose is.
2. How do we get to this point?
a. Must have Clear vision. Proverbs 29:18 says 18Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. – When you go to eye doctor it is a little fuzzy at first, but when he switches the leans, you begin to see clearly. There are two things you need to remember about vision.
i. Your visions should out live you. If your vision dies with you, then it is not vision
ii. Vision is always bigger than your budget. If you can’t afford it, then God is the only one that gets the glory when it comes to past. Stop worrying about what you don’t have. Just say you see where God is trying to take you. If you say it enough, you will finally be able to seize it.
b. Plan to accomplish it. Habakkuk 2:2 says 2And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.- You have to have a plan. God is not going to bless people that are not equipped to work in their vision. Ex: What are you reading that can help you achieve your goal? What classes have you taken to prepare you. How much are you putting into preparing for your vision to come to pass?
3. Must have measurable objectives to determine progress. Habakkuk 2:3 says 3For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. – You can back look at what you have accomplished. This will help motivate you to finish accomplishing your vision. This makes us self motivated. Psalm 26:2 says 2Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. – In other words is saying, “Lord check my motivation.” We are not trying to make a name for ourselves. We want the Lord to make sure that we keep our heart right. We want to make sure we are in it for the right reason. You have to find your purpose.
III. Sustain productivity
1. God wants you to be continuously blessed. Ex- The thrust of the plane, keeps the plain in the air. We don’t need the thrust giving out in mid air. God wants you to be continuously blessed. Genesis 1:28 says 28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.- This scripture says be fruitful and multiply. To be fruitful is about being productive. We have to learn to be productive before we can be fruitful. If not we will produce stuff that is not productive. You should be so productive that others sweat when they watch you.
John 15:1-4 says 1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. – The word is the pesticide on the vine. In other words, the more word that you get, it keeps the parasitic folk away from you. These are folk that people that suck the life from you. Ex- Being on the phone with folk for 3 hrs in a day keeps us from getting stuff done. This is an example of parasitic folk.
John 15:4-7 says 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.- God says ask what you want and he will give it if you abide in his word.
2. John 15:8 says 8Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. – God wants us to produce. Productivity keeps us busy. When we are busy we become focused. When we are focused, it keeps us from foolishness. Most of the foolishness that comes into our life is because we are not busy, focused, or productive. Ex-We are fooling around, but we know we should be studying and we remind ours elf because we are productive. We need to get this straight before we get into a relationship.
IV. Self provision
1. All our help comes from God. God provides for us so we can learn to take care of ourselves. Can you hold your own self down? Are you taking care of your health? 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says 19What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. -You have to take care of yourself including your health.
a. Take care of your health. Whose going to be in relationship with someone that don’t’ take care of themselves. If you don’t keep yourself up, then we know you won’t take care of us when we get together.
b. God wants you to be completely blessed. 3 John 1:2 says 2Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. – God wants you to be financially stable, stable, and health. Learn now how to be financially stable for yourself. Don’t wait for someone to come sweep you off your feet. You ought to want to know what it feels like to own something with your name on it, before getting into a relationship (car, condo, house etc…). You ought to have to worry about what you are going to do with the extra appliances when you unit with someone, because you had your own stuff. We sit around with these Play-Doh or Mr. Potato Head relationships saying “You bring this and I will bring that…” You have to be whole by yourself. You have to come to the table with something and so does your potential mate. This way, if in the course of the relationship they forget they are dealing with a whole person and act a fool, you can remind them that you were complete before they came and will be just find if they decide to roll on. People who are productive, in purpose, and are self providers are not living to take care of somebody. , who are self providers, are going take care of no body. To have to take care of a grown person doesn’t make sense.
2. We are complete in Christ. Colossians 2:10 says 10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: – Says we are complete in Christ.
Mark 12:30-31 says 30And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. – Our self becomes the measuring rod by which we love our mate. You want to know what going to be on the stove when we get married, look what is on the stove now. Want to know how clean the house is going to be when you get married, see how clean it is now. What you see is what you going to get. Often people say the other person changed in the relationship, but often they didn’t. We were just in denial about what we saw when we were dating. If they were a pack rat before you were married, they will be after you are married. Don’t’ let anyone have to take care of you. “We refuse to live our life and have somebody take care of us. We are too anointed and too gifted for that” Before God trusted Adam with a relationship, he gave him a job and responsibility then he said he was ready for his gift. He gave him Eve. We must say,
V. Secure personality.
1. This is about identity. Who are you? Who is here tonight, you or your representative? Having a secure personality is key. 1 Peter 2:9 says 9But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;- You are somebody. All of us have some insecurities and this can affect us. If we don’t feel good about who we are, we compromise our integrity looking for affirmation. We wonder are we pretty enough, smart enough, small enough and this makes us feel like we need to compete. These images we have of the perfect person intimidate us. You open Victoria secret or muscle builder magazine and you wonder if you are good enough. Until you are comfortable in your skin, you will never be successful in a relationship. If you are not secure, you will find yourself competing with people and picking people that want you to become something else.
2. The majority of people in the church have identity crisis. These people are often insecure and they project this on the other person. Ex- “Where you going” or “Who you looking at?” or Calling them every ten minutes. You have to know who you are. If you know who you are, then you realize that God made you who you are for a reason. Remember Leah? Her whole life was centered around rejection. Imagine getting ready to marry this man and you find out he went into because he was drunk and really wanted your sister. He wakes up mad the next morning. Imagine finding out he is willing to work another 7 yrs just to get your sister whom he really wanted. Imagine how you would feel after that. You try to keep having babies hoping he eventually will say he loves you. You have to know who you are. Lots of women dress in way to get affirmation. You don’t realize that what we (the men) are looking at is what we are coming for. Keep it a mystery and we might start coming after your head or your heart. Men are the same way. We need you to tell us that we are the greatest of all time. We need to be assured that we the man. Write this scripture on your mirror one day, ” Psalm 139:14 says 14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. – We are fearfully and wonderfully blessed. We are confident in our skin. Ex-Bishop explains that he was in Dallas and his friends asked how he dealt with losing his hair. He responded that it didn’t bother him. He said Michael Jordan made it cool to be bald. He explained that he wasn’t going to be in denial and grow afro-nut. He said he let it go.
VI. Survived your past
1. There are people that have it going on, they have degrees, nice jobs, sharp homes, and etc… , but when you peel away the layers you will find they have pain from where they hadn’t let go of the past. That stuff is still there. You got to move beyond the past. Don’t let your past impact your present situation and future relationships. Ex- Just because a person has done something to you, then you treat your current mate as a suspect. Philippians 3:13 says 13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, –If we stop looking back there, we can see what God has in right in front of us. At some point you are going to have to let some stuff go. You can’t spring if you are allowing yourself to be cling-ed.
Isaiah 43:18-19 says 18Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. – God says he knows you are in the wilderness. If you let it go, he will make ways like you have never seen before.
VII. Spiritually patient
1. Often we want to know how long? We have to learn to wait right. Remember Abraham was told he was going to get a son and it didn’t happen when they thought it should have. His wife had an twenty something year old attractive handmaid. Abraham was 99, his wife was 89. Abraham’s wife sent him in to his hand maid so he could have the baby that he wanted. Abraham went without argument. Ishmael was a result of that decision or the result of not waiting on God. Ishmael is the thing that reminds us that we got ahead of God. These things remind us that we kept getting ahead of God. What is your Ishmael? Psalm 27:14 says 14Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. – Learn to wait right.
Psalm 37:4 says 4Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. – If we wait on the Lord, he will give us the desires of our heart.
2. Jeremiah 29:11 says 11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. – God says he know how things will turn out of him. God says he providently orchestrated the affairs of your life. God says if you learn how to trust him , get your priorities right, be productive, provide for yourself, get your personality right, deal with your past, and be patient, then what you are looking for is somewhere looking for you. You think what you looking for don’t exist. God will bring you what you are looking for in his own time. God will not bring you things you are not ready for. God will not present it to you until you prove you are ready for it. You can’t be healthy relationship with anybody, until you are in a proper relationship with yourself. You can’t be in proper relationship with yourself, until you are in proper relationship with God.