Do we let our circumstances keep us from seeing God’s purpose for our lives? I would wager that we all would agree that we believe that God has a purpose for our lives. But I wonder how many of us are convinced that God has a destiny greater and better than our present circumstances? I ask because I am not sure I am living to its fullest extent, the life God has designed for me to live among the relationships given to me to embrace. If I am not connecting His purpose for my life with those who are the closest to me, how can I expect to suddenly fulfill His purpose when I answer His call to “Go out” and make a difference in the world?
I see dysfunctional relationships where what’s comfortable has superseded any hope of change for the better. But I don’t want to make peace with the enemy camp; I want to overrun it. I want to reclaim over and over again that the kingdom of God has come, beginning first with my marriage, and never letting circumstances prevent me from seeing and acting on God’s purpose for my life.
[CLICK HERE FOR A SHORT VIDEO OF JOHN CLINGING TO HIS COMFORT ZONE.]
“I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”
“You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here. Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the impure spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. (Luke 9:40-42 NIV)
The Lord was apparently frustrated with the disciples over their lack of connection between the assignment He had given them and what was going on around them. They were constantly grumbling with each other, causing Jesus to keep reminding them that each was God’s gift to the other — just as I am God’s gift to John, and he is God’s gift to me. Grumbling about the relationships that God has given us is undoubtedly an issue of attitude — an attitude of disapproval and/or resentment. Our attitude towards someone always determines our altitude. If you think you have married the wrong person, like Esther, but choose to treat him/her like the right one, that person will turn into the right one. On the other hand, if you married the right one, yet treat him/her as the wrong one, that person will turn into the wrong one. This holds true with the motley crew we have been given in the body of Christ. If you think you have been partnered with a brother or a sister, how you think about that person will determine who they become.
“How long should I stay and put up with you, who think you deserve separateness from the people around you?” the frustrated Lord said to the disciples of their apparent lack of connection with what was going on. (Luke 9:41 paraphrased.) Or Jesus could have said, “Get over yourselves – get beyond your circumstances – stop trusting in your own resources – operate on the power given to you by me and stop looking the other way when there is an obvious need for my extraordinary power now!
In spite of the disciples and ourselves, Jesus asks that we bring the kingdom of God to everyone, beginning first with stopping the endless bickering among each other – those closest to the family. The disciples were to bring the kingdom of God first to each other. That’s why He asks that we bring the kingdom of God to our marriages. We are to bless the relationship, embrace it passionately, and bear the power of God on the areas that require miracles, always looking to the hope that lies ahead. We are to put our arms around each other, never rejecting a spouse or pointing out flaws of the other. We are to eat and drink what has been put before us. We are to improve the conditions of the other by conveying a deep appreciation and when improvement is the result, tell her or him that it’s because the kingdom of God has come.