Taking Time to Connect

I always say when God wants to minister to someone, He orchestrates a relationship! People are often more receptive when they are in a non-judgment zone. God sends people into our lives to prepare us, minister to us and sharpen us as we travel on our journeys.

Proverbs 27: 17 (NIV), As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

As I reflect on my own personal relationships, I just begin to thank God. I have had the awesome opportunity to encounter some wonderful people on my path. I have been the one encouraging and have been the recipient of God’s love shown through some wonderful people. Based on our ability to relate to the individual, God has already orchestrated those relationships before time so relationships are intentional and should be valued.

Beginning last year, I started becoming more introspective and intentional about each relationship God orchestrated on my behalf and I would encounter them prayerfully with 2 questions in mind:

  1. Holy Spirit, what is it that you want ME to communicate or impart into this person?
  2. Holy Spirit, what is it that you want me to hear, or receive from this relationship?

If we are willing and choose to obey, God can and will use each one of us to help and encourage one another. We feed each relationship by the fruit that we bring to it. Relationships are based on reciprocity and are not by any means meant to be a one way street.

It wasn’t very long ago that I went into a season in my life where I know God had to have been laughing hysterically at me. I was trying so hard to get focused and be obedient to Him that I lost track of connecting with any new relationships like I normally would. The more I tried to focus, the more there was this pulling in the opposite direction. I finally looked up and said, “Ok, what? God you told me to focus in this season and be a good steward over my time, so that’s what I am trying to do. Now what?” My heavenly Father so lovingly responded by telling me that’s all good, and yes I want you to do that, but there is someone that needs to hear from me–And tag, you’re it!

Well, you would have thought that would have been enough instruction, but because of the way I sometimes try to argue my point with God, it gets me into a time-consuming match that only ends up in a sigh of surrender. I only tried to tell him 2-3 more times that I am focused on the “other” assignments that He had given me, but He wouldn’t stop compelling me to stop what I was doing and connect. After I sighed…deeply…and willingly…I gave in. I literally dropped what I was doing, paid attention, and connected.

To my surprise, there wasn’t just one individual He wanted me to connect with, there were others!!! Are you kidding me? It’s like it wouldn’t end! God has an interesting way of showing us who is REALLY in control! When I realized what was taking place, I was honored to be on assignment and I simply put all my trust in Him and knew that His plan was bigger than my little day to day mundane tasks. I remember sitting and talking with these women for hours about life, school, careers, and I realized how I passed them everyday not knowing there was something that needed to be “stirred” in them…AND obviously ME!

This season has taught me that there is a generation that hungers, that is desperate even, to see the hand of God and to be encouraged to keep going. When we close ourselves off and “hide” our light, we cannot make an impact on the Kingdom as we were originally instructed. Yes, our lives are busy, and we are constantly on the move, but His original commission involved us GOING OUT into the world.

Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28: 19-20 (MSG)

Remember, when Jesus walked the earth with the 12 disciples who left everything to follow Him, He would sometimes be on His journey and would feel the beckoning of someone so strong that His journey would be interrupted. I call these “God-moments.” Yes, the same man who went out of His way to heal Jairus’ daughter and the bleeding Woman while on his journey in Luke 8 is the same man today who is calling us to stop what we are doing in our day to day lives in order to meet the needs of those around us. His promise is that He will be there with us.

When Jesus wants to show His love, He does so through a relationship. The relationship that He has with us caused Him to willfully leave His Father and come down to earth and save us from our sins. He could have called a million angels to save Him from the death on the cross, but He chose to endure it all for us. Let us make every effort to not just tolerate those that God has purposefully put in our paths, but actually celebrate their very existence in our lives. In doing so, we encourage them and bring honor to our heavenly Father.

 

April McCullough

A repost from My Journey of Faith Magazine