The Power of Fellowship Part 70: Dealing With The Difficult
This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Power of Fellowship.” For the last few days we have been looking at the prayer Jesus prayed for us in John 17. Let’s go back to it today as we continue to talk about fellowship. Bottom line: God wants us to be united and satan wants us divided.
(From John 17:6-26)
Jesus said: “I pray for them now. I am not praying for the people in the world. But I am praying for these people you gave me, because they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And my glory is seen in them…
I will not stay in the world, but these followers of mine are still in the world. Holy Father, keep them safe by the power of your name—the name you gave me. Then they will be one, just as you and I are one…
I am coming to you now. But I pray these things while I am still in the world. I say all this so that these followers can have the true happiness that I have. I want them to be completely happy. I have given them your teaching. And the world has hated them, because they don’t belong to the world, just as I don’t belong to the world…
I pray not only for these followers but also for those who will believe in me because of their teaching. Father, I pray that all who believe in me can be one. You are in me and I am in you. I pray that they can also be one in us. Then the world will believe that you sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me. I gave them this glory so that they can be one, just as you and I are one. I will be in them, and you will be in me. So they will be completely one. Then the world will know that you sent me and that you loved them just as you loved me…”
So what does this mean for you today? Two things.
1. It’s hard to be selfish or self-centered when you live your life focused on fellowshipping with others.
a) Jesus prayed, “Father, I pray that all who believe in me can be one.” If you are a believer, the Father wants you to be ONE with Him and ONE with other believers. While it is true that some believers are only focused on themselves, we need to know that living in isolation or being flat-out selfish are both an affront to God. God is too big of a God and His blessing on your life is too big of a blessing for your life to just be about YOU. God’s best is manifested when your life becomes about something that is BIGGER than you.
b) Life takes on a greater meaning when you live for something that is bigger than just YOU. Life is its most rewarding when God uses you to BE a blessing to someone else.
c) If you are struggling with depression, self-hate, or low self-esteem (which unfortunately many people are today), please make an effort to BE a blessing to others. When you serve God by serving others, it changes you on the inside. When you give selfless service from your heart you experience Godly fulfillment and supernatural satisfaction. So please, resist every urge to be selfish and allow God to pour your life out as an offering that will make the world a better place. This is part of fellowship.
2. God calls us to have fellowship with others, but He never said it would be easy.
a) People have issues. Just last week I found out that someone I have gone out of my way to help was spreading lies about me. The person he shared the lie with called me because she knew what was told to her is inconsistent with my character. Instead of making me look bad, the person who lied about me looked bad. I am not sure why he did it. The person who told me about it thought it may be jealousy. It could be that the person has low self-esteem and that he feels better about himself when he attempts to tear down others. Whatever the case, when I prayed about it, the Father led me straight to LOVE. I am in a position where I could retaliate, but the Father would not let me. Vengeance and recompense belong to God (Deut 32:35). If there is payment due someone who is sowing bad seed, then God Himself will repay. It’s not my place to get anyone back. Even when people talk about me, which unfortunately has happened more than once, God never leads me to say anything. He won’t let me defend myself. He is my defense. So I just continue to walk in love, because I know a few things. First, the enemy’s poison can never stop my purpose. Second, God will see to it that everyone reaps a harvest (good or bad) on every seed sown. And third, God called us to love. We are to love others, even when they don’t do the right things. Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27,28).
b) People can be messy, but God called us to love them anyway. Pray for them in earnest. Refuse to come down to their level. Maintain your peace. In the long run, if God made your name great, there is nothing anyone can do about it. They won’t be able to tarnish your name, because you are God-made and not self-made. Simply put, no one can curse what God has blessed. And God, who is the ultimate judge, will see to it that others either correct their ways or they get what is coming to them; that they reap what they have sown. So look up and not down, walk in love and not revenge, and maintain your joy.
c) Some people are difficult to get along with. Some are flat-out hard to love. But remember, the most difficult people in your life are the ones God uses to help develop you in His love. If loving people God’s way were easy, everyone would do it!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, You called me to love and I do it! Some people are difficult to love. Some are hard to get along with. But since I die to self daily, and since You are living inside of me, there is nothing I can’t do. I can do all things through Christ. This means I can love the seemingly unlovable, I extend grace to those who attack me, and I bless those who curse me. I am able to do this because I have entered into Your rest. You are my shield and defense. The enemy’s poison cannot stop my purpose. You made my name great and no attack can tarnish it. So I pray for others, I seek to have fulfilling relationships, and I walk in love every day. Living this way I maintain peace in my soul, love in my heart, and a smile on my face! I declare this by faith! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!