Today we continue our series, “Progress On Purpose.” I told you that God wants us to walk in “NEW LEVELS IN 2021!” But if we are going to do so, we must be intentional about our progress. With that in mind, as we lay the foundation for the year, I told you that I would discuss “Leveling Up” in five areas:
In the last area, I am addressing leveling up your external relationships. I will cover the following topics in this section:
1. The three people you need in your life (the roles you need filled)
2. Discerning when to let people go
3. The importance of choosing the right friends
4. Surrounding yourself with people of like-precious-faith
Setting the stage:
For the past couple of days, we have been looking at the story of Abraham and Lot. Yesterday I stopped at Genesis 13:13. Let’s pick up the story from verse 14 today.
(Genesis 13:14-17 NLT)
14 After Lot had gone, the Lord said to Abram, “Look as far as you can see in every direction—north and south, east and west.
15 I am giving all this land, as far as you can see, to you and your descendants as a permanent possession.
16 And I will give you so many descendants that, like the dust of the earth, they cannot be counted!
17 Go and walk through the land in every direction, for I am giving it to you.”
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. At some point, you may have to acknowledge the fact that you and some of your friends are going down divergent paths.
Abraham and Lot had to part ways. Not only was Lot NOT supposed to be with Abraham, but his people were causing problems with Abraham’s people. The Blessing on Abraham was spilling over to Lot and Lot’s camp, and Lot did not know how to handle it. It became clear to Abraham that the road God was leading him down did not include Lot. Lot had his own road, his own path to destiny. So there came the point when they needed to part ways.
— One of the hardest things for people to do (especially people who love people), is to acknowledge the fact that you and your friends are going down different paths.
— If the goal is to grow and mature, we must acknowledge the fact that you cannot grow without changing. When you grow/change/evolve, some of your friends will be able to acknowledge it and support it, while others may not. Those who can support what God is doing in your life are most often those who are also growing in God. Because they are growing, changing, and evolving, they can see the same in you, and while God may be taking you down different paths, you can still be there for one another and support one another. While you go your separate ways, you still support one another, and the distance/divergence does not become a problem.
— You may have some people around you, however, who are NOT growing, changing or evolving. These people won’t understand what God is doing in you, and they will accuse you of “changing.” The truth is, we are all supposed to change as we mature in Christ. These changes don’t have to cause a separation between you and some of your friends, but if the friends can’t see what God is going in your life, eventually, the bond you used to have won’t be as strong. Once again, growing and going down divergent paths don’t mean you have to break off relationships because you should be mature enough to support one another from afar. But there are some people who are not mature enough to do so. These people may even build up bitterness and resentment towards you for simply becoming the man/woman God has called you to be.
— — Everyone can’t handle what God is doing in your life. Lot was not mature enough to acknowledge the fact that he was only blessed because of Abraham. He was not humble enough to honor Abraham and The Blessing that was on his life. As a result, the two camps needed to part ways.
— In this season, as you seek to level up in your relationships, I pray you are led by the Holy Spirit in this area. I pray your friends can support the growth you are experiencing and that you can do the same for them. But just remember that some people (even family members and people you called “friends”) will resent your success because of their insecurities.
2. Some people are holding you back, becoming a blessing-blocker.
In Genesis 13:14-17, God told Abraham that he could have all the land he could SEE. The nation of Israel was birthed in Abraham’s heart that day. But it did not happen until he parted ways with Lot. God refused to take Abraham to the level He did until Lot was no longer in the picture.
— I can teach you about friendships, relationships, and associations from a human perspective. But there is also a spiritual component. If you are Born-Again, there is an anointing on you. This is God’s hand on your life. Others have their own anointing. Some are not anointed by God. Some are clearly influenced by satan. In either case, there is something “ON” you and something “ON” them. When you connect with someone in a close relationship, there is a spiritual connection beyond the natural one. If you are not careful and connect with the wrong people, they will negatively influence you because you have made a spiritual connection you were never supposed to make.
— When you are around the right people, and you connect with them in an intimate/personal way, they rub off on you in ways that are more than just natural. The people closest to you leave a spiritual residue on your life and you on theirs. This is why you can’t allow everyone into your inner circle.
— Lot was part of Abraham’s inner circle. There were some things God wanted to say to Abraham that He would not say until he and Lot parted ways. God knew that Lot could not handle what was coming next, so the Lord led Abraham to break off the relationship.
— You may have some people in your life right now who cannot handle what God is doing in you, and they certainly cannot handle what God wants to do NEXT. God knows that if He blesses you and shifts you to the next level right now, while you still have them around you, they will cause you more problems than good. So God will literally WITHHOLD your blessing until you distance yourself from them.
— You crossed over into 2021, and you believe God is ready to take you to NEW LEVELS, but you have to pray about those around you. It could be that you have people around you who were NOT supposed to cross over into 2021 with you. If that’s the case, God knows that if He takes you to NEW LEVELS right now, they won’t be able to handle it, and they will cause you problems while you try to make progress. I am not saying this is the case for everyone. But I am saying that if the Holy Spirit puts a “check” in your spirit when you are around someone, be very sensitive to that. The Lord may be leading you to pull back from the relationship, so He can move you forward!
This is all part of LEVELING UP!
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for the relationships You have blessed me with. I have people around me who believe in me, support me, and celebrate me as I grow in You. If there is ever someone around me who I with me, but not for me, I thank You for giving me the courage to pull back from them. As I pull back, You are able to shift me forward. I LEVEL UP my relationships in 2021. I surround myself with the right people, and I experience the right things. GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!