Last Message of 2021: Leveling Up In Your Relationships

by Rick

This week I am providing you excerpts from my book, “Level Up Your Life.”  In the book, I provide you with Biblical principles designed to help you level up in five areas.  I have been providing you with snippets from the book all week.  Today is the last snippet and also the last message of the year.  We will close the year by talking about the importance of relationships. 

So what does this mean to you today?  Let’s get into it.

1.  Here are some of the people you need in your life.

1.  Coaches (speak TO you)

2.  Mentors (speak WITH you)

3.  Sponsors (speak FOR you)

4.  Models (you may NEVER speak to)

5.  Spiritual parents (there is a spiritual transfer that can take place)

1.  You need coaches in your life (these people speak TO you).

— They have experience.

— They know how to take someone without the experience and provide them proven principles, methods, and ways to create a desired outcome.

— They know the value of practice, and they drive drills that produce proven skills for success. 

— They provide guidance, and only those who put the guidance into practice get to benefit from it.

— These people may or may not be committed to you.  Their focus may not be you.  Their focus may simply be proving their concepts and promoting their brand.  Some coaches focus on refining their processes, so they can be seen as a proven coach who produces results.  But this does not mean you cannot learn from them.  

— There is nothing wrong with having a coach in your life (financial coach, fitness coach, etc.); just know their role and don’t expect them to be something they are not.

2.  You need mentors in your life (these people speak WITH you).

— This is someone you consider to be at a position in life that you aspire to attain.

— You consider this person to be worthy of emulation.

— You have a direct relationship with them, and they are willing to invest in you.

— Unlike the coach (who may or may not be committed to your personal development), this person agrees to mentor you solely because they want to see you succeed.

— If you are the mentee and have a mentor (you can have them in many areas of your life), please value the investment.

— Make yourself someone worthy of the investment your mentor is making in your life.

— This person is taking their time, talent and experience, and investing it into your success.  Don’t make them regret it.

— If you are a mentor, level up your commitment to your mentees this year.  If you are a mentee, please make sure you level up your commitment to the people who are investing in your success.

— Make sure you follow-through (on the homework/assignments they gave you), and then follow up (so your mentor can know you valued their input enough to put it into action).

3.  You need sponsors in your life (these people speak FOR you).

— A sponsor opens doors for you that you cannot open for yourself.

— A sponsor can do something for you with one phone call that you could not make happen with ten years of hard work.

— God will lead people of influence to move on your behalf.  They wind up using their power, influence or money, to help you in ways you cannot help yourself.

— Favor can do more in a minute than labor can do in a lifetime.

— When God gives you favor with people, and they do things on your behalf, make sure you honor and value your sponsors.

— If they get you a spot on the dance floor, honor the investment enough to make sure you dance with everything you have!

— When someone puts their reputation on the line for you, please do not make them regret their decision.

4.  You need models in your life (these people you don’t have to speak to at all).

— You can model yourself after someone in the Bible.

— You can model yourself after someone who wrote books.

— You can model yourself after someone you follow on YouTube or social media.

— You can model any level of success you have access to. 

— If someone is willing to share what they did to get to where they are, and you have access to that information, you can use their blueprint as a model.

— This is especially important to minorities or people who have been disadvantaged in some way.  If you can see someone who looks like you, sounds like you, or has a last name that sounds like yours doing something that you have only dreamed of, God can use their success as a source of inspiration in your heart.

— I cannot overstate the impact a Godly-appointed model can have on someone, especially a young person.

5.  It’s good to have spiritual parents (this is a spiritual covering).

— This is a spiritual relationship.

— God assigned Paul to be the Spiritual Father of Timothy.

— God assigned Elijah to be the Spiritual Father of Elisha.

— In addition to the direct counsel a spiritual covering can provide you, God is able to connect you to the anointing that is on their life (or lives).  Further, there can be a spiritual transfer of their anointing.

— Timothy received (spiritually) what was on Paul.

— Elisha received (spiritually) what was on Elijah.

When you have spiritual parents, and you submit to this Godly-ordained spiritual covenant, you become a partaker of the grace that is on the lives of your spiritual parents.

— This is not about hanging out with them, or having dinner, or having coffee.  Bigger than that, this is about becoming a partaker of the grace that is on their lives.  The spiritual connection is able to take you to another level.  You get to enjoy what is ON you, AND what is ON them!

— Their ceiling can become your floor!

Prayerfully consider these roles. If you don’t have them filled, ask God to highlight who needs to be in each. You need support to become the man/woman you are called to be.

Another way to look at roles is to consider Paul, Barnabas, and Timothy.  Paul was someone Timothy looked up to.  Paul and Barnabas were peers, so they got to glean from one another, on the same level.  When you consider the different roles, you have a Paul (someone you are looking up to), a Barnabas (someone on your level, that you get to bounce things off of), and a Timothy (someone looking up to you).  You need all these roles filled in your life.

2.  If you want others to invest in you, prove to them that you are FAT (faithful, available, and teachable).  

I will talk briefly about being available.

God has given me many great mentors.  Many of them are very senior leaders.  These are people with crazy schedules.  I can think of many times when I had to wait for hours to just get 5 minutes with one of them.  To me, it was worth it.  Why, because I was the one who was looking to learn and receive.  Since I am the one who is in receive mode, I need to make myself available to them, not the other way around.

If Elisha did not make himself available to Elijah, he would have missed out.  I would have missed out too.  I am convinced that many people today do not honor or value the grace that is on the people they “claim” they want to glean from.  If they honor them enough to make themselves available, rearranging their schedules if need be, they will be there when the opportunity presents itself for them to receive.

If Elisha was not there at the end, when Elijah went up to be with the Lord, he would have missed out on years of investment.  But he was there, and he received it.  Why?  Because he made himself available.  Please learn this lesson!

3.  You must be open to receiving from the people God sends to speak into your life.

God will send people to you who will SEE things in you that you (at that stage in your life) do not see in yourself.  But you must be willing to receive what they tell you, even when they are pushing you beyond your comfort.

4.  You must be open to correction.  

God has assigned specific people to be a blessing to you.  These people may have to correct you.  When they do, don’t fight against them, because fighting them will mean you are fighting God!

5.  You must develop into God’s culture, which is a culture of honor.

The Kingdom of God functions on a  system of honor.  If you lack HONOR, you will fail to receive the insight, instruction, and correction God provides you through others.

— If you fail to honor the human, you will have a hard time receiving from the God IN the human.

— There would be no Paul if there were no Barnabas.  Barnabas believed in Paul, and sacrificed a great deal for Paul, in order to invest in Paul so he could become the man God called him to be.

5.  You must be willing to HONOR the anointing on your own life and see yourself the way God sees you.

Don’t get frustrated because people cannot see who you really are.  Jesus was standing right in front of the people He was called to, the Jews, and they rejected Him.  If they did it to Jesus, they will do it to you.

6.  Your friends impact your life in a major way.

We all need friends.  We all need people on our level (not above us or under us).  These are people we can talk to, bounce ideas off of, learn from, laugh with, cry with, and do life with.  If you choose the right friends, you may just experience the right future!

Your friends matter:  

— Show me your friends, and I will show you your future.

— If you get to choose the people you call “friend,” then shouldn’t you choose wisely?

— If you choose the right friends, they will help you live the right life.

Protect your anointing:  

— If you value what God is doing in your life, then you will value it enough to protect it.

— Protect your purpose by refusing to connect with those who may contaminate your anointing.

Godly friends help usher you into your destiny.

— If you listen to the Holy Spirit, He will lead you to open your heart to the relationships He has ordained for you to have.  These are important because when you are around the right people, you will hear the right things, you will get the right encouragement, and your faith will be reinforced.

— I can think of a few key people God used to open doors for me, to encourage me when I needed it, and build me up when I was down.  Without those people, I would not be who I am today.

When you surround yourself with the right people, you will hear the right things and get the right advice.

My mother always said, “Show me who you hang out with and I will tell you who you are.”  Another way to say it is, “Show me your friends and I will show you your future.”

— You can’t be around the wrong people and think you are going to become the right person.

— When you carefully select those you will purposefully surround yourself with, you are protecting what God is doing in your life.  

— When you willingly surround yourself with people who are NOT going down the same path as you, you are opening yourself up to input that you should NOT be receiving.  As a result, you run the risk of derailing yourself from your destiny.

Paul said, “Don’t be fooled: “Bad friends will ruin good habits and corrupt your character” (1 Cor 15:33).  That’s as plain as it can be!

Everyone can’t go with you, because everyone can’t handle what God has called you to do.  You must have the courage to move on from some relationships when God leads you to.

Declaration of faith:  

  • Father, I acknowledge the fact that I will not be able to maximize my purpose or potential without others.  
  • I can do all things through Christ, but You have not called me to do it alone.  
  • I need You, and I need others.  
  • I need the special people You have ordained to be a part of my life.  
  • I also know they need me.  
  • So I release any pain from my past, and I open my heart to receive the covenant relationships You desire for me to have.  
  • I also commit to being a blessing to my friends, because I love them, without any expectation of anything in return.  
  • My friends will be part of my life’s story, and I shall be part of theirs.  
  • When we get to heaven, we will all laugh and celebrate what we did together.  
  • I LEVEL UP my relationships in this season!
  • I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

I trust this message was a blessing to you.  This is just a small excerpt from my book, “Level Up Your Life.”  If you don’t have a copy of the book, here is a link to get yours.  It also makes for a good Christmas gift.

Level Up Your Life: 

Lastly, one of the key relationships I have is my relationship with you!  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life.  I love you, Isabella loves you, and we speak blessings over you!

See you in 2022!  Greater is coming!

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