Seeking God’s Vision (Part IV)

The Lord holds the times and the seasons, and He has placed each of us on this earth at this time for His purpose and pleasure. If we are going to be effective in the Kingdom of God and have satisfaction in life, we all need to be in tune with the Lord and understand His will for the season we are in.  We are also called to steward our time well and use it wisely. We cannot earn more time, but we can squander it if we are not intentional with it.

Success In Relationships (Part I)

One of the main areas of challenge in people’s lives is getting along with their loved ones. Interestingly, Jesus had only two major commandments and one of them was to love our neighbor as ourselves! So how do we successfully handle our relationships?

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:15-20 (NLV)

The above passage comes just before the exhortation to the married couples in (Ephesians 5: 22-33)  explaining the roles and responsibilities of a husband and wife in a Godly marriage. This passage describes that wife needs to submit to her husband and her husband needs to love her as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. Since marriage is the most important earthly relationship and the closest neighbor that one may have,  we can apply the above scriptures (Ephesians 5:15-20) as a launching point to healthy and successful relationships including our marriages.

Live Wisely

According to the above scriptures, the first thing that we need to pay attention to is to live wisely in an evil age. The truth is that most of the time we don’t live life as if the days are evil! We generally get up in the morning and we are after accomplishing our own goals and agenda for the day. We’re doing just fine as long as the day goes as we expect it and things are going our way. However, if someone blocks us or tries to derail us from our goals,  that’s when we get angry and may lash out!

The truth is whether things are going our way or not, the enemy is still prowling around like a roaring lion looking to see who he can devour (1Peter 5:8). How does the enemy devour? By causing us to be tempted to get angry and to speak harsh and destructive words because we didn’t get our way! He influences us when we  take on his nature and devour others by our attitude or words because they blocked us from our goals! We need to remain alert and recognize that the enemy is after stealing, killing, and destroying relationships and marriages all the time. He is looking for people to come into agreement with his lies.  He knows the true evidence of our love for God is how we love others! If he can make us fail in that area, then he can show the world that our relationship with Christ has not changed us and we still behave as we used to.

The other aspect of being wise with our time is that we need to keep some buffer in our schedule during any given day. This gives room for the unexpected and allows us not to run through the day frantically trying to squeeze too much in any given day. The more overcommitted we are, the greater the stress level! That’s when a little mishap by our children, a few unwashed dishes in the sink,  or a bit of delay by a friend can send us through the roof! If things don’t go the way we expected, most likely, we are going to take out our stress on our loved ones and they are the victim of our overcommitments! Seemingly, they are blocking our goals while all along they were only living their lives- just not at our desired pace!

As you begin this week, plan to be intentional with your time and be cognizant of the enemy’s schemes. In addition, plan not to overcommit your time and see how more peaceful your relationships become!