Relationship Goals: The Framework

Relationship Framework

This series on Relationships is meant to help us avoid painful pitfalls with those we love. We’re doing it by studying the life of an Old Testament figure named Abraham. His story speaks to all of our stories, no matter the season of life you’re in. 

Last week, we covered some principles that work for every relationship. In a couple weeks I will talk about Parenting. Today, I want to unpack a message for those who are living in a SINGLE SEASON. 

Sixty-one percent of adults (18+) in the US are unmarried. This demographic is a diverse group of ages, backgrounds, and stories. Too often, being single is portrayed as a problem, but from a scriptural perspective, God, in His wisdom, chose to give every human being in history a “single” season because it is so valuable. It may be the most important season in our development because scripture says the prerequisite for loving anyone else is learning to love yourself.

Although some people are called to a single life, research shows nearly 90% want to get married. If so many want to be married, why are so many people waiting so long to get married? In short, I believe the reason is that the transition from singleness to marriage is more difficult than ever before. The dating culture that is built on algorithms and scams, overvaluing sex and undervaluing friendship, bad dates and shallow people, confusion that comes from trying to make progress but having no commitment, and a low grade fear of an unsuccessful marriage all contribute to the delay.

But, finding love doesn’t have to be dysfunctional. God cares about every part of your life… including your love life. He can deliver you to His destination! His word will enlighten you. His grace will sustain you and His spirit will lead you so that you arrive at your next season healthy, happy, and whole!

In Genesis 24, Abraham was coming to the end of his life and realized his son was almost 40 and still single! This was no small issue because whoever Isaac married would be at the center of God’s plan to birth a nation. In this passage, I see a framework for finding love successfully!

1. Don’t date ALONE. The very first thing you notice about Issacs’s process is that it wasn’t Issacs’ process alone. He had a group of godly people helping him. Marriage is when TWO become ONE, but the best marriages include more people than two. Multiple people were active in Isaac’s case as ‘scouts’ who looked for potential partners, as ‘gatekeepers’ who ensured the pace never got out of control, and as ‘counselors’ who provided a place to process feelings. Please note: If you are avoiding input and help, this should be a SIGN! Check in with parents, mature, godly friends, and your pastor! The idea of including a whole group of people in making your decision to date may not seem normal. But from what I see, normal is not working. We don’t want normal results, we want God-results! 

2. Don’t omit GOD’S VOICE. One of my favorite parts of this story is that Issacs’s servant was not looking for a girl. He was looking for God’s will. That’s why he made prayer central to the process. 

Prayer is not as shallow as leaving God a daily voice memo of things we’d like Him to do. Real, biblical prayer isn’t about what God does for us – but what He does in us! It’s about tuning our heart toward Him. The most important part of prayer is NOT speaking, but listening. Rebekah wasn’t the only woman the servant saw, but she was the one God’s spirit highlighted. When we make prayer a priority – which is simply asking the Lord to speak and then tuning your ear to Him - He will guide you through the process. 

3. Don’t sacrifice CHARACTER. The Bible is clear that Rebekah had a beautiful appearance, but it expounds much more on the contents of her character. Rebekah was…

  • Productive - The servant asked for a drink, and she offered to water his camels. This girl was not afraid to work!
  • Presentable - She was well dressed, looked the servant in the eye, and was able to carry on a conversation. You’re dating who the person is and NOT the POTENTIAL they have. How do they treat their family, the waitress, their co-workers, or friends? How do they talk about themselves? How are they growing? Do they lie? Do they overcommit? It is all telling you something! 
  • Pleasant under Pressure - For 500 gallons, Rebekah remained servant-hearted. She never lost her temper, never complained, never cut a corner. It is important to date long enough to see the other person in the good times and bad times, when things are great and when they are not. When you choose a spouse, you are not only choosing a friend, lover, or mate – you are also choosing someone to share the worst moments of your life with. And as you know, the worst moments usually bring out the worst in us, so choose someone who welcomes the work of God’s spirit, someone who’s worst is still better than most people’s best. Choose someone with character. 

4. Don’t dismiss COMPATIBILITY. Compatibility means my partner and I pursue the same thing – God and his mission for our lives! Rebekah was committing to leave the familiar, carry God’s promise and follow His calling. This is what I call ‘the POWER of the PULL.’ BEFORE you LINK UP your life with someone, know where they are going! Those who pull toward God’s word and toward His mission have considerably stronger marriages because they’re finding satisfaction, confidence, and identity in Him. Finding someone who is passionately pursuing God may be the most important rule of them all! 

So, HOW to find them? Become one of them. It's the law of probability. If I want to find someone living for God’s glory, I’m most likely to do it living for God’s glory! This is why Matthew 6:33 says, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."



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Relationship Goals: Communication & Conflict

Communication & Conflict

Today, we continued our series on Relationship Goals. Regarding relationships, keep in mind, we don’t fall in love. We commit to love. We choose to show respect, kindness, and forgiveness. We choose to be selfless and to serve. We are better together. We choose to be intentional in our relationships. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.”

Last week, Dr. Dave’s message on singleness was so good. Listen and listen twice. It was not just for those who are in a single season. Likewise, if you are in a relationship of any kind, today is also for you. Relationships can be for a short-term such as some friendships or business partnerships but we are focusing on long-term relationships such as serious dating, or marriage. That’s the focus, but these principles can be applied to all relationships. 

Communication is a key factor in relationships. An important thing to take to heart is that God has given you everything you need in the relationships He’s placed you in, most importantly, your spouse. God can and will use your spouse to speak His life into you. The world needs you to be all you can be and God gives you a helpmate in the form of your spouse to accomplish His purposes in your life. God also will teach you perspective through your spouse, fostering empathy and understanding for others in the process. In your communications, to be clear is to be kind. Express yourself thoughtfully and with care, expecting that the other person wants to understand. Always keep the best intentions in mind toward your spouse. They are your helpmate and companion. You are designed and anointed to complete each other and fill in the gaps for each other. 

Things will change but as you mature together in Christ, intentionally working on your relationship, you will find more and more unity. Don’t leave your spouse behind, but bring them along on your journey. Find ways to do life together. Look to your spouse for help in areas of their strength. Maybe finances are not your strong suit but your spouse loves finances and manages them well. Help them in the areas of their needs, whether it is a small task like bathing the kids or a large one like taking care of them when they are ill. Learn to use your strengths for the benefit of the relationship. Share things whether it’s chores, finances, responsibilities or fun thereby truly completing each other. 

For married couples especially, finances are an important area. Finances can be difficult to talk about. Are you arguing and finger pointing? Are you falling into the trap of competing over who gets what? “She went out with friends, so I am going to go out with my friends!” Use regular communication to determine where you are and where you want to go. Don’t wait to talk about finances when you are in conflict over them. Don’t avoid the conversation. Develop a budget and talk about necessary and desired expenditures. Discuss budget and financial goals often. Set a regular weekly meeting to check in and evaluate or even a daily check in. Plan ahead and celebrate spending money for fun things or things you want together! Necessities and fun purchases or activities are both important but they will be true blessings if you share the journey. 

As you talk about finances, make a decision to tithe. Tithing is not a financial issue. It is a trust issue. Do you trust God? As you take a step in faith to tithe, you will realize you can stop praying for provision because God is provision. Scripture is clear. Tithing is God-ordained. He wants to bless, not only you, but others through you. He also wants to protect you and He has designed the tithe to be part of that process. 

Communication of desires and expectations are also valuable in building a relationship. What are ways you can communicate your desires?  Intention is great but, it’s not doing the thing unless you do the thing. If there is something you need the other person to do for you, let them know what you need and when you are hoping it can be done; a deadline if you will. Dream together. Create space where you can assess where you’ve been as a couple and as a family, where you are going, and what you would like to do in the near and far future. Make a list, plan together, then watch it happen. Grow and enjoy the journey together. We have to work on the marriage relationship. Think more and before. Get ready for what God has for you and invite Him into the planning. 

Communication is key but In relationships, conflict is going to happen. You are better together but you are going to have to work through some stuff. There are certain areas that tend to foster conflict in every relationship. The balance of work and family life is one. Be passionate about your work and your life, but know when to focus on your spouse and your relationship. Be intentional about setting boundaries and hold each other accountable. Outside relationships are another area that can impact your marriage. This is another place for good boundaries. Help where you can, then step back. Don’t take conflict home from other areas of life. Find balance. Work at learning how you can grow and get better. The Bible says not to let the sun go down on your wrath. When you’re in conflict, remember there is another entity at work. You are not fighting against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities. (Ephesians 6:12). Don’t fight each other. Fight for each other.  

How do you fight fair? Set rules for conflict when you are in a good place and can talk without emotion taking control. These rules could be very defined such as no cursing, no name calling, no intentional hurtfulness, no bringing up the past. Institute a statute of limitations on the things of the past. Those things may even be relevant, but bringing it up won’t help getting you where you’re going. Know what your loved one’s love language is and express love in a way they can receive it. (It may change over the years so assess love languages again if it has been awhile.) If you are triggered by something, give it time. Talk to the Lord about it and invite Him to search your own thoughts and motivations, showing you anything that may need changing in you. Are you being self-centered or emotional? If you do bring up an issue after praying about it, ask if your spouse is in the mindset to discuss something serious. 

Learn to use conflict to get back to communication. What is the point of the argument? Are you trying to prove you are right or are you trying to understand the other person’s perspective? Are you actively listening? As you employ good conflict resolution, your spouse will find it easier to open up and actively communicate their thoughts and desires. You become a safe place for each other. Choose to see the best in each other and believe the best about each other. Keep in mind that what they are saying is their perspective, not that they are automatically wrong or even saying that you are wrong.

When we love, we’re not hurried or fast. Jesus walked slowly and interruptions were opportunities for ministry. Hurry and love are not compatible. Every couple goes through a trial, but God gives the grace for what He’s called you to. You’re anointed to do this relationship and God is faithful to be with you and to keep you. Keep seeking Him. He knows what’s next. It’s about you and your relationship with Jesus first. 



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Relationship Goals #4

Relationship Goals: Parenting Foundational Thoughts

We have been exploring the different relationship dynamics, and one of the biggest ones many of us stand in, is the relationship between parent and child. 

In this generation, a lot of people have a lot of different opinions. Now when you are a parent, the world of opinions gets larger and larger as everyone who has children is trying to navigate how to raise a child in this day and age. There was a survey done on how parents felt they wanted to raise their children. 85% percent were uncertain of how they should effectively raise their child in today's world. 

Hearing this, it is essential that we do our part in breaking that number and making, not only current parents, but parents of the future aware of the foundations needed for parenthood. 

You may have your parenting system down to a tee. You may feel like you are giving your child what they need to be successful in this world. However, there are a few essential things we owe our children as parents: 

1. Unconditional love 

If you take a look at the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15, you will see that when the son returned home after squandering all he had of his fathers inheritance on temporary satisfactions, his father did not disown him. He did not shame him. In fact, he welcomed his son home with love and acceptance. The same unconditional love Jesus has for us was displayed in the father’s love towards his son, not for anything he did or did not do, or what he did or did not have, but simply because his son belonged to him. 

Sometimes parents have a tendency to want to teach a lesson or make a point, but we need to learn the value of just giving unconditional love. When we do that, it opens up for there to be security, intimacy, and a nurturing environment. 

2. Constructive Discipline

Proverbs 13:24 says, Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.” Love is the basis of discipline. 

There was something put out by the police department that said, “12 Rules for Raising Delinquent Children.” You might find some to be humorous, but just hear us:

  1. Give your child everything, they will grow thinking the world owes them something. 
  2. When they pick up bad words -  laugh at them, making them feel encouraged to pick up other bad words.
  3. Never give them any spiritual training and let them decide on their own when they’re older.
  4. Avoid using words that potentially giving them a guilt complex. This will condition them to believe that when they’re doing wrong, society is against them and they’re being persecuted.
  5. Pick up everything they leave on the floor, so all they know is someone else taking responsibility for them.
  6. Let them look at whatever they want online and on social media. Sterilize all the silverware, but let your children's mind feast on garbage. 
  7. Argue and fight regularly in front of your children so that they won’t be shocked when the marriage ends.
  8. Give your child all the spending money they want and never let them actually learn because you don’t want them to have it as bad as you did.
  9. Satisfy every food and drink craving or feeling of comfort. Gratify every desire because denial may lead to harmful frustration.
  10. Always take your child’s side because everyone is just prejudice and jealous against your child.
  11. Make excuses for them.
  12. Prepare for a life of grief, as you probably will have it.

We hope you took something from that list! It is never fun being corrected. In fact, sometimes, it can be painful. However, if we learn to obey by being corrected, we will do right. Discipline is never just discipline. It is the hope to see fruit out of the way we correct our children. Having correct discipline will do three things:

  • It will cause children to respect their parents
  • It will cause children to do right
  • It will cause children to live at peace

3. Time Together 

One of the most difficult and sacrificial tasks of parenthood is giving our children time - time to listen, time to understand, time for helping, and time for guiding. They sound like simple things, but they require giving something else up. Statistics show that 72% of the time we spend with our kids in our lifetime will be by age 12. Another study shows that 100 years ago, parents spent 54% of the waking hours with their children. Today it’s 18%. 

We owe our children real time together. If we are not giving children our time, as they get older, we will look back and completely miss those moments of them growing up - no more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti, no more playpens to arrange around a room, no more tooth fairy. The list goes on and on. 

4. A Christian Model

Children need an example to follow. We have to give them a model to follow because children do what they see us do. Proverbs 22:6 reminds us to “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” This verse emphasizes the importance of leading by example and instilling values, wisdom, and guidance into our children to prepare them for a successful future filled with purpose and meaning. One study determined that if both father and mother attend church regularly: 72% of their children remain faithful to God; 55% if only dad attends regularly, 15% if only mom attends. 6% if neither attend regularly. 

It is the parent's responsibility to get children in church. It’s instilling those values and showing children what’s important. 

5. Mutual Respect

We need to give our children mutual respect. Sometimes it is easy as adults to forget the pressures that children go through, especially with the world they are growing up in now. We also need to learn to respect their personality. Our children are not going to be 100% like us in every way. We have to try harder sometimes to see things in their eyes to understand them better, ultimately giving them mutual respect.

6. A Foundation For The Future

The best inheritance we can leave behind for our children is a good name. As parents, it is our responsibility to lay down a strong foundation for our children.  

Ecclesiastes 7:1 says, “A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.” This verse highlights the value of a good reputation and character over any sort of material possessions or worldly achievements. Sometimes we think leaving valuable possessions behind will help and advance our children, but what is that really leaving them? 

God emphasizes the lasting impact of one’s name and legacy, suggesting that a person’s integrity, honor, and moral standing are more valuable and enduring than temporary pleasures or earthly riches. Living with honor and integrity contributes to a legacy that transcends time and brings honor to you and your children for generations to come.

Give your children something that will not die when you are gone. Maybe today, the legacy starts with you.

Read more: Relationship Goals #4

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Relationship Goals #3

Relationship Goals: Are You on The Same Page?

We’ve been exploring relationships and the reality that no one enters a relationship expecting for it to fall apart. Yet, we’ve all experienced brokenness and dysfunction. 

So, why is it we want one thing but get another? It turns out that there are habits, attitudes, and actions we ‘slip or trip’ into, and even though they are unintentional, they still cause damage. This series is meant to help us avoid painful pitfalls in our relationships that matter most. 

Outside of your relationship with Christ, your marriage is the most important relationship you have. It will produce your most lasting memories. It will dictate your most important decisions. It will be the biggest influence on your quality of life. For these reasons, it will also face the most opposition from your spiritual enemy. Marriage is more than a social contract. It’s a spiritual statement. 

God’s original design for marriage was NOT a man and woman only. The Bible says that in the garden of Eden, the first picture of marriage was man, woman and God. God reinforces that picture in the book of Revelation describing Jesus as the groom, the church as the bride, and God - together enjoying eternity forever. At the beginning it was a groom, bride and God. At the end it’s a groom, bride and God. Your marriage carries the image of God and that is why the enemy hates it. 

Although there are many ways to damage relationships, your spiritual enemy works one strategy over and over called, “Divide & Conquer.” This explains why the most common phrase I hear from couples on the brink of divorce is “We’re not on the same page”. It’s not adultery or abuse – its disunity.

The enemy knows when a husband and wife are on the same page with God that they are insurmountable, but if he can get that same couple to allow conflict and dishonor to become the atmosphere of their home then destruction is inevitable. His goal is simply to divide your house in order to wreck your house. 

One of my favorite things about the Bible is that it is timeless. In Genesis 16:1-5, Abram and Sarai had a major marriage misstep that reads like the latest episode of your favorite reality show. “So Abram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she became pregnant. But when Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress, Sarai, with contempt. Then Sarai said to Abram, ‘This is all your fault! I put my servant into your arms, but now that she’s pregnant she treats me with contempt. The Lord will show who’s wrong—you or me!’” As crazy as Abram sleeping with Sarai’s maid seems, the part that is mind blowing is that scripture says Hagar and the son she bore, Ishmael, would live in that home for the next 17 years. Marriages are made of two different people and moments of disagreement are natural; the danger is when we allow the things that come between us to stay in our homes. 

This is where so many couples are, allowing pain to go unresolved and words that hurt just hang in the air. We let the same disagreements reoccur, never being bold enough to talk them out and put them to rest. And we think by avoiding them, pushing them to the back of our minds, or letting things go unsaid, that we are “keeping the peace” but we are actually giving room to our spiritual enemy. 

What you may not realize is this was not the first attempt to divide Abraham and Sarah. King Abimelech in Egypt nearly came between them, prior to Hagar, because the enemy wanted to prevent God’s promise from coming to pass. You may not realize it, but the day you said “I do,” the promise of God for your marriage was activated. It’s a promise of peace, contentment, intimacy, strength, growth, and godliness. God has never created anything to fail, including your marriage. 

Like Abraham and Sarah, you have a promise at stake, and you’ll only receive it if unity becomes something you work for instead of something you hope for! Do you have a house divided? Ask yourselves:

  1. Where do we have UNRESOLVED CONFLICT? 

Nobody is surprised that conflict exists in relationships and in 95% of the conflict we have in marriage will be worked out in a reasonable amount of time. The problem is the other 5%. Even the smallest amount of unresolved conflict is cancer to marriage. Do whatever it takes!

Resolution requires IDENTIFICATION. Don’t deny that issues exist and employ the word of God to serve as a CT scan of your soul. In Ephesians 4:2, Paul lists the indicators of unity. 

  • Humility: Do you regularly serve your mate? Whose interest gets more attention? When was the last time you apologized?
  • Gentleness: Are you argumentative? Do you find yourself responding harshly when challenged? How gracious are your words? When you are frustrated, how is your tone? 
  • Patience: Are you willing to wait on God to change your spouse? Do you rush them into decisions before they are ready? Is your pace hand-in-hand or do you drag them?
  • Tolerance in love: Do you give your spouse your full attention? Do your friends or coworkers get grace easier than your spouse? Are you keeping a list of wrongs, or do you give mercy every morning? 

Unity is not a byproduct of ignoring issues. Unity is the byproduct of identifying issues and being brave enough to handle them in a godly way. 

  1. Why is our COMMUNICATION UNCLEAR? 

86% of people who divorce say their core problem is communication. This means that either we learn the skills for effective communication, or we’re doomed. Now, we could take weeks to unpack the power of tone, active listening, and how to ask quality questions. But none of that matters without TIME. To learn a new language, you have to immerse yourself in the culture. If you want to be fluent in your spouse, you must immerse yourself in their world. The best strategy I’ve found is: 

  • Pray together every day. 
  • Have an interrupted 2-hour conversation every week. 
  • Date every month and have fun together.
  • Go on a 3-day getaway every year. 

Invest time in your marriage.

  1. Is our pursuit of CHRIST UNEQUAL

In marriage, two people are joined together. If one is passionate about growing in their faith and the other is stagnant or one wants to serve and the other doesn’t, there is disequilibrium. A person’s faith forms every area of their life, their money, time, parenting, etc. If your faith is out of alignment as a couple then every part of the marriage will be out of alignment. This is something that must be addressed – otherwise you will live your entire marriage as opponents instead of partners. 

Statistically, men are the ones dragging their feet. Yet, God intended that you not only go in a spiritual direction, but for you to lead the way. Did you know that kids stay in church 72% of the time if both parents attend, 55% if only the father attends, dropping to 15% if the mother is the one attending, and 6% if neither parent attends.

Another survey found if a child is the first person in the household to become a Christian there’s a 3 to 5% probability everyone in the household will follow. If the mother is the first, there is a 17% chance everyone will follow, but if the father is first, there is a 93% probability that the rest of the household will be saved. Men, your impact is huge.

Additionally, spirituality is sexy! In worship you display humility. Without worship you display pride. By serving you display compassion. Without serving you display selfishness. By reading God’s word your integrity grows. Without God’s word your issues never change. Let me ask you, what’s more attractive – a humble, compassionate guy with integrity or a prideful, self-centered guy with issues?

The Holy Spirit is the great unifier. “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17 ESV). I love counseling and curriculum, but the Holy Spirit can do in moments what would take us years. When we cannot agree on anything else we can agree we need Him. When we cannot get through to each other, He can get through to each of us. When we pull apart, He pulls us back together!

  1. Is our PURPOSE GOING UNFULFILLED? 

What is motivating your marriage? Your marriage is for God’s glory, God’s purpose. Seeing God’s purpose in your marriage is how you endure the most difficult moments of marriage. How did Abraham and Sarah stay together? They knew they were called to produce Isaac. And thank goodness they did because Isaac produced Jacob, Jacob produced 12 sons who produced tribes who produced a nation, who produced a savior who provided salvation for the whole world by dying on a cross. 

Your marriage is called to more than white picket fences, shuttling to soccer games, a boat on the lake, or saving for retirement. All that is good but it’s NOT your purpose. You and your spouse carry the image of God. You’re filled with the spirit of God, and have a calling from God. Dream together, step out in faith together, pursue Jesus and let Him show you the purpose He has for you together. 

Read more: Relationship Goals #3

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Living in The More

Living in The More

Did you know, you are living in the “more”. Let’s explain what that means. In Romans 8:35-39, the Apostle Paul proclaims and declares, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Who can separate us from the love of God? Paul said that he and those accompanying him faced death all day long, but that they were more than conquerors - in all those things through Him who loves us. Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ. What are you facing right now? What do you need in your life? Jesus won the title of “More than A Conqueror” for us. The Greek word for ‘more than a conqueror” is “hupernikao”. “Huper” translates to “hyper”, excessive or super. It is surpassing victory. This is what Jesus won for you. It’s already won! It’s over the top - hyper. When Jesus ascended on high, He led captivity captive. In Roman days, conquering kings would lead the caged conquered king in a parade through the mocking and rowdy public, humiliated and defeated. This is what Jesus did to the devil. He won victory below the earth and paraded the devil, humiliated, beaten, and utterly defeated through the heavens. Jesus took back the keys of hell and death. 

This is good news for you today, whatever you are facing. Jesus took us from bondage to freedom, from sickness to healing, brokenness to wholeness, from weakness to strength, from poor to rich. Jesus called us to live as “more than a conqueror”. Living in this place means to take on the responsibility of a conqueror. The story of the man at the Pool of Bethesda in John 5 mentions that the pool supposedly provided healing when stirred. There was a man there for 38 years waiting to get into the pool when it was activated. When Jesus approached, He asked the man,  “Do you want to be made whole and well?” Why did He ask this question? It’s kind of like asking “Is there water in the ocean?” Jesus asked this because if the man was whole and well, he would have responsibility. When we are whole and well, we must be at the business of fulfilling God’s purpose in our life. We are saved and called by God’s purpose and grace, to His good purpose (2 Timothy 1:9-11). You are more than a conqueror. Take on responsibility and move forward in your purpose. 

The devil would love to hinder you, but there is nothing stopping you. Look at the demoniac in Luke 8. He was a possessed man, living among the tombs, running naked, breaking chains, and haunting people. What happened to him when he got healed and set free? He had no more reason to live among the tombs and stay naked. When Jesus set him free, he was a conqueror and he wanted to be with Jesus. But, Jesus taught him and sent him out and he went his way, more than a conqueror. He returned to the city and proclaimed what had happened and what Jesus had done. He took on the responsibility of living as more than a conqueror. Many just want to be with Jesus. But now you’re more than a conqueror. You can stand out and stand up in your God-given purpose with Jesus.

You also embrace the mantle of a conqueror. You will face challenges in life. It’s not enough to conquer. At each challenge, you are more than a conqueror. In Joshua 1, God told Joshua that he would possess every place he set the soles of his feet. But, right after that in vs 6, Joshua was instructed to be strong and of good courage, again and again! Three times!! The last time God told him to be strong and very courageous. Why? If he was going to possess everywhere he put the soles of his feet, why did he need to be strong and of good courage and be told this three times? It was because he had battles to fight before he could set his feet on the land for possession. Each time you face a challenge, you are more than a conqueror. It’s who you are. Joshua had to win a few battles. Kings had to be defeated. So many kings! He had to conquer 31! You will face battles to possess what God has for you, but you are more than a conqueror. You’ve got this promise for each battle. That’s why we have the Holy Spirit. I am more than a conqueror. It’s who I am and it’s who you are. 

Lastly, being more than a conqueror means possessing the land. What does possessing the land look like? Joshua, for the battle of Jericho, was given three instructions. 

  1. Do not take things set apart for destruction. Stay away from things bound for destruction, or you’ll bring trouble in the camp. 
  2. Give God what is His. God had set aside the silver, gold, bronze and iron for His own service.
  3. For yourselves, keep the treasure of the city besides what is set aside for me. God commanded blessing for them. 

Do not touch the destructive things. Put God first and honor Him first. Finally, you will make your way prosperous and you will have good success. You will be blessed as God has commanded. When God commands blessing, you know blessing is on its way. 

You are more than a conqueror. Live in the more!

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