Being Made Right!

Iím eager to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be
encouraged by yours. In this way, each of us will be a blessing to the other.
Romans 1:12 (NLT)

Paul must have had a good many friends along the way that he was longing to see. He must have built new relationships everywhere he went, and in that he set an example for all of us as witnesses to the Good News of Jesus Christ. The enemy knows that, and he will more often than not strike first at the relationships in our lives to try and destroy the spread of the Good News. If he can destroy our relationships with one another, he can stop the spreading of the Good News through us!

The enemy is busy at workÖwhy is divorce running rampant? Why are there very few long-lasting friendships? Why is there distention in a church? Why are there wars? Because the enemy knows that if he can keep us divided--taking our focus off our Lord and placing them on the hurts, the misunderstandings, the different ideas and even the amazing varieties of personalities and ways of approaching this life that God has placed in each one of us, we will start to bicker and fight and separate and turn away, and the very core of Godís great planÖour relationships with Him and with one another, will start to crack and disintegrate into a pile of ashes.

It can be tough, even Paul and Barnabas had trouble in their relationship. It says in Acts 15, "Their disagreement over this was so sharp that they separated." It didnít seem to be a huge thing, Barnabas wanted John Mark to travel with them, and Paul didnít want him to come along. But, it was enough to send them in different directions. After all the prayer and study in the world, we can still make the decision to do things our way, and God will let us! He will not force us to follow Him or to agree with Him. Weíve all done it. We begin "to think up foolish ideas" and our minds become "dark and confused." We are "claiming to be wise" but become "utter fools instead." (Romans 1:21&22)

The hardest thing mentally that we must do is to give our thoughts over to our Lord. To let Him have them, to re-adjust them to His ways, to re-align them to His plans, to relinquish our right to our own thoughts and allow His thoughts to become ours. We donít like it one little bit. We really donít want Him to change our mind because our mind is made upÖbut we must bow to Him! Many will choose to go to their grave, holding on to the right to be right, ruining relationships and missing the truth that God has placed before us.

Our relationship with God was torn apart--we hurt God, we turned our back on Him, we acted like we didnít need Him in our lives and yet He continued to pursue us. He continued to love us and forgive us, and the most wonderful thing we can do for others is to allow Godís forgiveness in our own lives. The result will be encouraging and uplifting relationships with others that are modeled after His relationship with us. "In this way, each of us will be a blessing to the other." (Romans 1:12b NTL)