We’re talking about relationships and decision making today. We could be talking about, employer to employee, coworkers, siblings, parent to child, dating, marriages, or friendships of any kind: relationships. Do you realize that your relationship affects how you make decisions?
You can be in the presence of someone and not be with them? People can become emotionally connected/present with you even when you are somewhere else. I cannot make anybody want me or want to be around me any more than you can. Our choices and decisions are connected to the core of how we see ourselves. If we consider ourselves Christian, we should be acting and reacting in any situation according to precepts of the faith. I’m trying to get you to see that our relationships with other people help us to understand being in a healthy and growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Improvements with that yield improvements in other relationships as well. He wants us with him, or in him, by choice.
He chooses things, people, and places around us, in our presence to show us how we should consider our options, make better decisions, choose what turns out to be God’s pleasure. God gives us choices and teaches us how to choose in him.
When you are around others they should know that Jesus is in you like that. If they won’t get with him and in him in like manner, your relationship suffers. It may be particularly difficult in a working environment. Whether supervising or being supervised, a person who has chosen to follow Jesus must do just that, even on the job. Are you giving glory to what you have? Are you boasting about a position or status symbol? Are you giving glory to who you’re with?
There are times when every Christian must consider relationships with God as well as with other people. When you do that think about your responsibility in and to those relationships. Pay attention to what the Lord is telling you to do now, today, rather than trying to understand it or figure it out. Trust God’s judgment and his sovereignty so you don’t mess up what he intended through you. Learn to just sit until the Lord tells you to move or to speak.
1 Corinthians 1:28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things– and the things that are not– to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. That thought has arrested my attention for a long time. You mean the Bible is saying not to boast in his presence? Yes. If I should not boast or glory in his presence, what am I blustering about and where do I do it? If I boast in God’s presence, it ought to be all about God, not about me. If I’m in his presence, he wants me to be in him, focused in him, thinking in him, about him, for him, NOT ME. How dare I act like it’s all about me! How dare I be anywhere and think it’s all about me! I need to do the work I am supposed to be doing, which gives glory to who he is in me. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men. (Colossians 3:23).
If God is omnipresent, wherever I am, he’s there. So, I don’t get to boast about anything but God. Whatever it is, I must acknowledge his hand in it. God chooses the weak, the lowly and the world sees it as foolishness. That’s their business. I’m going to keep asking God what he’s doing and what he wants me to do. I must not do anything contrary to his will, even in the workplace.
When I get ready to “glory” in anything whether with reason or without, it must be in Jesus, on account of Jesus, having joy in Jesus. I must be ever mindful that I am in his presence he’s not in mine. I occupy his place. I must be the one who turns my eyes to him, not him to me. He did that when he died on Calvary’s cross. I am in his sight; I’m trying to get a glimpse of his glory. Don’t glory in his presence; he wants us to be in him. Are you operating in Jesus or is Jesus around you but not in you? Christian relationships of all kinds must be rooted in Jesus.
What are our true priorities? Whose will do you want? When we weigh our relationships and situations in a Christian decision-making manner, where is Jesus? Was Jesus the afterthought in the process, so you squeezed his stuff, his name at the top? Better an afterthought than a-no-thought-at-all. You’re growing; next time he’ll come up first or at least second.
And so we grow … grow in grace, which is God’s special favor.
1 Corinthians 1:27-31 NKJ
27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,
29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.
30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption –
31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”
Jesus Christ is present with us. God is with us. God is present. We are in His presence, but, are we in Him? If we are not in Him, He may be absent from our relationships with other people. If that’s the case, what kind of shape are we in for His second coming?
The apostle Paul had been telling the Corinthian church that the wisdom of God is nothing like that of man. God’s wisdom is seen through the preaching of the crucified Christ. Paul gave thanks for God’s work in the lives of the saints but, there were divisions in the church, folks talking about self acclaim. He had to set the record straight in the event that his authority was challenged.
In verse 27 we see that contrary to the way we think, God chooses foolish things. God’s foolishness confounds or shames the wise. It confuses, stuns, or makes us spiritually unconscious of what He’s up to. God uses whatever He chooses to use in His own creation, the entire world, to do whatever He pleases. God’s choices don’t make sense to us. But, if you’re in Him, not just around Him, you’ll trust Him and His choices. God purposefully chooses things in our little hemispheres to confound us folks that think we know it all.
In our relationships with others we tell them verbally and nonverbally, “Oh, I’ve been there and done that.” In reality no you haven’t; you have not done it God’s way. If you’re beginning to feel ashamed of yourself for something you’ve been doing or thinking, that’s a sign that you’ve moved a step closer to God’s pleasure for your being. Sometimes God has to put us in a daze to clarify His position in our relationship with Him. He nurturingly says, “It doesn’t get to be about you. I love you, but you ain’t all that!”
If you really want to know yourself, ask your most intimate spiritual partner, “What are my weaknesses?” We’re talking about relationships. Do you have spiritual partners? Or, are you always feeling like you’re in competition for God’s favor? Check yourself.