Life-giving relationships begin with a commitment based upon a revelation of love, continue in the power of that commitment by a revelation of love, and grow in maturity by a revelation of love. When our commitments are based upon a revelation of love our actions towards another are empowered by love. We will even make sacrifices towards them because of our love for them. Commitments and actions are the first two ingredients towards a life-giving relationship. Commitments and actions lead to a level of relationship known as life-giving responses.
Responding to another is not an action we make to prove what we have is worth receiving by them. It is a revelation that what another possesses is of great value to us. Like the tithe given by Abram to Melchizedek in the shadow of the law (Gen. 14:18-23), our response to another is a gratuity of honor to invoke all that can be received from them. Tithe is not something that is limited to our money. It is not meant to be a legalistic ten percent given to God in the hope for His blessing upon the remaining ninety percent of our substance. Ten is a prophetic symbol of ‘totality’, ‘completeness’, or ‘judgment’ (more specifically, ‘a judgment of love’ – as ten commandments reveal a two-fold witness of loving God and loving others). Tithe represents the making of a judgment of love that what another has is of great value in our lives. God gives us a gratuity of who He is and we respond with a gratuity of who we are; thus confessing that we depend upon all of who God is to become all of what we should be.
What about our responses to one another? In a covenant relationship, we respond to another because we know they are of great value in our lives and we want all of who they are in our lives based upon a revelation of love. We make a judgment of love in our responses to our covenant partner knowing that without them we lack the full testimony of who we are meant to be in life. In a marriage, it is a confession of being together as one flesh in life. In a community, it is a confession of being one together as the community. In a team, it is a confession of being one together as a team. Commitments, actions, and responses are essential ingredients of every life-giving relationship.
The willingness of our responses determines the trust of our submission to one another. A revelation of who another is determines our willingness to respond with who we are. Our response to God invites the fullness of who God is into our lives. Our response to one another invites the fullness of who another is into our lives. Proper responses give us a testimony that is beyond who we are alone.
When we have a revelation of covenant love, we make covenant actions of love. When we act with covenant actions of faith towards another we become inspired to respond to who they are in our lives. The willingness of our responses to another determines the trust of our submission to them in our lives. Submission involves an under and over relationship with another. We must come under another in order to receive the life that is given. We must willingly come over another in order to tip in their direction and give the life that we have to the one who comes to receive. There must be a tipping towards another of one and a coming under of another. Submission is like a dance of life. It is not a matter of control, nor is it a matter of manipulation. Neither partner comes to take from another. Authority is given and received; it is not taken or used as a force to lord over another. It is the recognition of life and the exchange of that life for the testimony of life that comes to each one from the Father of life in heaven. All authority comes from God and that authority is like light from the Father of lights to His children as the light of life to the world. In a covenant relationship submission one to another reveals the light of the relationship, as each one becomes a testimony of light in the greatness of their relationship as one.
These are the first issues of relationship. Commitments inspire actions, actions prompt responses, and responses invoke a submission of one to another. Next week I will continue with the issues of contribution, community, and destiny in the journey of our relationship with God and one another in the journey of live.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
Request For Assistance:
Some of you have been able to respond with some assistance to House of Bread Ministry. Thank you so much for your support. Your support is vital to my ability to equip and resource various ministries in the sphere of my calling in Christ. I am headed tomorrow to do some vital training and recording of training material in Portugal. We are preparing materials and resources for extended ministries in Africa and other locations. If you have not been able to support House of Bread Ministry financially but are able to do now, please consider making a donation at the donation link to the right of this blog or send a contribution to House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA. 98225.
Thanks You Sincerely,
Ted J. Hanson