The divine relationship between Mary and Elizabeth was the focus of my article last week as we examined a few guides to identifying one. I promised to delve into responsibilities when we find ourselves in such relationships. The diversities of the relationships will cause my approach to be broad and so applications will vary from one type to the other.
I believe the first responsibility we have towards such relationships is to identify and fulfill their purpose. God brings us into the lives of people for specific reasons ranging from parenting to mentoring to serving and giving. Lack of a clear sense of purpose leads to abuses.
Spiritual fathers are supposed to nurture spiritual children and release them to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives. It is natural to wish we can have the service of people in our lives forever but it is not always the case. Some people come into our lives to be trained and released. Some will be with us for short periods, others for long seasons while some are sent to serve or support for life. We must be open to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to direct us according to God’s will. Where purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable.
Divine relationships are meant to be mutually beneficial. Due to the immense value of certain relationships to us, we may assume they are just intended to benefit us alone while we do not have any sense of reciprocity. Such relationships rarely exist in the true sense of it because everybody has something of benefit to others. Moses mentored Joshua and gave him access to the tabernacle and the mountain top experiences he had with God but Joshua was described as the ‘servant of Moses’. Elijah trained Elisha in prophetic ministry but Elisha served him. Such mutually beneficial partnerships are the plan of God. God will also send people who are financially blessed to partner with those who are spiritually anointed in order for the gospel of Christ to be preached. Such people benefit from the anointing of the Man of God also. They get fed with the word of God and enjoy access to him for prayer support.
Divine relationships ought to be protected. It is our responsibility to restrain the flesh from complicating such. Offenses, seeds of discord, sexual lewdness and insecurity are some of the manifestations of the flesh that can hinder such divine connections from reaching their potentials. This responsibility extends to the need to shield such people from predators and parasites. There will always be people who want to take advantages of others. Need I mention the need to pray for one another? In the spirit realm, we build spiritual coverings over one another as we pray. We generate power to assist us in accomplishing our missions. Where spiritual fathers pray for their sons, spiritual impartations happen to further equip the sons to succeed in their God give assignments. May God give us all discerning hearts to know our divine relationships and to manage them to the glory of His name.
Accountability and restoration are two critical roles of such relationships. Spiritual children ought to learn to be accountable to their spiritual parents. It is vital that there is openness and vulnerability between a spiritual father and son and between friends that will allow for authentic accountability and mutual encouragement of one another to holy living. It’s quite disheartening that many have come to perceive such relationships as intended for public endorsement, exchange of pulpits and financial gains rather than private edification, discipline, encouragement and genuine restoration. It hurts to see people fight for the use of such for popularity and public display. Where people stumble spiritually, divine relationships ought to help them stand and continue serving God, not to encourage their wrong nor inflict more wounds on them. I also disagree with looking the other way from their faults because true love corrects. A father who loves disciplines and a true friend will confront in love. A true son will also cover his father and will not betray confidences nor expose their wrong to the world. They restore in the spirit of meekness according to Galatians 6:1-2. They do so knowing that they are also human and can make spiritual slips. They want to see the other person succeed and will do all they can to ensure that. More genuine divine relationships will help to better shape character. May God help us to recognize our divine relationships and give us the wisdom to manage them effectively.