Honor and Respect

Psalm 105: 15, Isaiah 49: 25, Genesis 12: 3

Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm. For I will contend with the one who contends with you. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse.

These three verses come together to make one big point, don’t mess with God’s anointed. First, I think of our pastors. God has called people out of other professions they might have chosen to apply themselves to His work. The pay scale is not typically commiserate with what they could make in the secular world. They often have limited budgets and limited personnel to work with but despite all the limitations they are expected to be miracle workers. I believe the expectation is even reasonable. Where I think we have a problem is in our respect for those God has called.

It is very easy to criticize the pastor. We live in an egalitarian age which I believe is good but that does not entitle us to demean anyone much less our spiritual leaders. It is in our best interest to honor our pastors because our own blessing is included in our homage and respect to them. God Himself says He will contend with those who oppose or denigrate His called ones. This should be a loud warning to us. People aren’t perfect, not even our pastors but they are called by God and anointed by Him. His protection is on them so we criticize them at our own peril.

It is important to note that you are God’s anointed to. That means these protections extend to you also. All of God’s children are ministers of God’s grace and called to carry the gospel to the world but His teachers, pastors, prophets, etc. are appointed to prepare us to take the good news into all the world. So even though we are all ministers, and all loved by the Father, He still does not allow us to run down those He has chosen to minister to us and to Him.

Heed this warning, because God has said and intends to honor and protect his elected. Stay in the blessing by blessing those God has given you.

God is . . . not unbecoming

1 Corinthians 13: 4- 5

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly.

How obvious is this truth? How can you say you love me if your actions are unbecoming. Okay, do you want some synonyms for unbecomingly? Here are just a few: improperly, inappropriately, indelicately, incorrectly, unsuitably. Anyone who behaves in any of these manners towards us does not love us. Period. There is no excuse for these categories of actions from anyone who says they love us. This chapter of 1 Corinthians defines love for us. In so doing, it establishes boundaries and expectations for human relationships even as it describes God.

Your heavenly Father would never act inappropriately with you. You are always safe with Him. That is important for you to know. He will never be indelicate or improper. There is nothing about you that He does not know but that does not mean that He will ever violate your privacy or your boundaries. He is kind, gentle and caring. He is nurturing and sensitive to your needs.

You should expect every one of your friends and associates to respect your healthy boundaries as well. It is never okay for the person who says they love you or anyone else to ever act inappropriately towards you. I know we all tend to make mistakes but, you should have very firm lines drawn and if people step over them, even once, you should let them know that is not acceptable. They may not realize where your boundaries are or they could have made an honest mistake. None the less, God wants you to have healthy relationships and this necessarily means surrounding yourself with people who will not behave unbecomingly towards you. Love never violates your personal borders, and it does not act improperly. Love honors you and respects you. God’s love always makes you feel safe and treasured.

They will stand in awe

Deuteronomy 28: 10 New English Translation

Then all the peoples of the earth will see that you belong to the Lord, and they will respect you.

In the twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy God revealed the blessing and there is much good news there. We know from Galatians 3: 13 – 14 that the blessing of Abraham has been fulfilled in Christ and has become the right of every believer. So now let’s look at verse 10 of this important chapter.

God told the Israelites that the people of the world would see the blessing on them, in operation in their lives and would realize that they were the chosen people of Almighty God. Some versions read that when the people of the world saw the effect of the blessing they would be afraid of Israel. I like what the Living Bible has to say. It says that people will stand in awe.

I have noticed that when God moves He gets more than one effect. The same is true with the blessing. His purpose is to bless you but in so doing the uninformed are witnessed to. They see the effect of serving God in every aspect of our lives. The more we allow God to fill all the rooms of our hearts the more of the blessing manifests in our lives. That is good news for us but it is also good news for the world. People who don’t know God or who are marginalized get to see the love of God in a tangible way. As we allow God to minister His grace to every part of our lives, as we yield to His ministrations the world will see the overflow of His blessing and they will stand in awe.

If you do not believe that you are living in the fullness of the blessing then ask God why not. There is no aspect of the blessing which has not been fully realized in Christ Jesus. Open yourself to hear from Him so that He can bless you and the world. Then all shall see the greatness of our God.