The Issues of Relationship

Greetings,

Today I am in Spain after a great weekend with good friends in Wales, United Kingdom. It was good to see John and Margaret Marsden, Graham and Chris Wilkinson, and old and new friends at Calvary Church in Prestatyn. I am encouraged with old connections of relationships and hopeful for new ones that lead to a world of hope framed by hope in Christ! I am now doing prophetic training with the G42 Leadership Academy in Mijas, Spain.

First let me give my apologies for the recent difficulties in my Monday blog. I have been working to resolve the issue and hopefully things will back on schedule by next week. If all is working in the right direction this blog should go to you now.

Last week I began to present some thoughts concerning relationships. Everything that matters in life is about RELATIONSHIPS! Relationships begin with a commitment. The strength of that commitment determines the strength of the relationship. Relationships established by law will fail. They cannot express covenant.

The empowerment of your actions determines the willingness of your responses. When we know that God loves us we believe Him when He speaks. That belief is demonstrated with actions that testify of our love for Him. These are acts of faith towards Him. Faith comes by hearing the one we love. The empowerment of our actions is revealed through faith that works through love. Those works reveal that our hearts are with the one who speaks. We have no fear of loosing ourselves, because we are empowered in our hearts to live for another. There is no fear of death, because our actions are a testimony of love from our hearts. Perfect love in our hearts casts fear from the environment of our motivations. We are motivated to act in love toward another because we know how much they love us. This is a testimony of our love towards God or towards anyone in a relationship that testifies of God’s kingdom. This is the testimony of true covenant. It is not true for a contract of law. Law measures commitments by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, while love liberates its joining partners by the tree of life. When we are empowered to act in faith towards another, we become inspired to willingly respond to who they are in our lives.

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 them 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. 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.

Blessings,

Ted J. Hanson

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Relationships Live In Love!

Greetings;

Today I am writing from Bulgaria. I have been here since last Thursday and we have experienced some powerful meetings with God’s presence and a setting of foundational things of life in the church here. I am so pleased with the faith, love, endurance, and hope of the believers here. The assignments of God’s favor endure and the blessings of God’s kingdom will advance for His glory!

Everything that matters in life is about RELATIONSHIPS. Who we are, what we do, and the destiny of our lives are not based upon our gifting or our anointing. Everything of life is a testimony of relationship. Fruit comes from relationship, not from works or abilities. God wants a relationship with each of us. What is the strength of a relationship with God? What is the strength of every relationship in life? Relationships consist of commitments, actions, responses, submission, contributions, community, and destiny.

Relationships begin with a commitment. The strength of that commitment determines the strength of the relationship. Relationships established by law will fail. They cannot express covenant. They can only hope to maintain some form of contract and contracts are as the name infers. Contracts restrict and bind its participants to one another in some way, but they don’t live for the purpose of the greater value of another. They seek to make a greater value of the contract and thus restrict the participating members from the greatness that is found in covenants. Contracts may appear to create things that are greater, but the binding force of a contract is law. The binding force of a covenant is love. Covenants are not based upon what we receive from another, but upon who we are for the sake of another. God made a covenant with us by giving us all that is His. We make a covenant with God by giving Him all that we are. When these two things become realities in the relationship, there is a powerful dynamic of life that is beyond anything that can be negotiated in a contract of law. Both contracts and covenants require a commitment of its participants, but the commitment of a contract is based upon law while the commitments of covenants are based upon a revelation of love.

The fuel of our commitments will create the force of our actions. The source of commitment is the empowerment of our actions. The empowerment of our actions determines the willingness of our responses. The willingness of our responses determines the trust of our submission and the trust of our submission determines the focus of our contribution to another. The focus of our contributions determines the value of our community, while the value of our community reveals the determination of our destiny. The determination of our destiny is rooted in the source of our commitment. The destiny of God in our lives is one of reigning in life in all things, but its foundation is God’s love. True destiny is not about being successful in life. It is about being significant. The measure of our legacy is not seen in the years of our lives, but in how our lives effect the generations beyond our days upon this earth! This is kingdom of heaven destiny! Jesus asked His Father for the nations, and the posterity of His name is seen in the generations of men.

Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. 

The source of your commitment is the empowerment of your actions. One day a Pharisaic lawyer came to Jesus and asked Him what the greatest commandment in the law was. Jesus responded that the greatest was to love God and the second was to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus said that upon those two commandments rested the entire law and the prophets (Mt. 22:34-40). The law and the prophets depended upon commands to love God and one another, but humanity could not love God and one another based upon a command of law. Jesus gave a new commandment to His disciples. That commandment was to love one another even as He had loved them, that they would love one another.

John 13: 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

This New Covenant command was based upon a revelation of God’s love. Only a revelation of God’s love will inspire a commitment of love. The source of our commitment to a relationship with God or one another must be a revelation of God’s love for us. When we know how much God loves us, we are inspired to know how much God loves others. Only a revelation of God’s love can create a true commitment that will empower the actions of our lives towards God and others. Love is a revelation, not a commandment of law to love another. A revelation of forgiveness leads to repentance. A revelation of reconciliation leads to understanding. A revelation of belonging leads to believing. A revelation of purpose leads to passion. A revelation of having a Father makes us a son or daughter. These are all elements found in a commitment based upon a revelation of love. Perhaps Paradise is a place where nothing works without God. It is then also a place where everything works with Him. Paradise with God is a place of knowing how much God loves us and this is the fuel of our commitment to Him and to one another. When we know how much God loves us, we then are inspired to know how much God loves others. You see, the revelation that God loves us is not just a revelation of His love. It includes a revelation of how undeserving we are – yet He still loves us! This is in turn inspires us to love others! It is not based upon a deserving of that love. It is totally based upon a revelation of love!

Blessings,

Ted J. Hanson

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Things Worship Can and Cannot Do

Greetings,

Today I am writing from Bellingham. It was great being home after several weeks on the road. This is not for long though, I am off to Bulgaria on Wednesday. Yesterday I got to speak at ALife and it was a great time to be with my local church family. I spoke on the theme of worship as I am also going to continue today.

When David became the king of Israel his first order of business was to recover the Ark of the Covenant of God and to bring it to the place of his rule in Jerusalem. The Ark of the Covenant was a testimony of the manifest presence of God. It had been missing from the Tabernacle of Witness for twenty years. David knew that if he were to rule righteously as the king of the earthly kingdom on earth that represented God’s kingdom from heaven, he would have to have the manifest presence of God in Israel. To rule as a testimony of heavenly order, he there must be a presence of heaven with him. His first attempt to recover the ark was a failure. His attempt was a valiant effort, but the result was a total loss. He used only the best and choice men of Israel and he gathered thirty thousand for the task. His efforts were efforts that he felt would best represent God. It was according to his own thinking of what God is like. His effort to recover the ark was before all the people. They were in a place of praise (Judah meaning praise), but that praise was a false praise – it was a place called Bale Judah (Baale meaning lord; master; possessor; controller; possessor of anything; owner). His efforts were according to his own ability and the present controlling situation.

2 Samuel 6:1 Again David gathered all the choice men of Israel, thirty thousand.  2 And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, whose name is called by the Name, the LORD of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. 

When David recovered the ark of God he put it upon a new cart. He brought it out from the house of Abinadab and Abinadab’s sons, Uzzah and Ahio, accompanied the ark. They drove the cart that was pulled by an oxen. The name Uzzah means strength and the name Ahio means brotherly.

2 Samuel 6:3 So they set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart.  4 And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill, accompanying the ark of God; and Ahio went before the ark. 

Ahio (brotherly) went before the ark. It seems that David’s intentions were what seemed best to the community. The path of direction for the presence of God was led by one who was brotherly (Ahio). Both Uzzah and Ahio were sons of Abinadab, a name meaning father of nobility, my father is noble, father or source of liberality, the liberal father. Like us, they depicted what it means to be children of God. Our Father is noble, a source of liberty, and liberal in His ways. Those ways are His however, and His liberty is not defined by what we define it to be. There seems to have been preparation in the efforts of king David. The presence of God was being ushered in with the best worship and praise music in the land.

2 Samuel 6:5 Then David and all the house of Israel played music before the LORD on all kinds of instruments of fir wood, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on sistrums, and on cymbals.

It appears that they had all the latest worship hits. They had the best instruments, the greatest expression of instruments, the best sound system, the best practice, and the best song list. They were likely playing and singing the songs that were popular among the people and caused the people to feel strong. A beast of creation (the cow) was pulling the Creator on a human made cart with big wheels. That cart no doubt had the best boards to make the best structure and the biggest wheels to make it move where they wanted it to go. Every piece of its structure was in its right place for the task of driving the presence of God to they place they wanted it to go. They were taking the ark of God through Nachon’s threshing floor. The name Nachon means prepared or established place. They had made many human preparations for what should be done with the presence of God, but then the oxen stumbled. Strength (Uzah) was driving the presence of God to the place they had prepared for it (Nachon’s threshing floor), while all that seemed seeker friendly and brotherly (Ahio) led the procession. It was not doubt a pleasing sight to the people! Suddenly, one creature in the procession received a revelation that the Creator was in their midst. That creature was the oxen and he stumbled as a symbol of service and worship to the One who was among them. One creature was taking the position of worship before the Creator. Human strength (Uzah) quickly sought to stabilize the presence of God on the cart, as if the Creator needed anyone to support His presence among the people. As strength tried to stabilize the unexpected, the Lord struck strength for his error and strength (Uzah) died. Rather than being a prepared threshing floor for the presence of God, it became a place where the presence of God destroyed every independent effort of human will.

2 Samuel 6:6 And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled.  7 Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God.  8 And David became angry because of the LORD’S outbreak against Uzzah; and he called the name of the place Perez Uzzah to this day.

When we are responsible for God in our midst we must allow God to lead our responses. We cannot create prepared places for God and try to drive a created form in leading the will of God. If we find ourselves in a leadership role, we must let God lead and we in turn must lead others as God directs. True worship and praise does not drive God, drive the people, or drive any human effort to be mistaken for the glory of God’s presence.

King David was afraid of the Lord that day so he sought for a place to take the ark of God. He put the ark in Oded-edom’s house, Obed-edom means a servant of the earth. The ark remained there for three months and God blessed Obed-edom and all of his house.

2 Samuel  6:9 David was afraid of the LORD that day; and he said, “How can the ark of the LORD come to me?” 10 So David would not move the ark of the LORD with him into the City of David; but David took it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. 11 The ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months. And the LORD blessed Obed-edom and all his household.

When King David saw that God had blessed Obed-edom he realized that he need to try again to bring the presence of God to Jerusalem. The Scripture does not reveal the details of how David knew to deliver the ark on his second attempt, but he must have spent time seeking the will of God in the matter. He likely went to the Scriptures and the priests in his day. His method the second time was one prescribed by God and not by the will of the people. It was a plan prescribed by God’s strength and not the strength of human will. If we want to experience God’s presence among us we must let God reveal to us the prescribed plan. We cannot seek to be friendly toward human seekers, but to be friendly to the One who seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and truth. God responds to our worship, but our worship is also a response to His presence in our midst.

2 Samuel 6:12 Now it was told King David, saying, “The LORD has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the City of David with gladness. 

The presence of God in our midst invokes a response of gladness in the hearts of the people. If we are involved in leading worship, we can play a wrong song, break a string on a guitar, hit the wrong note on the keyboard, break a drum stick, fall down on the stage, experience feedback in the sound system, forget the words to a song, or many other things and none of those will grieve the Holy Spirit. When we get a bad attitude over anything it will grieve the Holy Spirit every time. Gladness is a testimony that the fruit of the Spirit is in our midst and we must not quench the Spirit.

2 Samuel 6:13 And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep. 

True worship and praise is based upon personal testimonies. The ark of God’s presence must be carried by each and every one. It cannot be placed upon a cart with big wheels. It must become the responsibility of all who are priests before Him. We are a priesthood of believers and the presence of God in our midst is dependent upon God’s presence in the life of each and everyone of us. True worship and praise is a ministry that demonstrates God’s grace at work in our midst. It is not a ministry of law. For every six steps that the priests took, an oxed and a fattet sheep were sacrificed. Six is a number symbolizing man. It is not the strength of men that carries the presence of God to the place that He desire. It is through a willingness to lose our lives that we truly find them. It is in accepting the once for all sacrifice of Christ that we find His anointing in our lives that exceeds any human effort of our own. The presence of God is a testimony of His way and it changes our way and gives us changed hearts before Him.

2 Samuel 6:14 Then David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. 

The presence of God inspired David to dance. He had to be willing to loose control. He danced with all of his might. He was giving God all that was within him. If God has all that is within us there will always be an external witness to it. David was wearing a linen ephod. He had the clothing of a priest and he was demonstrating that true worship and prase does not sweat or strive. It is a place of life, liberty, and freedom!

2 Samuel 6:15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.

When God is in our midst it inspires corporate responses. Worship and praise are not mere individual performances. They are corporate expressions of God in our midst. David demonstrated shouting. The shout of the King, the shout of God’s presence in in the midst of true worship and praise. It doesn’t always have to be loud, but it is always a testimony of Jesus in our midst. Where the King is, there is the shout of the King (     )   King David released the sound of the trumpets. Trumpets are a symbol of God’s prophetic power. True worship and praise releases a prophetic sound of God in our midst. God speaks, and life happens! God speaks, and lives are changed!

2 Samuel 6:16   Now as the ark of the LORD came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart. 

David was leaping and whirling before the Lord. The Lord was in control of the room, not King David. He was embracing a NOW experience with God. His wife Michal did not embrace it. She was stuck in a sound from the past. She didn’t see herself as one with her husband David in the experience. She viewed herself as Saul’s daughter, a testimony of the past. If we hold on to the experiences of the past and value them more than the experiences of God in our present we will miss seeing God in the room. We must let God be in control of the room. We must let God be in control of our hearts. If we value some form of religion from the past more than the presence of God in the season of today, we will be barren for the future testimony of God in our lives.

2 Samuel 6:17-19 So they brought the ark of the LORD, and set it in its place in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.  And when David had finished offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts. Then he distributed among all the people, among the whole multitude of Israel, both the women and the men, to everyone a loaf of bread, a piece of meat, and a cake of raisins. So all the people departed, everyone to his house.

The people were blessed when the presence of God became the testimony in their midst. There was a testimony of forgiveness and peace. There was a testimony of being one with God! The people were blessed with the first, the best, and the most of all that God had for them. They were able to go to their own houses ready for the increasing rule of God in the kingdom of Israel. Michal, David’s wife, was stuck in the glory of the past. She was not able to experience the blessing of God in the present and remained barren until her death.

2 Samuel 6:20-23 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” So David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the LORD. And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight. But as for the maidservants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor.”  Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

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