This is the second installment in a 3 part series called “You are Here”. We’ll dive into your physical location, relational location and your spiritual location. Tackling some pretty deep stuff while doing some biblical comparisons. If you have not read part I, I highly encourage you to stop, go back, and read that blog first.
I’ve been doing some research on relational location. It has taken me 25 years and I still have no clue what I’m doing. First I think I need to define what I think relational location is. To me it’s where you are right now (marriage, friends, co-workers, religion) and then where you were and where you’re going. I say, where you were, because I think that really determines where you are and where you’re going. And I think that’s a good area to tackle first.
Where you were.
The point I think comes out the best in this Andy Stanley’s video is that we all bring baggage to relationships. I would go further than just marital relationships and extend this to work relationships and church relationships.
When I was young I attended church with my parents. We went every Sunday rain or shine. When I was in my preteen years I really started to engage. My pastor, Pastor Steve, was an energetic your pastor with a good connection to the youth in our church. I went to church camp, vacation bible school, Sunday school, if Pastor Steve said it was awesome I was in. Then one day Pastor Steve left the church and we got another pastor. The new pastor was old, didn’t connect well with the kids and well, I really didn’t like him at all. Is it bad to dislike a pastor? Anyways, after some time my parents also became disengaged and we stopped going to church all together. Twenty-five years later when I was asked to attend church again with my wife and kids I brought the baggage of my old church with me. There was nothing that anyone had done to me at New Life Chapel, but I felt anxiety and resentment all the same. I needed to get past that because it was something I brought with me. I needed to let it out that I had this baggage and it wasn’t going to be easy for me to let go of it. Eventually I did and things got better and soon I was able to have a healthy relationship with my church.
Where you are.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
In our hearts we know right where we are with our relationships. Our relationship with our spouse, kids, family, boss, god. We know were we stand with every relationship we have. “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.” 1 John 1:6. The biggest lie we tell ourselves is that everything is okay when it is clear that it is not. And the relationships that we form around that lie suffer because of it. Proverbs 3:5-6 says it best “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” It’s telling you, he will set your path straight just man up and get moving. Our current relational location needs to be rock solid to make sure our future location is set up for success. We cannot move forward until things are cleared up, if not you’re bringing along more baggage.
Where you’re going.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
That was a soft ball, right? John 3:16 says it all though. I once said to a friend, “If my wife and kids are going to heaven I’m going too.” That pretty much summed up my devotion to Christ. But there was more, something that I had never thought of before. In Kyle Idleman’s book “Gods at War” he makes reference to a C.S. Lewis story “The Great Divorce”. Lewis writes “You cannot love a fellow-creature fully till you love God.” Interesting thought. I think about my future relationships and my first instinct is to love my wife, kids, family with all my heart and leave nothing behind. I have to stop, think about the God who gave me all these blessings in my life and remember that loving God is number one. Idleman goes on to illustrate the buttoning of a shirt. If the first button misses the rest of the buttons won’t line up and you end up looking like a fool. Make God that first button and the rest will line up perfectly, your wife, kids, family, job, every relationship you do and will have for the rest of your life.
Your relational location, past, present and future are so important in making up who you are. Don’t forget your baggage, it’s there, make sure the new relationships you bring that baggage into are clear on how it got there. Your currently relationships need your truth and honesty. Don’t hide behind a mask, God knows when things aren’t right, trust in him to set those things straight. Believe in your future and love God first so all things after will fall in line. Thank him every day for your blessings and know that heavens gates will be open to you.