The Thing That May Be Killing Your Relationships

In a word: Exclusion! In a few words, not seeing everyone in your life, including yourself, as a Child of the Father, Son, and Spirit!

Check out Acts 9:1-20 in this light! It’s the story of Saul (the non-believer) being encountered and arrested by Jesus. It is also the story of Ananias (the believer) being encountered and arrested by Jesus.

One of the things I have noticed in this story about both of those men is that the thing hindering both of them, ultimately, is their not perceiving Jesus in the life of the other person! In the case of Saul, the point is made more overtly. He thinks he is simply obeying the law and literally arresting and killing people who are in The Way of bearing witness to and relating to Jesus. But Jesus encounters him, literally, with light and blindness and asks him, “’Saul, Saul, why are you out to get me? He said, ‘Who are you, Master?’ ‘I am Jesus, the One you’re hunting down.’” – Acts 9:4-5.

In His spiritual blindness Saul is completely unaware of the fact that the people he is killing are not just people but Jesus in His people! Jesus is so much IN His people that he accuses Saul, RIGHTFULLY, of hunting down and killing him – the Lord!!! Saul is literally killing his relationships – relationship he has with all others IN THE HUMANITY OF CHRIST!

Ananias, the believer, is having a struggle with inclusion, too ! The depth of his trouble is not as overt as Saul’s, but I believe it can be clearly seen IN HIS RESPONSE TO JESUS, His Lord!!

Jesus approaches Ananias in a vision and asks him to get up and go over to where Saul is staying, but Ananias protests AGAINST THE LORD on the basis of what he observes about Saul with his eyes! Saul couldn’t possibly be included in the life of God as bad as he is, and he tells the Lord so!

I have to appreciate how honest, real and logical Ananias is in the flesh, so I don’t fault him as a sinful human! I am not sure I would recognize and trust Jesus in a vision either! On the other hand, his response is indicative of the fact that something has gone wrong with humanity, including all “believers”. Ananias is being approached BY GOD in the flesh and he is protesting HIM, His creator!!! Isn’t this INSANE? REALLY? If we REALLY knew who Jesus was, and who we are in Him, would we ever REALLY question Him and protest him, even in a hard situation like this??? NO! (I’ll help you with the hard ones! J)

But he does question Jesus’ voice and instruction. Why? Because it is extremely hard to see someone who is killing your friends, and trying to kill you, as included in the Life of the Father, Son and Spirit. It’s even hard after all those prayers of blessings for your enemies and your praying to God FOR those who persecute you and despitefully use you (family members, friends, bosses, co-workers, employees, neighbors, ex-wives and current husbands, etc.), isn’t it?

Nonetheless, this truth of Saul’s inclusion in the Life of the Lord MUST be acknowledged if Ananias is going to experience his reconciliation with his Brother Saul (verse 17!!!), and all of humanity, that the Lord accomplished in His own human body!

They both had to learn the lesson: Jesus was in Saul’s enemies, and Jesus was in Ananias’ enemies. Period.

Now imagine Saul AND Ananias not accepting and embracing the inclusion of all of their human brothers and sisters in the Life of God? Not only would they not have experienced the good that we can clearly observe coming out of both of their lives because of trusting this, but they would have continued jacking up the relationship they had with the Lord!!! In fact, neither one of these two brothers would have even begun to obey the Lord physically unless and until they obeyed Him on this spiritual point, FIRST!

Perpetually disobeying Jesus??? Can you imagine the horrible killing effect of that on your relationships??? (Yikes!!! Shivers!!! We’re already living in that hell, too much, aren’t we???)

~ Timothy Brassell

5 comments so far

  1. Bonnie Fairchild on

    It is much easier to see Jesus in my friends than it is to remember that He is equally in those persons with whom I may have conflict. He is in all of us, all the time, and He loves the other person as much as He loves me. We may disagree, but that doesn’t change God’s love for either of us. God is very, very great.

  2. John Geerlings on

    Thanks Tim
    Thanks for you thought on this!
    How profound! We must be blinded or shocked from our own wasteland of self seduced delusions and have our eyes opened into His revelation. Once it has become part of your life you cannot understand how it could have been any other way. The truth of Father, Son and Holy Spirit as creator and redeemer in relation with the cosmos, is freeing and presses you on in life as a real human being! John

  3. tjbrassell on

    How true – all that you have written, Bonnie!

    John, I am always encouraged by your encouragement! “Being pressed into life as a real human being” – I love it!!

  4. Don Hussell on

    Tim: well done, it is alot easier to teach inclusion than to live inclusion….thanks brother

  5. tjbrassell on

    Don! Could you have stated our position more clearly considering the fact that we currently live in the fall of Adam (while also in the inclusion of Christ!)? Probably not! Thanks! 🙂

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