IT IS GOD AND I
IT IS GOD AND I
Most of us agree that God is omnipresent, that is He is present everywhere, but maybe we do not realise just how present He is. Today we shall see an area in which He is present but very few of us realise it.
Now, I’m talking about relationships in many areas: husband-wife, citizen-nation, father-son, master-servant, friend-to-friend, etc. The fact is that God is present in all of them; we need to know this and to behave ourselves in those relationships like we really know He is there.
People often behave in a relationship like they think the other party deserves. This is why you have often heard statements like “if you respect yourself, I will respect you;” but when the Lord Jesus was going to answer such a situation, He explained that if you behave in such a manner you have done no commendable good, seeing that even sinners do the same. He further stated that your aim should be
“…that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil person and the good ones, and sends His rain on both righteous and unrighteous people.”
What I’m saying is that, taking an example of the issue of respect, you respect those who God thinks you should respect and not those who, in your opinion, deserve it.
In every relationship you find yourself, or let me say in every encounter with people, you must realise that you are to fulfill your duty to God your Father, and not just to that person. Your aim should not be to be nice just because “we never know where we may meet again tomorrow.” No! The Bible tells me clearly that whether you meet again or not is irrelevant, for surely one day you will meet God who will reward you according to your deeds. I am sure you can remember this saying of the Lord:
“For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you invited me in, naked and you clothed me…”
When the people wondered when they did all these, He said:
“…truly, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”
Do you see that?
In the light of what I said earlier, you will agree with me that people, consciously or unconsciously, think that their reward comes from the person they are doing something for. This is the reason why people do “eye service.” If you are a child of God, allow me state these facts to you:
One, every act of yours has a reward.
Two, it is God that brings that reward.
Three, He will surely bring the reward.
Now, let’s examine the Bible on this.
“God is going to judge everything we do whether good or bad, even things done in secret.” Eccl. 12,14
You see, life is lived as a reward; God is the one that lifts people up and brings others down. His ways are not haphazard; He doesn’t just wake up one morning feeling good and then decides to bless the first 20 people praying that day. No; rather He judges peoples’ actions.
“I the Lord search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due reward, according to what their actions deserve.”
The way you relate to people is what God is testing you with. Look, if the Lord Jesus walks into anybody’s house, introduces Himself properly and then says He’s thirsty, the people will give up their last drop of water to satisfy Him. But He doesn’t do this; rather He comes as the least of His brethren, and then judges the people based on how they respond.
Let me explain this further by examining the relationship between a master and a servant.
Paul, in writing to the church at Ephesus gave this instruction:
“(Servants), obey your human masters sincerely with a proper sense of respect and responsibility, as service rendered to Christ Himself; not by way of eye-service as men-pleasers (with the idea of currying favour), but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart… knowing God will surely reward a man for his good work…”
Workers need to know this: God is the one that will reward you, not your employer, not the government. This God is watching what you are doing about your job even when nobody else is seeing it. If you are being diligent and faithful, though you are a cleaner today, one day He will lift you up. Jesus said “your heavenly Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
A lot of people actually enjoy grumbling and complaining about their employer; this is worse with civil servants. As far as they are concerned, “the place is not my father’s; it is not worth dying for, after all how much am I being paid?” These are statements that the Lord will hear and will never lift them up. I do not have the space here to go into details, but let me quickly say that all those talks to yourself and to your close friends are also being heard by God. Read this from Malachi 3:
“…those that feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord…”
Listen, when Miriam and Aaron murmured against Moses, the Bible tells us that “and the Lord heard it.” Then He passed judgement.
If you are faithful and honest in serving your master, people will call you foolish, “that fellow is not sharp at all,” but the Lord will reward you. I heard a story once of a young man who refused to agree to a ‘sharp’ practice in his place of work, the man who offered it shouted at him “you will die a poor man.” I told myself “No, he won’t, the Lord will reward him.” All those ‘sharp’ practices that are completely illegal and morally wrong that have been putting money in your pocket have also been adding sorrow to, and you will soon find out.
Eye service! Hypocrites, know that the Lord sees your heart and He will soon bring you to judgement.
Do you want enduring prosperity?
“Dwell in the land, cultivate faithfulness,
“Wait for the Lord, I say, wait.”
When God starts blessing you, the people who called you foolish will start calling you lucky. No, it is not luck; it is the blessing of God. It is what David called the lines falling for one in pleasant places.
Before I leave that side, let me quickly throw something in on salaries. You see, people are just grumblers by nature; they are hardly ever grateful. Please let that not be your attitude. No matter how little you are paid, thank God for it and you will be surprised at how far it will go. One major reason your money has not been enough is because you dissolve it away with the words of your mouth, needs then begin to arise so as to eat it all away. Do you not know that your words have power? You called your money “chicken feed,” so it bought one chicken and finished, or was only enough to feed your chicken. Every time you declare “I’m in trouble in this place,” you enter into more trouble.
Start giving thanks; start telling the Lord “Thank you, I know you will soon lift me up. Thank you for what you have given me; thank you for my work, thank you for my boss; thank you.”
Please allow the story of Joseph to teach you a lesson (Gen 39-40); the low places you are in today are doors into the great place God has prepared for you. Remember it pays to be faithful and grateful even if you have a wicked and mean boss; do not forget who your real Boss is, it is He who will eventually reward you.
Whenever you are in any relationship or encounter with any person, remind yourself that “it is God and I.”
Also I have often encountered those who do not respect, honour or give to their fathers because, according to them, “that man was very wicked to me.” See, I will have such a one know that God has said,
“Don’t take it upon yourself to repay a wrong. Trust in the Lord, and He will make it right.”
Each person has his assignment or duties in life; the fact that your father did not fulfill his own as it relates to you or your mother will not justify your treating him wrongly later. Remember it is you and God, not you and your father. There is a blessing for obeying God which is missed by repaying evil. Do not forget, “from God comes your reward.” Listen to what He says.
“Honour your father and mother that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.”
“He who curses his father or his mother, his lamp will go out in time of darkness.”
Many people have invited curses on their lives because of their parents. “Back luck” follows them around because they do not honour their parents; yet they feel justified. Listen, the Bible says “do not let evil defeat you; instead conquer evil with good.” Remember, “It is God and I.”
What about wives? Do you honour and respect your husband from your heart? He does not have to deserve it, it is a commandment of God that you be submissive to him, and God must be obeyed. I know he has not been a good husband but how can the Lord help you when you are not obeying the first things in His word concerning the problem? No, it is not you and your husband; it is you and God!
Likewise, you husbands must love your wives as the Lord has commanded. It is not because she is so wonderful but because “it is God and I.” Remember, it is important so that your prayers are not hindered (1 Peter 3,7).
Child of God, listen to me, nobody is the source of your problems in life, and so stop fighting people; you are to watch your relationship with God. (Please see Job 35. 9-13.) Nobody is big enough to oppress you if God is pleased with you. Have you not read this that “when the ways of a man pleases the Lord He makes even His enemies to be at peace with him”? Look at Joseph; though he was hated and sold into slavery, yet he found favour in Portiphar’s house. When falsely accused and thrown into jail, he found favour with the warder.
Do you want favour with men? Don’t go to them, go to God; do what is pleasing to Him and you will find favour with men! In Proverbs we read:
“My son… let your heart keep my commandments… do not let kindness and truth leave you… so you will find favour and good repute in the sight of God (and then in the sight of) men.”
The summary of the whole discussion is: Though we meet men daily, though we need things from them, yet in all these “it is God and I.”
Before I go, I’ll like to quickly tell you who are reading this but are not yet personally related to God through the living Lord Jesus that this is the foundation: Jesus Christ came to enable you have the strength to tackle every relationship in this world. Obeying God by your strength may be difficult, but with Jesus, it is a piece of cake.
You need at this time to accept Jesus as your Lord and saviour. Please say this prayer with me:
“Heavenly Father, I need you,
“I believe Jesus is alive, and I accept Him now as my Lord.
“Forgive me my sins and give me strength to abide in obedience to you.
“Make my life completely new and teach me henceforth your word that I may be yours indeed.
“In Jesus’ name. Amen.”