“I wasn’t racing!” “It doesn’t matter, I won!” “But I wasn’t racing!” “It doesn’t matter, I won!” This loud and insistent exchange between two young siblings took place years ago in a crowded crosswalk in Honolulu, Hawaii. As Mark and I passed them by, we couldn’t help but smile at the older brother’s insistence that he had “won” some obviously “imaginary race” against his younger sister. After all, she wasn’t “racing” pronounced “wacing” because she was missing a few front teeth! Oh, the woes of sibling rivalry!
As I have reflected numerous times throughout the years, over this amusing and seemingly innocent inter-change between brother and sister, The Lord started to reveal to me the underlying current that the enemy was cunningly at work with to try to capture this young boy’s heart. The purpose? To keep him frantically competing in some “imaginary race” for the rest of his life.
In Hebrews 12:14-15 (TPT); we receive some practical life-saving advice from The Lord.
“In every relationship be swift to choose peace over competition, and run swiftly toward Holiness, for those who are not Holy will not see the Lord.” “Watch over each other to make sure that no one misses the revelation of God’s Grace. And make sure no one lives with a root of bitterness sprouting within them which will only cause trouble and poison the hearts of many.”
My friend, there is a “Code of Conduct” that The Lord is introducing to us in these scriptures, “Swift Peace over Competition,” with ourselves and others. Notice that the first three words of the above scripture are, “In every relationship.” This includes the relationship that we have with ourselves. God knows that we can’t be, “swift to choose peace over competition” if we are not first, at peace within ourselves.
Like this young boy, if you and I choose to look at everyone around us as a competitor to be conquered, rather than a relationship to be nurtured, we will run a race of, “unholy competitiveness” against them, which will produce negative results. Running our life’s race with others in this manner will cause us to miss the Heavenly revelation of God’s Grace in our lives and the lives of those around us; fast-tracking us on a road to self-destruction. This will eventually make a way for a “root of bitterness” to begin to sprout within us that will cause trouble and poison the hearts of many.”
Why is it so important for us to adhere to this God Given, “Code of Conduct” with ourselves and others?
You see my friend when we choose God’s instructions of, “swift peace over competition” we create an atmosphere of “Grace” that nurtures those around us. This allows these precious relationships that The Lord has entrusted to us too, “Safely Flourish” in their God-given gifts and talents with confidence and ease. This Divine harmony produces a cohesive unity, a “Oneness” that Jesus Himself prayed for us to have in John 17:21-23 (TPT);
“I pray for all of them to be joined together as one even as You and I, Father, are joined together as One. I pray for them to become One with Us so that the world will recognize that You sent Me.” “For the very Glory that You have given to Me, I have given to them so that they will be joined together as One and experience the same Unity that we enjoy.” “You live fully in Me and now I live fully in them so that they will experience perfect unity, and the world will be convinced that You have sent Me, for they will see that you love each one of them with the same passionate love that You have for Me.”
Friend’s as we choose to cooperate with a “Holy Oneness”, we bring the “Revelation” and “Protection” of God’s Grace into the center of our relationships. This “Guardrail of Grace,” keeps us running our life’s race with a Divine Pace of Peace, void of fleshly striving. This Divine Pace of Peace produces within us an intimate place of Holiness with The Lord! This Sacred Holiness gives us the strength to choose, “swift peace over competition,” every time! Glory To God!
On the contrary, when we feel insecure and threatened by the calling, gifts, and talents of others we will view them through the fear based, imaginary lens of “unholy competitiveness.” This “unholy competitiveness” creates within us a striving and “bitter heart” that leads to an “unholy desire” to diminish their value and worth as a called individual of God. An individual who like us my friend has been made in His Very Image! Though we may not recognize it, at the core of this heart action is an attempt to, “Silence God.”
How do we Silence God?
By suppressing and discrediting the gifts and callings that He has placed on another individual’s life. This is how God loses The Strength of His Voice to the world as we attempt to Silence Him, His Movement and His Purpose through the voice and ministry of another Brother and Sister in Christ. A voice and ministry that God Himself planned, established and set in place in order to Advance His Kingdom. My friend, attempting to “Silence God” disrupts the Peace and Perfect Unity that, “Oneness” that Jesus prayed for you and me to have.
How does this happen?
The same way it happened to lucifer, in Isaiah 14:13-14 (AMP);
“And you said in your heart, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit upon the mount of assembly in the uttermost North.” “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like The Most High.”
Like lucifer, if we are driven by a striving “unholy competitiveness,” “We will say in our heart, I will exalt my life above the plans and purposes of God; I will sit in God’s place and judge the callings of my brothers and sisters in Christ because, “It doesn’t matter, I won!” ALL they have is MINE! I will ascend above everyone that I know, there is no one greater than me, I will make myself like The Most High.”
The pride of lucifer’s heart gave birth to a destructive “unholy competitiveness” against God. This rebellion poisoned the hearts of a third of the angels, dooming them forever to the eternal lake of fire, as they were cast from The Presence of God! Let us not make the same mistake my friend running our life’s journey with a carnal, destructive “unholy competitiveness” that attempts to silence God while leading others astray, thus breaking fellowship with The Lord.
Before we run one more step, let’s ask ourselves the following questions:
1. Like the young boy in the crosswalk, Am I racing in an “imaginary race.”
2. Who am I racing against? Why?
3. Have I participated in advancing the Kingdom of God by cultivating, promoting and releasing the gifts, talents, and callings of others without guile?
4. How can I better walk in, “the ministry of reconciliation” with my brothers and sisters in Christ?
Our God-given influence is greater than we think my friend! The Lord is adamant that we protect the “Oneness” that “Holy Unity” that will show all men that we are Passionately loved by Him. This is how we strengthen the Body of Christ and Advance His Kingdom.
My friend, if you are ready to join me in protecting the “Oneness.” that “Perfect Unity,” that Jesus prayed for us to have as we relinquish any “unholy competitiveness” from our life, then I invite you to make this declaration in the following prayer of repentance and reconciliation.
Please pray out loud with me:
“Father God search my heart. Any seed of “unholy competitiveness” that would cause a “bitter root” to grow within me and poison the hearts of others I repent of now to You. Through the Shed Blood of Jesus Christ, I call it uprooted in Jesus Name!
I say and decree that every word and action of “unholy authority” that I have spoken or acted upon that has undermined, hurt and hindered the calling and progress of my brother or sister in Christ, I repent and ask you, Lord, to reverse that damage over every area of their life in Jesus Name!
Father God remove any curse that I have spoken over my life, and the lives of others. Lord, any person that I have poisoned by spreading gossip, hurt or bitterness, would you please bring them to my heart, and show me how to address those words and actions for the sake of their restoration. I repent of this sin! Lord, I now decree Blessing over their life.
Thank You Father God for Your Divine Cleansing and Healing of my spirit, soul and body in The Name Of Jesus! Lord, with Great Joy and Expectation, I receive The Complete and Manifest Victory for all of these areas that I have repented for and requested of You. Father God, as a Cleansed Vessel I am now ready to report for active duty for my Kingdom Assignment. To God Be The Glory! Amen and Amen!
With The Holy Spirit Wind Beneath Our Wings we can now run as God taught us to run in 1st Corinthians 13:13 (TPT);
“Until then, there are three things that remain; faith, hope, and love yet love surpasses them all. So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run.”
This, my friend, is how you and I Run Strong and Free in Perfect Unity……..Boldly For Him!
© 2019 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”
Photo: Ben White