Unconditional Faith, Love and Respect
Give and receive unconditional faith, love and respect from God, yourself and others!
I have often heard that God wants faith, women want love and men want respect. While this is true, we all need some of each and God demands all three. He wants us to live exclusively for His glory, trust Him implicitly and love Him completely. Women want someone to believe in and respect them too, though love would be the main priority of their heart. Men want all three too though primarily respect, while faith and love are essential too. How many young men or teens say, “You don’t believe in me!” We all need someone to believe in us and we all need love.
To begin with God as He is always to be first in our hearts and lives, we must all recognize that God is inherently worthy of unconditional faith, love and respect for He has promised to meet all of our needs and fulfill our desires as we delight in Him. What is more, He is our Creator, King, Redeemer and everything. Without Him we can do nothing. Yet, so often, I and everyone here just refuse to trust and believe in God for whatever reason. God is honored by faith and wants us to believe in Him more and affirm that by our words and deeds. Love is essential as well and God is to be first in every area of our lives and every thing we do, whether it is brushing our teeth or praying for the salvation of a loved one, ought to be done for the love and glory of God. That issue alone will radically transform our personal ministry for God shows up with His presence, fruit and power when He is trusted, loved and glorified.
Ways we can do this are to stay in communication with God through constant prayer and by expressing to ourselves and others the nature, character and word of God. We can remind ourselves of His unwavering flexible faithfulness as we have trust issues and affirm His basic love for our hearts and all of humanity through the love of the cross and His continued love for us daily. His mercies are new every morning. By doing this we will trust and love Him more. We become what we think about and desire, so let us think on and desire God. Lastly, we can all choose to do things to fulfill our own needs, expand our influence and give glory to ourselves or we can subordinate our reputation and desires to the glory of God and find our satisfaction in the glory of God, expanding His kingdom and fulfilling of His will. Ironically, by doing these things for the Lord, our own name will be honored, our kingdoms will move forward and our desires fulfilled naturally because God honors those who honor Him and we are by identity a part of His name, kingdom and desire. We are inextricably connected to the love, purposes, nature and character of God as His chosen people and by virtue of our being His visible representation on earth—the living body of Christ! How encouraging is that? I should add that we will grow in all of these as we take faith risks and see and experience the love and faithfulness of God and see His nature, character and word in our lives.
Once we have God first in our hearts and operate from an unconditional faith, love and respect, we can move forward in believing in others and affirming their inherent self worthy in thought, word and deed.
There is a lot of conditional love given and received, which of itself is ok as there is conditional love and not all love should be unconditional. Some love is based on mutual understanding of the relationship and conditions are set for most relationships to operate effectively. However, there is also a basic trust in the identity and core of a person created in the image of God with recognition of the function and call of God upon their lives, an inherent self-worth that we can see, affirm, love and respect on any occasion. This work needs to begin between our own ears and then move on from there; in order for us to create a culture of honor we need these three ingredients. We need to trust when trust is hard and believe in any person when it seems hard by trusting both God and the fundamental love that is in each one of us. We all have love in our hearts and the more we affirm that love the more it will come out. What is more, believing God to work through someone will transform then, for by our expressing faith in the identity God has given them they will believe it and activate it for themselves. We all need to believe in ourselves and one another, but especially God, and affirm it more.
The next step is learning to show love when someone is unloving. This is easier once we truly see the person for what they are. Not only must we see the why behind what they do, but the identity that is in them that their actions are denying and affirm that basic identity inside of them. What is our identity? We are beloved lovers of God, holy, chosen and faithful. We belong to God as His people and have a specific purpose for our lives and for being at meetings. We also have a specific function and gifting we can affirm in each other. As we begin to see and love those things the culture around us will change and we will see root issues exposed and faith and willingness increase in the hearts and lives of those around us.
Respect is the final one, though it has already been said that we ought to affirm one another, we must also remember to show respect. We can consider ways to honor people for who and what they are, especially when they are not operating that way. We can verbally recognize them and show them we respect them by our actions. We can open doors, offer special seats to those in need or in authority, speak of the inherent worth of those around us and boast about their successes. It is good to boast if it is for the good of others, just don’t boast for yourself. Let the glory go to God and others and you will reap what you sow and get honor in return. Give and it will be given to you, a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be spilled into your lap.
In summary, in order for us to both create a culture of honor and for us to walk into our identities so that we can flow naturally into the vision and call upon our lives it is vital that we have unconditional faith, love and respect for God ourselves and others. This is a covenant relationship. We all affect one another, need one another and cannot do this alone. By affirming the inherent worth of others we enable them to believe in themselves and thereby operate accordingly. Let us seek prophetic insight and vision into the lives of those around us that we might activate their identity, vision, calling and function!