Iron sharpens iron. (Pexels/Pixabay)

"That they all may be one, as You Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me" (John 17:21).

Working with others can often be a challenge. "Iron sharpens iron," but at the same time this can make sparks fly and cut us deeply. Recently, I learned one of the most difficult yet empowering lessons in my walk with God. In a training session, Dr. Jim Wilder of Life Model Works said to me, "One critical mark of maturity is learning to keep our relationships bigger than our problems."

That phrase kept going through my spirit, helping me to transform, because I had a lot of tension in my relationships, and I was desperate for His help. Every time I began to get "stuck" in this way, I could hear the Lord saying, "My child, your problems are temporal; one day they will disappear. Your relationships are eternal; they will last forever in My kingdom. So make your relationships bigger than your problems."

You see, my pattern of self-preservation had been to simply cut the person off who was overwhelming me and then I thought I had resolved my problem—because I thought the person was my problem. I had to learn to keep my relationships separate from my problems.

I remember one really difficult ministry relationship. While I was praying, the Lord said, "I have an inheritance in that person. It really matters to me that I receive the glory that is due to Me from that person's life. The way he is right now, I may not receive it, I need an intercessor in prayer and I'm allowing you to "feel the gap." Will you be a champion for him in secret? Will you pray that everything which I have ordained for him will come to pass?"

I was still angry and hard-hearted. The Lord said to me, "Do you love Me?" He paused a while for the answer from my heart. "Will you pray that I receive the glory that is due to Me?" I said with a softened heart and tears in my eyes, because I saw how hard-hearted I had become, "Yes, Lord, I will pray for my brother's fullness."

Isn't that what Yeshua has done with each of us? We are full of problems and repeatedly unable to agree with Him. Yet, He makes His relationships with us bigger than the problems. This is one way to grow in intimacy and maturity. Let's ask Him for grace to imitate Him in this way.

This article originally appeared at reviveisrael.org.

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