In my last post I talked about the importance of relationships, and how God is a relational God and created us as relational beings. Our destinies are linked with other people and these kingdom connections are an important part of bringing our destinies to reality.
In this post I want to focus on three types of kingdom relationships that we should have.
We all need to have mothers and fathers in our lives, not only in the natural sense but in the spiritual as well. One of the best examples of this is the apostle Paul’s relationship with Timothy. Timothy was a young man with the call of God on his life, but he needed the guidance of a father. 2 Timothy 1:5 says, “I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.” I find it interesting that Paul mentions that Timothy had the godly influence of his mother and grandmother, but does not say anything about his father. It seems that Timothy lacked a godly male role model and Paul filled that void, often referring to Timothy as his son.
Even those of us who have great parents who have loved and guided us into the things of God often need the influence of mothers and fathers in the faith to help develop us and release us into our calling. This is so needed today; a generation is waiting for mothers and fathers to look to them and raise them up as sons and daughters. Paul told the Corinthian church that they had many teachers, but not many fathers (see 1 Corinthians 4:15) and this is still the case today. Ask the Lord to bring genuine fathers and mothers into your life who really care about you, mentor you, instruct you, correct you, and pray for you!
Another type of kingdom relationship is that of brothers and sisters. These are ones that you walk along side with on your journey with the Lord. All believers are brothers and sisters in the Christ, but sometimes there are special connections that God ordains that are deeper than usual. A great example of this would be Jonathan and David in the Old Testament. There was a special connection that God gave them, and a deep brotherly love that they had for each other.
In the New Testament you could look at the disciples, especially Peter, James, and John. There are also many references to the church being called “brothers and sisters” and the reality of genuine love for each other is evident. Brothers and sisters are the ones you walk with through life; sharing your deepest desires, praying through difficult circumstances, confessing sins, and sharpening each other in the Lord.
As you grow in the Lord, it is important that you begin to connect with those who are younger in the faith and pour into them. We already looked at how Paul did this with Timothy, and Paul also instructed older women to teach younger women to lead godly lives (see Titus 2:3-5). This is one of the greatest privileges that we have as believers- to pour into others and see them grow in Christ and walk in the truth.
God is “restoring the hearts of the fathers to the children and hearts of the children to the fathers” (Malachi 4:6). Be on the look out for those that God may be highlighting to you as someone He wants you to be a mentor to. Ask God to give you a father’s (or mother’s) heart for these ones and that you would desire to see them exceed anything that you do. This is the how God ordained His kingdom to advance; one generation passing the baton to the next with ever-increasing glory!