Honour is a choice. Honour is not something that just dawns upon you. Whatever you honour, you attract. Whatever you dishonour, you push away from you. As you choose to make those commitments to relationships, those choices begin to impact your whole life.
The relationship circle through the life of Abraham:
Genesis 12:1-4 (NLT): When God spoke to Abram and said, “Leave the place you grew up culturally.” He had to leave all of his protection, peace and security in Haran based on, ‘God said.’ When you are touched by God, you begin to change the way that you live life. Touch makes meaningful change because it is an experience that moves you. God touched Abram with words, gave him instructions and he obeyed and he’s leaving.
Genesis 13:2 (NLT): 2 Abram was very rich in livestock, silver and gold. How did he get so rich? He got touched by God and obeyed God – so God said, “I will bless you.”
I say: God blesses me. I am blessed by the Heavenly Father, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I am blessed. I receive a blessed life.
Genesis 13:2 (NLT): Abram settled in Canaan but Lot settled in Sodom. He saw the land was green; that’s where the cities are; where the trade happens, that’s where success is. But they were an extremely sinful people. He was just tagging along with Abram. That’s a big thing about Christians in church today. They tag along in church but they’re not there to worship the God that they hear from and press into the God for themselves.
Genesis 13:14-16 (NLT): All the people that came along with Abram, including Lot, are now gone. There is a place that you have to reach in your life where there’s a lot of people hanging around you, a lot of relationships and you’ve got to be away from them, so that the next thing can happen in your touch relationship with God.
Genesis 15:1-4 (NLT): The Lord spoke to Abram in a vision. Previously he only heard the Lord, now he sees Him. God promises Abram a son. But Sarah says, “God’s prevented me from having children. So, if God’s going to give you children, it’s not going to be through me.” She is interpreting God’s will. She is not waiting for God’s will. She suggests Abram sleeps with her servant to conceive a child and Abram agreed (Genesis 16:1-2 NLT). You must understand that Abram came from a land with lots of gods and how he’s been introduced to the living God, but he’s getting to know this God. Abram didn’t wait because they were still learning about this God.
Genesis 17:1-8 (NLT): God appears to Abram and says,1 “I am El Shaddai – God Almighty. Serve Me faithfully and live a blameless life.” God is beginning to interact with Abram now. He’s beginning to reveal Himself, not just as the God who is going to protect him, bless him, and give him children. He’s beginning to explain to Abram who He is. As God speaks to him, he falls down on his face and worships Him. That is the position that you can take for the rest of your life. Inwardly and outwardly you can live a life of just bowing and worshipping the Most High God. God changes his name and promises him fruitfulness and descendants and confirms the covenant with him.
God is still touching Abraham with a prophetic word about his future. He’s not yet expecting Abraham to do anything other than to serve Him faithfully and be blameless in serving. Touch is an essential part of every relationship. If you can’t touch people, you have to close the gap so that you can touch.
Integration of ways
Genesis 17:9 (NLT): God went from talking to Abraham, touching Abraham, prophesying over him, telling him, blessing him – everything he’s going to become. Now He’s putting the requirement on Abraham. “Abraham, 9… your responsibility is to obey the terms of the covenant. God instructs him to circumcise every male in his company. Notice the integration of ways here is a simple act, it’s not complicated.
It’s a mark of covenant. It costs something – pain, dignity, vulnerability. It cost a whole lot of things that when you are ready to give God your heart and be circumcised in your heart, it leaves the same mark. It’s a mark of a blood covenant in the heart. Integration of ways. Does it matter how painful or undignified it is or what everybody else says about it? It doesn’t matter. The thing about it is that it was God.
Genesis 18:16 (NLT): A conversation begins between God, the Lord and Abraham. God is now telling him His strategic intentions, and He’s giving Abraham a chance to change the possible course of actions. But that’s a level of relationship where you can only get to with God when you’ve already integrated ways. And because of the way Abraham takes on the responsibility to intercede on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah, and eventually God and he agreed that if there’s ten righteous, He will not destroy the cities. When God gets there, He finds out there are not even ten.
Genesis 21:1-4 (NLT): Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to Isaac. A thing that was impossible for 100 years of Abraham’s life with Sarah, suddenly it’s possible. Divine productivity is something where you’ve got to the place where God intervenes and only God can make it happen.
Genesis 22:1-3 (NLT): When divine productivity is established, then God can sometimes ask us to enter into covenant. God asks Abraham to offer Isaac as a burnt offering. He went and he did what God told him. He didn’t even wait. This is a big thing – if God gives you an instruction, the longer you wait, the harder it gets.
Genesis 22:10, 16-18 (NLT): Abraham was ready to kill his only son. God says, “Now I know that you have taken what I said, you have integrated your ways. I’ve shared My strategic intentions with you. My divine productivity has been there for you to give you a son. Now I’m taking that divine productivity back. Give Me your grow-up divine productivity.” Then God says, because Abraham feared God, He will bless Him and multiply his descendants exceedingly.
Notice that this is the first time that God says this to Abraham. There was a covenant thing that happened where God swore by Himself to Himself but Abraham was asleep through that whole process. This is the first time God is directly saying to Abraham, “I swear to you by My name that this will happen.”
Honour and dishonour
Genesis 16 (NLT): Abraham and Sarah tried to interpret the will of God. They both agreed to him sleeping with Hagar. After conceiving, Hagar started to treat Sarah with contempt, so Sarah treats her very harshly and she runs away.
There is a difference between honour and dishonour. Because there was dishonour of first of all, God’s instruction. Sarah didn’t believe God’s promise and made her own plan. Secondly, there was dishonour between Sarah and Abraham. Thirdly, there was dishonour in the way that Sarah treated Hagar. If you dishonour something, you chase it away from you. But God had promised Abraham that He would bless his descendants. Even though there is dishonour, God still honours His own Word (Genesis 17:18-20 NLT). Even though you might make a mistake, interpreted God’s will incorrectly – you may have Ishmaels, God will still bless those but they will not be the mark of the covenant that God has with you.
God is so merciful that He will still keep His covenant with you. But I’m pressing at this moment in my life to live in the full circle of what He’s provided. I’m at a stage in my life where I’m asking the Lord, “If there’s something that You need from me as a divine covenant that You require? I trust that I will be faithful to serving You.”
You might have to make some corrections. If you’ve run away, you might have to come back. If you had contempt, you may actually have to come back and submit to authority. These things are real things that happen if dishonour has been in your life and in your heart. But for honour; let’s give our lives to God. Let’s press for honour amongst ourselves and amongst the body of Christ and our honour for God.