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Relationship or Rights

Mike Connell

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Now grace is not some funny word you hear in church. Grace is a flow of power that enables you to change, enables you to live the life God wants you to live. It empowers you to do what God called you to do, so grace is a flow of the power of God. It's nothing deserved or earned, it's something that comes to those who are in a place of faith and closeness with God.

It's not human ability or strength. It's actually a substance from heaven that enables you to do what you could never do. How can I do 10 days in Taiwan, praying for people morning and night, hundreds and hundreds of people; get on a plane, fly down to Auckland; up to San Diego and then pray for hundreds and hundreds of people, and still be able to do it? I'll tell you very simply, it's called grace. It is very real. It's a power that flows in your life, that energises your body, energises your soul, energises you to do things you couldn't normally do. It also helps you in your relationships.

So grace, we need the grace of God, and the Bible says: grace is given to the humble. Now notice this man. He humbled himself, and said: I can't do it, please help me. The nature of this kingdom we're in, it's a kingdom of grace; so those who humble themselves, God is kind and loving and he pours out what we don't deserve. We don't try and earn it. We don't do anything. We don't go to services to get this. It's about a relationship from the heart, so that's what the key is. Grace is intended to be - it's the dynamic of heaven, it's the power of heaven. It's to enable us to walk with God. It comes out of walking with God, but here's the thing. It's intended to flow to people that you are in relationship with.

So now let's move on, have a look what happened to the guy. Now relationship conflicts reveal our heart attitude. Here's the thing you have to understand: it's impossible for you to love God if you can't walk in love with the people around you. It's a deception to think because you have experiences with God, you are walking with God. An experience with God is just that, it's an experience - came in, had a buzz and went out. Came in, had a good time and went out. I got in my prayer time, experienced the touch of God, and then walked out. Listen, having an experience with God is not a walk with God. Having an experience with God is just that. It's a momentary thing. It happens in a brief time, and it's wonderful, and it imparts to us, but it imparts grace to change how we live.

Now the real test of whether you're walking with God shows up in how you treat the family of God. You can say to me how spiritual you are. You may have seen miracles, and done all kinds of things, or experienced many kinds of experiences, but the evidence of your walk with God is seen in your walk with people. How do we treat people? Now God is lovely. You get alone with Him, He's loving and merciful and kind, and talks the truth. We all love to be in the presence of God, it's wonderful. I love it. Cry, and enjoy God, and feel loved, hear words of encouragement; but you know the thing is then, what happens when we go out to people?

See, the family of God is actually Christ in body form; so when you meet another believer, you are meeting a part of the expression of Christ in the earth. How you treat other believers really does reveal what's in your heart, and whether you're walking with God; so our conflicts with people, our difficulties with people, cause or they reveal what's really in our heart. Now notice, this man was a servant of God. That means he's a Christian, a servant of God. You notice he has received forgiveness, he's received mercy, and he needed it. He had a really bad lifestyle. He's the kind of person that really blew it. They really have messed up their life, done so many wrong things, bad things. They've come, and God has just poured out His love and forgiveness. Now the key issue for them is: will you walk, and continue to abide in that favour of God, or will you just cancel it out? So you can come into an experience with God, and the same day when you meet someone, cancel out much of the blessing and life flow you've come in, by how you respond to a person. This is exactly what this guy did, and I'll show you in a moment how he did it.