Growing in God: How to receive honour (Honour pt. 3)

This picture is more about dishonour, but we need to know what blocks us receiving honour before we can receive it. So we do not wish shame on you, but rather than you receive honour when it is due.  Please read and be blessed.

My name is Laurie-Ann, and I’m a missionary. During my mission travels, I have ministered with people in Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Canada and the USA.  I’ve also ministered in African countries like Kenya, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, South Africa and Botswana. But at this time, we live in the beautiful Western Cape of South Africa.

Two articles ago, we learned of the importance of developing a culture of honour.  This means intentionally choosing to honour God, leaders, widows, the vulnerable and everyone we are connected with.  In earlier teachings we learned about encouragement and blessing – honour is a big part of that.  It’s in choosing to see the potential – the hidden gold inside a person and drawing it out of them.  Relationships grow stronger and full of healing when honour is involved.  When we honour and really listen to people, it opens up a relationship to blossom. When we do this with God, it’s incredibly special.   Imagine what would happen if we honour and really listen to our spouse!  No more nagging.  No more need to shut out nagging with half-closed ears. Honour validates.  Dishonour… well, it basically feels like a curse.  That is especially the case with the commandment of honouring your parents.  If you don’t, your life won’t be blessed, or even long-lived.

Then in our last article, we learned how to give honour – to God through an everyday lifestyle of worship, offerings, keeping truth, integrity, obedience and finding different ways of honouring others.  Some receive through gifts, others by celebrations, preferring them and being there for them. There are so many ways.  But first, we need to look at what blocks us from receiving honour.  If we don’t realize it, we can become our own worst enemy.

Seven Blocks to us receiving honour:

One: Offense is a major road block on the highway of honour.  I mentioned during the last broadcast about a personal experience with a former friend.  This lady was a Japanese pastor, and she was deeply offended by my momentary lapse of forgetting to take off my shoes in her home. She never forgave me, despite my quick repentance.  She showed me dishonour by cutting off the friendship, and from there on, there was no honour coming from her.  Her offense became a wall between us, and while it hurt me, I know it hurt her as well. Offense can be obvious, or hidden in your heart.  Either way, it causes deep rejection in relationships that can that can go much further than that initial relationship.

Two:  Comparison causes judgement against either yourself or the person you envy.  Pastor Shawn Gabie often says that “comparison is a calling killer.”  If you are objectifying someone, you aren’t honouring or being positive.

Three: Pride is another honour blockage, as is curses for obvious reasons.

Four:  False humility brings resistance in your heart to receive honour, due to brokenness. If you feel unworthy of honour, you are forgetting your instrinsic value that God created you, and if you’ve come to faith, he’s also redeemed you.   That care cost Jesus his life.   Rob Packer says in his excellent book, The Life Giving Power of Honour that “disagreement of what God says about you is arrogance, not humility.”  You actually need to honour yourself, because   “if you dishonour yourself, it shuts you off from receiving.  Acknowledge your gifts, don’t shut them down. They are to be celebrated as a gift that gives glory to God.”

Five:  Lack of gratitude shuts the door to receiving honour. Entitlement shuts down the relationship and stops the flow of honour and love.   Shame also sets up a dark barrier to honour, since it’s the opposite to honour.  However, receiving honour from the Holy Spirit is exactly what the shamed really need.  God is indeed the lifter of our heads.  When we look up into the loving eyes of Jesus,  we can see that he is not the one shaming us.  He paid for our sin, and also heals our broken hearts.

SixRebellion – whether in society, family or the church.  Patricia King says that  if you are joining a church that is new to you, it is important that you honor the leader, whether you agree with them or not. If you do not agree with them in general and do not respect them, then she suggests asking the Lord to do a work within your heart or find another congregation.   David never rebelled against King Saul, even when the king was trying to hurt him. There was always honor. David understood this, which was one of the reasons why God honoured him.

Seven: Over-independence:  Many Americans are very focused on rugged independence.  While it’s good to realize each life matters, it’s counter-productive to be independent to a fault. No one is an island. We grow in relationships, and if you’re alone, it cuts off all doors to honour.  Danny Silk says that “Honour has fallen on hard times in our culture.  Independence is worshipped. We focus on our private relationships with God and have a hard time recognizing spiritual authority, and considering others as more important than ourselves. The result is that we are cut off from the flow of heaven…” (of what God wants to bless us with…)”

Now let’s discover some ways and means that we CAN receive honour.  This is not an exhaustive list, but it comes down to this fact: By honouring others, we intentionally sow honour.

Number one:  We honour God.  It says in 1 Samuel 2:30 that those who honour (God), (He) will honour.  That one sounds simple, but there are so many aspects to this.  If you’re just reading to this one segment of Ways to Grow in God, you need to go back and read the others on this site.  You’ll hear about a lot of ways you can honour God.

Number Two: We need to know who we are: Danny Silk says that “honour empowers people. They realize they carry something no one else carries. We need to develop and release those gifts into the church and world as their part of bringing heaven to earth.”  If you’ve come to faith in Jesus Christ, then you are a child of God.  There is nothing higher than that.  Anything else you do is great, but it’s not who you are.   You have a very high value, much more than you think.

Number Three: We need to be humble. Philippians 2: 5–11 was a scripture passage that Tony and I had declared at our wedding.  It’s one of my favourite scriptures. I’ve shared this passage before. Not only is it about humility, which is a powerful example, but it’s about the honour that Jesus will receive at the end of days.  Every knee will bow before him.  Yet he was also humble.

Listen to the Apostle Paul’s words:  You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God,[a]     he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.   Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b]; he took the humble position of a slave[c]  and was born as a human being.  When he appeared in human form,[d]   he humbled himself in obedience to God  and died a criminal’s death on a cross.  Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honour and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,  in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  11 and every  tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Kris Valotton says that “honour is humility in action.”  As you can see, there are no control issues there, no manipulation.  There are other scriptures that talk about humility, such as Proverbs 18:12: Before destruction, the heart of man is haughty. But humility goes before honour.  Proverbs 22:4  says that the reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honour and life.  Proverbs 29:23 says that a man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honour.

Patricia King is well known for her teaching on honour.  She also is a lady of humility and grace. She says that she loves “living at the foot of the cross. At the foot of the cross, there are no entitlement issues. You’re just at the foot of the cross, looking at everything that Jesus laid down for you. Everything that Jesus did to give you life. And what he did was that he died.  What he did was he became your sin in exchange for giving you his righteousness.  And when you look at what he did, there is no entitlement there. […] He just humbled himself. He didn’t need to, he was God. He humbled himself and gave forgiveness. He gave himself. He gave it all to us that we would live.  And because he humbled himself more than anyone has ever, his name is exalted above every name in the whole universe.

“Because to the degree that you will humble yourself, that is the degree of honour that you will be given. You don’t go after the honour. You go after humility and honour will come.  You serve people and honour will come. You love people, and honour will come. You don’t demand honour. God can demand honour.  You cannot demand honour. All we really deserve outside Jesus Christ is eternal hell. But because of his love for us, he has exalted us in him. There is so much entitlement out there. It’s based on this prideful attitude, “I should have this, I should have it now, this money, this position, this treatment, because I after all, I am…”   NO, you are not I AM. There is only one I AM.”

Patricia goes further on the entitlement that gets in the way. She says that “there is no entitlement, no matter your leadership role.  Honour has to come as a gift from a person towards you. You don’t demand honour.  Honour has nothing to do with entitlement issues. And sometimes we have so much entitlement.  I share with those I mentor that when you go out to serve people, you don’t put demands on them. You don’t say ‘you have to give me this first class ticket, you have to give me a five star hotel, this much honorarium, etc.  I always say, you go out as a servant. If you go to honour the people that you’re going to serve, honour will come back to you. Even if it doesn’t come back through those people, it will come back through some other way. But you don’t demand it; please don’t have entitlement issues concerning this.

Remember this- if you’re given honour, receive it. This will give you something to give back to God. At the end of the day, we’re going to take all our crowns and pour them out at his feet. All the honour goes to him. It’s not, oh well, I’ll give 80 percent to God and keep 20.  No, he’s the one who gets the honour, because he’s the one who gives the honour to begin with.  So you don’t let the honour that people are giving you – which is a beautiful gift, an undeserved gift – create pride.  When they give it to you, you know that it belongs to God. Don’t let it birth pride in you.”

Number Four:  Be full of grace.  Proverbs 11:16 says that a gracious person obtains honour.   It’s not that a gracious person rejects honour, it’s just that they give the praise to God.  Luke 14:8-11 says that, “everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  When you have the mindset of a servant, a servant will never sit in a place of honour on their own.  A servant’s role is to bless others. This means they take the back seat. This scripture says, if you will take that low place, honour will come to you.   Even if you don’t get invited up you might be initially disappointed, because you didn’t get honoured in the way that you wanted. Patricia King shared with a friend that went through this disappointment.   She said, she tried “to share with them that if you relinquish your right to be honoured, you won’t be hurt anymore.” Honour eventually comes to those who humble themselves.     But it’s not just people’s honour. It’s the honour of God. And this is in the eternal realm, when we stand before him and he will honour us.  Some of the people who will be honoured are those not noticed by others.  They were hidden in difficult places and circumstances.  But God notices.   Patricia shares that she remembers when prophet Jill Austin died. I remember too.  She prophesied over me two years before she died, in a way that greatly impacted me.  We’ve posted the video on our Dreams page on our coppleswesterncape dot ca website if you’d like to see it.   So the night that Jill died, Patricia sensed the exact moment Jill went to heaven.  Patricia saw her being received into heaven with so much celebration. She says she began to weep, and said, Lord, why did we not honour her here in earth, like she’s being honoured in heaven.  Patricia said that Jill “was not honoured in the earth. In many ways, she was mistreated.   I was just weeping, and I said, “oh God, if only we could have honoured her like that.”  But she never demanded honour in her life from people, she never demanded it.  But in the glory realm there it was, and that’s where it all counts.  If you spend all your honour on the earth, maybe your bank account will be empty in heaven. But if you live your life in humility and servanthood, it will release a bank account, full of honour and glory for you.  And that is worth living for.”

Number Five: Stay away from strife!  This is a hard one in townships like Avian Park, but this isn’t just about rivalry between gangs. It’s also about strife between any people, including family. Proverbs 20:3 gives us good general advice, when it says,  that “keeping away from strife is an honour, but any fool will quarrel.” Honour and conflict are opposites. Danny Silk shares in his book Developing a Culture of Honour that “honour is one of the most vital core values creating a safe place where people can be free.  Honour protects the value that people have for those who are different than they are.”

Number Six:  Pursue Righteousness and loyalty. If you practice these, honour will return to you.  Proverbs 21:21 says that “whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honour.”

Number Seven:  Doing good, making right choices and integrity also opens the gates of honour.  The Apostle Paul shared about this in Romans 2:7-10. “He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honour and immortality that God offers.  But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.  There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. But there will be glory and honour and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile.”

Number Eight:  Generosity! Proverbs 22:9 shares that “Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor.”  I can share that Patricia King, who I’ve often shared about has blessed me personally with her generosity. Over the years, she has ministered into my own life either prophetically or in her teaching. I spoke to her in a smaller media conference held in Phoenix back in 2007.  I told her about my then coming mission to Pakistan that would minister to the persecuted church in Pakistan.  She gave me a lot of her own materials to share with the children and adults there.  I trust they are still blessing those she sowed into through me.   Patricia’s big heart and generous nature brings honour back to her not only through my own story, but also the way she sows into other Iris ministry.

Number Nine:  This topic is related to generosity:  that is Sowing. Sowing in this context is specific giving.  When people sow into our ministry through Iris Ministries Canada, that is specific sowing.  Another time a former connect group leader, John, decided to sow into Tony and me last Christmas.  At the time, Tony was ministering to a young Avian Park woman who’s baby died.  John was able to sow not only into us, but into this community.  Proverbs 11:25 says “the generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”   This is a wonderful depiction of receiving just what we need, since we haven’t forgotten others in their need. If you’re honouring others, you’re going to be honoured. What you sow is what you reap.

Number Ten:  Loving Well. The Living Bible version shares this aspect well in 1 Corinthians 14:1. Listen to these words, “Let love be your highest goalPeople who love well are honoured. It’s easy to honour someone who loves so well, you want to honour them. They’re giving themselves to you so that you can be more blessed than you were before. Honour grows when you are loving on and thinking of others without the need to control them.  Kris Valloton says that “honour is the cornerstone of an empowering culture that eliminates the need for control.”  And honour indeed is not about control. It’s a relational blessing both ways.

And so we’ve gone on quite a journey during three articles. We’ve learned about the culture of honour, how to honour, what blocks honour.  While it won’t work for us to intentionally seek honour, this is something that comes through relationship.  Honour is relational with God and others.  You can’t just be on the receiving end.  But when honour does come your way, give thanks.  And then give the honour back to God – it’s all like the flow of a river.  Keep it flowing, and you’ll keep the blessing coming.  I bless you to go out and practice what you’ve learned about honour.  You won’t be sorry you did.

Lord, I ask that you reveal to our hearts ways that we can learn more about honour.  Show us the value you’ve placed on us, and that you want us in this river of love.  You want to crown us as your sons and daughters.  Grow us inside to be strong and confident in you.  Convict and cleanse us from dishonour that we’ve received and given to others.  May we shine for you. We give you all the honour.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you’d like to hear the audio version of this teaching, please visit our website coppleswesterncape.ca for the WTGIG podcast.  Then scroll down to #38.  You may also find other teachings there, free of charge.

PS for any of you who pray I was diagnosed with stage 3B inflammatory breast cancer here in South Africa.  We need to go back to Canada in April after the chemotherapy treatments are done to have surgery and more.  Please keep us in prayer for healing and finances. We are crowdfunding, since insurance won’t cover us, and we are already missionaries living by faith.  If you have been blessed by my ministry, please consider sowing into the medical costs if you are able.

Our medical campaign page is here for financial contribution info, medical story and prayer pointsCopple medical page.

 

 

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