Self Endeavor (The Root of Relationship Failure)
For those of you who have yet to obtain my latest book, here is an opportunity
to read chapter 1. The Hidden Warfare.
The Hidden Warfare
They say that wisdom comes with experience, but many that experience relationship failure come out of it with a lack of ability to avoid the same old situation all over again. Before I go any further, allow me to make one thing clear. This book is not solely based on the earthly relationships of family, social, and work place, but it is first founded in the personal relationship with the God of all creation. The reality of it all is that the root reason for failure in any of these areas is most often rooted in a hidden perspective. That hidden perspective is Self-Endeavor. Self-endeavor changes our perspective on virtually every aspect of life; even our relationship with God.
Merriam Webster defines Relationship as:
The way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.
More often than not, the initial area that we relate to one another in is the area of self-endeavor. Everybody’s looking for what they want for themselves. Too often we can see from square one, that the probable union ahead of us has absolutely no indicating point of relation what so ever; but all we can see is what we can gain from the union. I can honestly tell you from experience that most relationship failure does not come from something that occurred along the way, but from disregarding things that were in fact discernable from the beginning. All of this can even begin with our relationship with God, our introduction to Him is based on His love for us and all that He would desire to do for US. With this in mind we go forward on a journey where each passing day becomes more embellished in the me me, my my viewpoint of even our relationship with Him.
This book will uncover a number of not only character flaws, but levels of Spiritual rebellion as well. Listen…Whatever your faults may be; God knows your heart, your true heart. The question I pose to you this day is do you really know your own heart? Many that believe they do only say they do, but they haven’t really taken time to evaluate themselves. So in the failing of each relationship, they can always find fault in another. Within this life you will build thousands of relationships, some of them lasting as little as five seconds as you exit the store and hold the door for someone as you both smile and greet one another. Regardless of how great or small each relationship may be, make each one of them count.
Some of the chapters in this book will be focused on one gender or the other, and will be blunt and to the point. I know that there are some that will not be able to stomach the revelations to be found within, so they may not even finish the book, but those who desire a spirit of understanding in this matter will surely reach a new place in themselves. I pray for a renewing of your relationship with the God of all creation, as well as every other relationship; be they Love, family, community, or work place. In this first chapter we’re going to start by addressing factors with-in self that could become a barricade between you and the understanding needed to perceive the revelations with-in the pages of this book. At times things may seem to get a little off the beaten path…But stay with the flow and it will all add up. In the beginning of this chapter I mentioned that the hidden perspective in Understanding Relationship Failure is in the element of self-endeavor. The definition of endeavor is to try hard to do or achieve something, so self-endeavor is when all that you do in efforts to achieve is based on “I”. So many of us live our lives predominantly focused on where we abide with-in our own hearts, and that place I call “The Temple of I”.
This is where we worship, praise, exalt, and declare the things that “I” have achieved. Because we are so focused on the construction of this temple of self-endeavor, we often fail to recognize foundational flaws that can bring everything crashing down before us. Acknowledging the hidden factor that has allowed an ongoing state of failure is the key to moving to a new season of accomplishment in relationships new and old. The initial step in this process is self-examination; and it begins with the ability to discern what’s with us. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a look down at our feet and seeing the toilet tissue stuck on our shoe; sometimes it’s a little less obvious, like when you know you keep smelling something that’s offensive, but until you lift your foot up and look on the bottom of your shoe, you have no idea that the smell is coming from you.
We too often fail to recognize what we are carrying with us in spirit, and this can in fact be to our demise. Carrying a spiritual compromise for a prolonged period of time gives it power to exist in your life as something that you believe to be a part of who you are. God created every individual with a unique persona; however most of us have taken on masquerading characteristics; never learning who we truly are. This is how we are conditioned to never even see how we live a life of self-endeavor. Self is too often cooperatively deceived by delusions of grandeur, and always saying, “What’s in it for me”.
Ephesians 4:1-3 says
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
When reading the directive in these verses it is more than clear to me that the word of God steers us away from self-endeavor, yet there seems to be something that keeps us pointing in that adverse direction. I can’t think of any spirit that motivates self-endeavor more that the spirit of competition. Competition says that you must win, and in order for you to win, someone else must lose. One of my greatest accomplishments in conquering self-endeavor was understanding that when it comes to my spouse, I didn’t have to win to be victorious. When the spiritual manifestation of our responses become something that really matters to you, it’s becomes easy to see that more often than not, your spiritual victory is obtained in not having an issue with someone else winning. This is the manifestation of lowliness, meekness, longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. But these are not attributes of self, so for these to abide, self must first be dealt with. There shouldn’t be one individual that is saying, “Yeah, I got that one together already”. This is a process that only begins with the knowledge of the fact. There’s much more to it than learning that you’ve been spelling a word wrong and changing the pattern. It’s an ongoing process that produces new requirements with each passing day. And the attributes of self-endeavor are not something that simply came into play with the demoralization of our nation. It all started with our Grandfather Adam, all the way back in the Garden of Eden. Scripture tells us that we are born into sin; what we fail to understand is that this life is a journey out of the sin nature into spiritual alignment to the will of God. The battle we unknowingly fight with-in is our point of defeat. Because it can’t be perceived by our own minds; yet it’s of our minds…Let me explain.
I recall being on a city bus sitting one seat ahead of a woman who was on a very interesting cell phone conversation. When in the inner city you expect to be exposed to people who in one way or another lack in their ability to display public courtesy, so it meant nothing to me when she began yelling into her blue tooth headset. However, after a short while, the conversation became abrasive enough that I felt the need to move. After getting up and finding a seat toward the back, I noticed a group of women that were observing her, and the fact that she had on no blue tooth at all. As a matter of fact she revealed no cell phone, but the argument marched on.
The medical world calls it schizophrenia: a psychotic disorder characterized by loss of contact with the environment, there is a noticeable deterioration in ability to function in everyday life, thoughts become delusions, perception becomes hallucinations, and behavior becomes irrational. This is a condition that most of us will never know, but many of us will in fact experience a form of spiritual schizophrenia and never be aware of it. Let’s start by looking into the concept of our thoughts. Our thoughts are our ability to imagine, our considerations, and most of all, our intellectual products. If you were to produce something in the natural realm, there are corporate watchdogs within our government that would place quality standards on what you put out. But the mind of man can run virtually ramped. Without governing of rationale, our minds can be made to take on a landslide of catastrophic thought patterns. My endeavors in addiction deliverance has introduced me to men who had the delusion that dealing death through drugs was acceptable for their lives because it was quote,” the only way that they knew to survive”. I myself in my days as a crack addict would argue the point with not only myself but others, that I worked hard and just wanted to enjoy life, and I’m not hurting anyone. I even remember renting a fellowship building from a Bishop that had moved his school and church to a new facility, after being confronted by the city we discovered why the building was empty, it had been condemned 2 years prior. Upon confronting the Bishop and his board of directors, we presented the 29 page long report that was given to them by the city inspectors 2 years ago. When asked why he would take our money for a building that had been condemned, he went off into a tirade of how powerful he was in the spirit, and how we were just novices and
babes to him. And most of all, he continually denied that the building failed every inspection of their new renovations, even though the evidence was in hand. As for the board of directors, they just sat there with obvious expressions of shame.
These are mild results of how self-endeavor can lead you into a place where you have no awareness of the spiritual schizophrenia. And in turn these voices of darkness will eventually bring you to a place where you see correctness in all your activities, regardless of how off course they may be.
A persistent false psychotic belief regarding self or persons or objects outside of self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary.
To put it quite simply, with-in your own mind you’re going to believe whatever you think regardless of evidence to the contrary. Even from the very beginning God saw this in us. For that purpose Christ came that we might have a greater ability to discern the heart of the Father above our own thoughts. For too many of us our trust in self-endeavor will be more than a formidable adversary in our journey to understanding the spiritual side of the victory that has already been given to us
John 16:7-13 reads
7. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
8. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9. Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10. of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11. Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
12. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we do in fact have the ability to grow to where we can discern all things spiritual to the point of separating good from evil even with-in ourselves. If you wanted to make a sandwich, you wouldn’t start by pulling all the meats together, you would start by preparing the bread, because that’s the foundation for the sandwich. Trying to establish matters of the spirit by starting in the flesh is no different. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. None of these are attributes are of the flesh, therefore they cannot be established on any other foundation accept spiritual. All of these are attributes that are found in effectual relationships: Therefore, a relationship short of any of these will in fact eventually be proven to be ineffectual. The competitive nature of a self-endeavored heart can hinder one from ever establishing their intended foundation of truth, because these perspectives manifest SELF which is divisive and contrary to spiritual.
I Corinthians 3:1-4 is still among us?
1. And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
3. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
4. For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
This isn’t the only evidence that we have a long journey ahead of us, so we’ll cover more scriptures on that fact later. The point being made in this chapter is if God did in fact through the mercies of Christ Jesus, send a comforter in the form of His Holy Spirit to be a guide unto all truth, How are we not walking in the fullness of His revelation of who we are. Could it be that God Lied, could it be that only some people can hear the Holy Spirit’s voice? Or maybe we all hear him and just don’t want to be bothered. The fact is, we do all hear Him, amid other voices that we All hear.
Let me begin by saying that even though the scriptures say to pray without ceasing, it doesn’t mean to be on your knees 24-7. The reality of the fact is that with-in our mental concept, we are in constant conversation all day, but we rarely direct that conversation to God. We would rather talk to ourselves; or so we think. The first voice that we acknowledge is our own, because that’s who matters to us the most. Our minds constantly ponder on the matters of life and the issues of the moment. This is ONE of the loudest voices we here.
This is the voice of the adversary, and it’s too often just as loud as our own thoughts. For those who haven’t learned how to discern between the two, they are too often deceived into thinking that one is the other. Not to mention that it causes constant conflict between what you know in your heart and what you decide in your mind. Before the indwelling of the Holy Spirit this was all there was. That scenario of a little devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other is more real than you think; and it plays itself out in the minds of men on a constant basis. I wish it was as simple as seeing the two sides of opposition, but it’s not. We must first learn how to discern the difference between our own thoughts, and directives coming from the adversary. Here are a couple of clues. Regardless of that old the devil made me do it statement, Satan and the host of hell have no authority in your life because God didn’t give it to him. However, YOU can in fact give seducing spirits authority to communicate with you.
Do you remember me mentioning that a part of our thoughts are the considerations we bear? Well imagine if you were walking down the street and someone approached you and said, “Hey I’ve got some brand new 70 inch HD TV’s in the back of my truck for 200.00, you want to take a look.” For a man of righteousness, his heart is already kicked in with rejection to the offer, but if he hesitates in thought of the offer, HE JUST CONSIDERED the offer and all that comes with it. And with the offer comes Thievery: because it was obviously stolen. Deprivation: because someone had to lose it. Deceit: because you’re trying to convince yourself that it’s alright. Covetousness: because you desire what rightfully belongs to another.
So if this isn’t you’re style, how did you end up in this split second situation of compromise? The problem is when we think that we’re hearing our own thoughts, and we’re not. When the offer was made and you heard in your mind,” It won’t hurt to take a look at it”. Now tell me, does that sound like your own thoughts, or beguiling directive?
Isaiah 26:3 reads
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
If we do in fact pray without ceasing (and we all know that prayer is conversation with God) we remove any doorway of communication FROM the enemy. Too often the compelling voice with-in us is in fact that little devil on your shoulder, and his authority to communicate with your mind comes through your CONSIDERATIONS. When I was in my stage of deliverance from drug addiction, I remember how I would out of the blue hear a voice guiding me to consider getting high. I would sit there with this silly look on my face pondering the idea. Did you notice I said GUIDING me to CONSIDER. The adversary has no authority over us. However if we CONSIDER his directives, he now has power AND authority to lead us the very way that we would hope not to go. This is how you know the enemies voice.
1. He speaks with a question: If he has no authority accept what you give him, then he needs to get your consideration of whatever he’s attempting to lead you into. Why would you asked yourself, ”You won’t be gone long…They won’t even miss you, will they?
2. He speaks with accusation: The first of the fruits of the Spirit is Love. If he can get you to develop a judgmental, or self-exalting, I’m greater than them attitude, then he’s got a good doorway to enter through. Now he can point out the errors in everyone around you to the point that you can no longer see the errors with-in yourself.
3. He speaks with innuendo: The tossing about of hints and insinuations in our minds has too often been perceived as a prophetic word from God, when the individual heard no more than derogatory nature of the adversary. This is the reason that there is so much supposedly prophetic word being spoken today that never comes to pass.
4. He speaks to emotions. Be it tasting, seeing, or feeling, the devil knows what we like. And most of all he knows the sin that so easily besets us. In most cases we know of that sin ourselves; but rather than bridling it as a wild horse, we embrace it as a pet.
5. He compels. One of the key indications that you are hearing the adversary’s voice is that He pesters the heck out of you. When the Holy Spirit speaks, He knows that you have heard him, and He withdraws to allow you to make your own decision based on His guidance. But the adversary is like children in the car on the way to an amusement park. You know the ones I’m talking about, every half a mile, “ARE WE THERE YET.” Satan can’t leave you alone to make a decision; you might choose the right one. So anytime there’s a voice that just won’t leave you alone on an issue or circumstance…Stand Still.
And now the most important voice of all. The one that’s hardest to hear. The one that does not and never will attempt to compel you in any way. The one that will only speak what is heard from the Father of life. The one who’s directives can always be confirmed through the word itself. The Holy Spirits speaks to us from a place of peace, where there is no confusion, loud noises or distractions. When He speaks to your spirit, He knows that you hear Him. Therefore He only speaks once. Would you keep repeating your words to someone that’s ignoring you?
Many find themselves hearing Him but not acknowledging WHO they heard. We’ve all used that phrase SOMETHING TOLD ME. My name isn’t SOMETHING, and if I offered you guidance and understanding, and you kept calling me SOMETHING, instead of John, the flesh man with-in me would be compelled to get real quiet on you. But The Holy Spirit continues to direct us. So how are we missing His guidance? Remember I mentioned in the beginning of this chapter that through schizophrenic tendencies, our thoughts become delusions? Let’s see what God had to say about this.
I Thessalonian 2:10-12
1. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
3. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
So tell me, what good is it to have the truth revealed to you if you have decided with-in your own mind to believe nothing that doesn’t serve the purpose of SELF ENDEAVOR. You are bound to walk in that delusion until the end of days, accept that you discern the voice of God’s Holy Spirit and give ear unto Him. You yourself have said, “Something told me” a thousand times. Let’s give honor to the spirit of truth that lives with-in us, and maybe then we’ll not only hear, but understand him better. This is the beginning of understanding our errors in the spirit. We have been too content with the way that we have been doing things, even to the point of not accepting the truth regardless of how important it is. This first chapter has simply revealed where we’ve come to be, but the question is, how did we get here? Knowing where you are empowers you to know how to get to where you need to go. But if you don’t desire to acknowledge your places of error, you may very well find yourself traveling those off beaten paths again.