When I got in contact with my spiritual family here in Enugu, I was in my living room when I heard in my spirit. “Do you know what will spoil your new walk with GOD?” I said no, and then the Spirit said, “familiarity.” Hmmmm.
You know, the Spirit often does not waste time, and HE uses the word we are always used to.
And you know what? It didn’t take long. The reason for the instruction played out. You see, again and again, GOD delivers us from bobby traps that will truncate our walk with and our work with HIM.
You are giving into Familiarity. It looks so trivial that you can easily dance into and out of it, but if you look deeply, you see how much it robs us of GOD’S more. More? Yes, there’s always more to our anointing. There’s always more to our financial freedom, joy, peace and faith. There’s more!
When we activate GOD’S fullness of glory, it will be too much to talk about even in a year.
Are you ready to beat CONFUSION as a winning Christian? Let’s learn!
What is Familiarity?
- Familiarity is a close or warm friendship
- It is also an act of undue intimacy (misbehaviour)
- The state of being extremely friendly
- Undue intimacy; inappropriate informality
Look at the first and third definitions. Would you ever think being close and warm with someone or extremely friendly will result in something terrible?
So, you can know something too much or someone too much that it becomes unhealthy. You can become so familiar with someone that the person loses their value in your life or vice versa.
The second and fourth definition calls it undue intimacy or inappropriate informality.
Now, let’s delve deeper.
Where can we see Familiarity?
Familiarity is not exactly subtle because we can see it when it begins to display.
Familiarity can be seen between a husband and wife. Familiarity can exist amongst family members, like in the case of Joseph. Familiarity can be seen even amongst communities. You can see Familiarity in the work places or business atmosphere and even in churches.
Do you know the surprising place we can still see Familiarity? We can see Familiarity in our walk with GOD.
We can get used to GOD that we no longer reverence HIM, that we no longer have the fear of GOD in us. Familiarity corrupts our consciousness and introduces unseriousness, unnecessary stubbornness, and a lack of sense of urgency that every matter is now trivial.
What causes Familiarity?
Familiarity starts when we begin to forget why we created a relationship. Familiarity has crept in when we no longer appreciate the person we have in our lives. We start to deal with Familiarity when it is okay to disobey our leaders, mentors and even GOD and always think we can get away with it.
- Familiarity can creep in amongst friends, families or in church when we constantly visit the people involved.
- Overly sharing your life challenges, successes or secrets with friends or families, many times leaders or even followers.
- Familiarity comes in when we permit things not considered ‘not sin’ but can lead to sin (uncanny play between a brother and sister in the church, association or even school). You can see this between a teacher and a student, house boy and girl or among siblings.
Apostle Joshua Selman said in one of his interviews, the interview with Dele Osunmakinde. I am not quoting him, but he simply said that the devil can take advantage of the sincerest of actions and make something out of it. And it might not be seen, but you are near Sodom.
This might sound funny, but I am sincerely going to quote him now, “the Bible said that when Lot left Abraham, he didn’t go into Sodom. He stayed near Sodom. By the time Abraham came and rescued Lot, he was in the middle of Sodom.”
- Another thing that causes Familiarity is when we claim we have deep knowledge about someone or their background, often even about GOD.
GOD is not impressed by our knowledge of HIM. HE is the one that gave it to us, but we can get to know so much that it now affects us. Remember the scripture, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” John 1:46.
- Not living by example: many times, when people begin to see you like them, it registers a thought pattern that you are one of them.
No wonder, when many believers get to preach amongst their peers or sphere of influence, they are disrespected and ignored. Why? Because actions speak louder than words.
- The thought that you can do what your leaders can or, even better, can introduce Familiarity.
What does Familiarity do with winning Christians that result in confusion?
Familiarity, like every other factor, does a lot to winning Christians. Let’s use the opportunity to learn how it affects us.
- When you give into Familiarity, it blinds your consciousness and takes away the value of the relationship.
- When you allow Familiarity into your Christian life, you lose out on the experiences that should have birthed change.
- When you give into Familiarity in GOD’S presence, you drift or, in many cases, may lose your unique expression with GOD.
- You limit GOD and HIS work when you get familiar with HIS presence.
- Many times, a lot of people build doctrine around what they know about GOD today, that they lose out on what GOD has for them tomorrow. (GOD does not change, but will that stop HIM from being GOD) don’t depend on things.
- When there’s Familiarity in the church, the church begins to lose its taste. Members can now discuss the pastor like he is not their leader, and even members begin to misbehave.
- When we give into Familiarity, it can introduce lust. Do you think the devil is joking with us? Well, just a mere compliment can result in something unbelievable.
- Familiarity can bring or introduce anger, jealousy, and unusual expectations, and when we don’t get such expectations, it frustrates us.
- Familiarity introduces division in the church. Many times, this can be a unique tool that many leaders led in the flesh use to take away their sheep from the eyes of GOD.
FAMILIARITY IS NOT GOOD.
Why do winning Christians give into Familiarity?
- Pride: many times, it is the fact that many Christians think or have convinced themselves that they are needed because they have all it takes to not be missed by anybody or everybody.
- Compassion: When you are drawn to people emotionally, you can easily give in to Familiarity because you believe you know too much about them.
- Deceit: it would be untruth to say all the church members are genuine and sincerely want the church’s growth. Many of them are really out to not just ruin the members. These set of people are out to ruin the pastors and move over with their life.
So they try as much as possible to get familiar with everybody, painting themselves holy and sincere in the brethren’s heart, but deep down, they have ulterior motives.
Although ladies are most likely to fall for this deceit, we would be wrong again to assume a particular gender is capable of spearheading the agenda and the other gender a victim. What do we mean? This means that everybody can play this role and deceive both genders.
- Lack of seriousness: not taking the things of GOD seriously can make winning Christians give into Familiarity. We think we can get away with every error in every season. A lack of seriousness can make you call something abominable an acceptable behavior.
- Vulnerability: Many times, even members can misuse or abuse a leader’s vulnerability, often unknowingly, and other times through a connived campaign to bring the leaders down to a point where their integrity is affected.
These are the reasons many winning Christians give into Familiarity. But what if you are giving into Familiarity without knowing? How do you know this is bound to happen? Let’s learn about the signs.
Signs that you are giving into Familiarity
- Unwillingness to obey instructions: when you no longer see any fault in going contrary to GOD’S instructions or your leaders’ instructions, it’s a clear sign that you are getting overly familiar with the grace you now enjoy.
- Lost desire or zeal to continue in service: Many times, when we begin to give in to Familiarity, we notice that we are slowly losing the passion we started with. Do you remember how the HOLY SPIRIT asked me, “What’s your reason for continuing in service?”
- A constant desire to predict the person’s actions or words: there’s nothing entirely wrong in proving that you know someone too well, but when you do it disrespectfully and arrogantly, you are establishing a genuine point. That’s another sign of Familiarity.
- When you have the tendency to underestimate the person’s word, it’s a sign you are giving into Familiarity.
- Displaying nonchalant attitudes when the leaders are in charge, many times is the tendency to discuss behind the scenes while the person is talking.
- The tendency to constantly defend yourself when you are wrong or become adamant when being corrected.
- Always wanting to get away with any wrong thing.
- Having a fault-finding mentality is another sign.
Now that you know the signs that you and I could be giving into Familiarity, let’s learn how to overcome it.
How can a winning Christian overcome Familiarity?
- To overcome Familiarity, it’s crucial that you humble yourself and sincerely learn.
- Without finding faults, always make corrections when needed.
- Avoid being overly familiar with your mentor, husband or pastor. Avoid being excessively familiar with anybody.
- You can create a boundary not just to protect yourself but to also protect the people involved.
- Be flexible in GOD’S presence and your walk with GOD. The same GOD that parted the sea can decide to walk on it. The same GOD that invades a territory with HIS warriors (men) can choose to put choristers on the war front and tear down the wall with praises.
Be flexible with GOD. You cannot make HIM conform to your unchanging protocols. Also, learn to be flexible with men too. Don’t be too rigid. There should be room for adjustments.
6. Have and maintain strict values and principles that do not give you room to get or give into Familiarity or even make people familiar with you.
7. Have standards, don’t relate with people the same way, and do not allow people to predict you easily. Do not allow yourself to predict people too easily.
8. Curtail activities with the people involved when you sense it results in something unholy or your conscience begins to fight you.
9. Report to your leaders when other things are involved; getting it off your shoulders is almost hard alone.
What if you don’t get to overcome Familiarity? What are the consequences?
Consequences of Giving into Familiarity
First of all, giving into Familiarity robs you off so many things.
- Giving into Familiarity limits the hand of GOD in your life. Do you remember how JESUS could not do many miracles where HE was from because of unbelief? And what birthed this unbelief was Familiarity, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
That was how Samson succeeded in killing more people in his death than when he was alive because the people underestimated him and got used to him being weak and without eyes.
- Giving into Familiarity brings disrespect and dishonor.
- When we give into Familiarity, we call on anger, jealousy, envy and strife. And do you know what the Bible says about envy and strife? The Bible says in James 3:16 KJV, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” AMP says, “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder (unrest, rebellion and every evil thing and morally degrading practice.” And this leads us to the next point.
- Familiarity introduces lust and draws back our walk with GOD. Familiarity introduces self-induced desires that cause us to sin.
You stand to lose so much when you give into Familiarity, but if you decide to run from it, below are what you stand to gain.
Advantages of giving up Familiarity
- You build and maintain solid and enviable relationship with GOD and men.
- You will respect and be respected.
- When you give up Familiarity, you allow GOD the room to advertise HIS glory in your life.
- Giving up Familiarity helps us to honour GOD and honor men even in their absence, and you know the Bible says, “For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
- Giving up Familiarity shortens painful experiences. Why shorten and not eradicate? Because other things can bring pain.
- You will not be guilty of lust, jealousy or strife if you give up Familiarity.
- You will always win the war of CONFUSION when the devil tries to use Familiarity to introduce it.
When you are giving into familiarity, you are opening up portals that might favor you until it backfires. It is not right to allow Familiarity to affect our work with GOD. It frustrates our walk with GOD.
Now you know you are giving into Familiarity fights our clarity in GOD. Let’s try to avoid it. No matter what, as long as we are in this world, the devil will continue to use even the most flimsy things to attack our walk with GOD.
Sit back and watch GOD unravel the following reason why winning Christians are confused about life.