RELATIONSHIP = THE KEY, 15.05.19
RELATIONSHIP = THE KEY, 15.05.19
In our walk with the Lord, relationship is the key, the pivotal point upon which all else rests. Just as in any close relationship, there is two-way communication: speaking, and listening. In our relationship with our Lord, the speaking component is comprised of prayer. But we also must be anticipating hearing from Him, being present, always attentive, ready to receive His message.
When we have a close relationship with our Father, we will hear from Him in a variety of ways. “He who belongs to God hears the words of God. The reason you don’t hear is because you do not belong to God” (John 8:47). “My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). Yeshua assures us that those who are His will recognize Him when He speaks. “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him”(John 14:21). This is one of many significant blessings of walking in intimacy with our Lord. These blessings are conditional to our relationship with the Father and Son and Holy Spirit. Such privileges are reserved for those who are in intimate relationship, just as in a marriage/family/close friendship; it is exclusive.
“If you want God to reveal Himself to you, you must love Him and obey Him. . . … The Father loves those who love His Son. For those who love Him, Jesus said He would love them and show Himself to them. Obedience is the outward expression of your love of God”(Blackaby, p.80). We need look no further than the example of the Son. While here on earth, Jesus/Yeshua modelled constant communion and obedience to the Father. He brought everything before the Father, and did only those things He saw the Father doing (“the Son cannot do anything by Himself. He can do only what He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise,” John 5:19); and those things that pleased Him (John 8:29).
It is interesting to observe that so many believers will complain about not hearing from God, not receiving answered prayer, while not taking the time to evaluate their relationship with the Father/Son/Holy Spirit, seemingly unaware that one must invest in relationship in order to reap benefits. “Jesus set an example for you in His life. He said, “But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do” (John 14:31). Jesus was obedient to every command of the Father” (Blackaby, p.80). There is no relationship which functions without investment of self; yet there are those who take for granted a loving God who wants to be loved in return, placing expectations on God, expecting that God should just do whatever they want Him to do, while withholding themselves from Him, failing to attend to His Word. Instead of viewing it in terms of reciprocal relationship, it seems often that God is equated to a detached Santa Claus who is just there to hand out gifts; or like a magical “genie,” ready to dispense of gifts upon demand. Nowhere in Scripture do we see our God operating on that basis. We live in a society that has created God in their own image, instead of endeavouring to walk in His image.
Blackaby discusses “the ways you can express your love for Him. You can choose life, listen to His voice, hold fast to Him, believe in His only Son, obey His commands and teachings, and be willing to lay down your life for your Christian brothers and sisters” (Blackaby, p.83). These identified actions are all part of relationship, which is the one thing God wants from His people. “That is the greatest commandment. Your experiencing God depends on your having this relationship of love. A love relationship with God is more important than any other single factor in your life” (Blackaby, p.83). Yeshua reiterated this in Mk.12:30 (“you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment”) the same commandment given by God to Moses in Deut. 6:5. That commandment was never retracted. Yeshua was living out what the Father had commanded, showing us how to walk in that love. “Everything in your Christian life, everything about knowing Him and experiencing Him, everything about knowing His will depends on the quality of your love relationship to God. If that is not right, nothing in your life will be right” (Blackaby, p.82).
The relationship is the key component to any part we would play in His Kingdom. Yeshua/Jesus made it very clear: “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:10). Obedience is a choice, just like so many things in life. Having a relationship with an Almighty God is such a privilege, the choice should be easy. Yet many appear to find it burdensome.
And bearing fruit for the Kingdom of God is dependent upon our relationship with the Father: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I selected you so that you would go and produce fruit, and your fruit would remain. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name”(John 15:16). I find it really disturbing when I hear people unreservedly claiming these promises, without taking note of the prerequisites. Notice that the promise to give whatever you ask is dependent on not only bearing fruit, but that fruit not getting lost!! “God did not create you for time; He created you for eternity. Time (your lifetime on earth) provides the opportunity to get acquainted with Him. It is an opportunity for Him to develop your character in His likeness. Then eternity will have its fullest dimensions for you. . . .. God uses your present time to mould and shape your future usefulness here on earth and in eternity” (Blackaby, p. 89). Let us “draw near unto God, and He will draw near unto us” (James 4:8). God is such a Gentleman, He waits for us to approach Him. He may beckon/call to, us; but He will wait for us to respond. He never forces Himself on anyone.
“Your love relationship with God prepares you to be involved in God’s work by developing God-centred living. Focussing your attention on God’s plans, purposes, and ways rather than your own is essential. Any other focus will misguide your involvement in God’s work. Like George Mueller, you need to reach a point where you have no will of your own. Then God can cause you to desire His will above all else” (Blackaby, p.113). Oh, to be as surrendered a vessel as Yeshua when He “was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil.2:8), and cried out to the Father, “not my will, but Thine be done” (Lk. 22:42, KJV).
Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society (excluding quotes from reference source).
Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby, Broadman & Holman, 1998.
© 2015, revised 2017, 2018, 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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