Friday, July 11, 2014

Is "Relationship With God" a Biblical concept?

I just read a blog this morning about how the motive for a daily quiet times is not just about a relationship with God--that frequently, disciplers used this concept to explain why daily devotions are important.  I have used the same approach for teaching how to have a quiet time in encouraging new believers to develop this discipline and feed their souls from God's word themselves.  And although I agreed that the blogger's point that we need to go deeper than that, and she makes a good case for other motives for pursuing God in His word and prayer, but...the relationship is still important to me.

Because I am focusing on my relationship with God, I was touched by this beginning to a prayer letter that I receive from a staff member of Campus Crusade for Christ:

"Every now and then I pray this prayer aloud: 'Lord, you see what I know and you see what I don't know. As you look at me and see what I need and what you want me to know, please lead me into that truth.' I never know how the answer will come.  It could be a sermon, something in Scripture, an article, a book, the words of a person." Ney Bailey,  "From My Heart" newsletter; Volume 29, Number 1; June 2014

I got this newsletter a few days ago--it was so encouraging as Ney Bailey describes how God used a book to help her understand that He wants her to have life WITH Him, not just FOR Him, FROM Him, OVER Him and UNDER Him.  The book is by Skye Jenthani entitled WITH.

She quotes Jenthani:

"The Life WITH God posture is predicated on the view that relationship is at the core of the cosmos.  God the Father WITH God the Son WITH God the Holy Spirit. And so, we should not be surprised to discover that when God desired to restore His broken relationship with people, He sent His Son to dwell WITH us.  His plan to restore His creation was not to send a list of rules and rituals to follow (Life Under God), nor was it the implementation of useful principles (Life Over God).  He did not send a genie to grant us our desires (Life From God). Instead, God himself came to be WITH us--to walk with us once again as He had in Eden in the beginning, Jesus entered into our dark existence to share our broken world and illuminate a different way forward."

"Life WITH God is different because its goal is not to USE God, its goal IS God.  He ceases to be a device we employ or a commodity we consume.  Instead, God Himself becomes the focus of our desire.  God ceases to be how we acquire our treasure...He becomes our treasure.  Life WITH God means first treasuring Him above all else, and we are inspired to treasure Him when He is revealed to us in Jesus Christ."

She then ends her newsletter this way:

"The word with has for years been one of  my favorite words.  There's nothing like someone really being WITH you.  There is oneness, peace enjoyment.  There are so many promises in the Bible where He promises to be WITH us.  We don't have to fear because He is WITH us.  We can get through difficult times because He promises to be WITH us.  The last comforting words of Jesus were, "I will be WITH you ALWAYS, even to the end of the age" Matthew 28:20

"In fact, no matter where we are right now in life, and no matter what we face in the future, He promises to be WITH us always.  May we, too, be aware of His presence and choose to be WITH Him.  Wherever you are right now, this minute, whether you feel like it or not, He is with you.  Right now, right there, always and forever."

Thanks, Ney Bailey, for sharing what I needed to hear.  Thank You, Father, for using Ney so I can hear it.

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