It’s All about a ‘Relationship’ with Jesus?
Many people talk about the importance of having a relationship with God. And they will even say to their unbelieving or religious friends, “it’s all about a relationship with Jesus.” If I may, I want to challenge that idea. Often times that relationship we are talking about is centered around ourselves. It’s Jesus being our friend but not us being His friend. But let me tell you something, God has real emotions… He has real desires. And just how you enjoy it when your friends do things with you, God wants you to do things with Him. Just how you are comforted when a friend knows your sorrows, and overjoyed when a friend rejoices in your victories. Even so God wants those who will share in the fellowship of His sufferings and in the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:10).
If you are not continually entering into the knowledge of His emotions and into the power available to change lives around you. If you are not aware of His presence with you day to day, I want to challenge you about what kind of relationship you truly have with Him. Jesus said, “No longer do I call you servants because a servant does not know His Master’s business, but I have called you friends, for all things I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15). There are things today that God wants to speak to you about. There are real things that He wants to do in and through your life. Will you position yourself before Him to hear His voice? Will you get away from the roar of this culture, from the distraction of entertainment, from the temptations of sin, and like Mary of Bethany sit before Him? Will you open the Bible and position yourself to encounter the Living Word? Jesus gives us the key to walking in true friendship with Himself in John 15. He says that we need to abide in Him, that means to dwell, to live in Him. Go into His presence and don’t come out. This does not mean that you are constantly feeling goose-bumps, but that you are constantly aware that He who has desires and emotions is all around you.
He cares about you, your emotions, your desires, your problems. He is interested in the things that you do and wants to be with you when you do them. He wants to be involved in your life. But I’m afraid that the self-centered relationship we so often talk about, not realizing how much it truly is centered around us, does not make room either for us to care for Him, or for us to truly know that He cares for us.
Friendship requires time. One of God’s love languages is Quality Time. There is no way you can know someone you don’t spend time with. And your relationship with a person will go deeper as you spend more time with them, time full of quality with them. Where your attention is fixed on that individual and not halfway paying attention while you respond to a text message. This is the exhortation. Go deep with God. Truly be in relationship with Him. He is alive, He is not dead and therefore you can get to know Him. He shed His blood on the Cross and when you repent of your sins and believe in Him you are righteous and have access into His presence. Get in there. Seek His Face.
The Lord wants to heal the sick around you. He wants to bring them peace, joy and love. All those fruits come from encounter, from continual encounter with God in the place where it is just you and Him. A personal relationship is not just on Sunday mornings, but what about on your way to work, in your bedroom for an hour of seeking His Face… etc. What about in Walmart when He wants to speak through you to the registrar, or heal the old man limping by? What about when He shows you His sorrow for your pastor’s marriage and desire to restore his marriage and give him peace. And the Lord has you pray for him daily? Or His desire to end abortion in the United States.
Two weeks ago the Lord told me that I was going to meet someone with problems in his right hip. I was witnessing at different stores, and at one point I approached a Hispanic man. The Lord told me that he was the one with the issue in the right hip. I asked him about it and then asked him if I could pray for him right there. When we prayed the presence of God filled the place and he was healed. He moved around and could no longer feel the pain he had had before we prayed. Glory to God! God is calling us to friendship and let me tell you, It’s a lot of fun!