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How personal is your relationship with Christ?

Here’s another excerpt from my book, The Art of Listening Prayer: Evangelical Christians claim to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Yet how many actually do have a relationship with him that is personal? Relationships invo…
By Seth Barnes

Here’s another excerpt from my book, The Art of Listening Prayer:


Evangelical Christians claim to have a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ. Yet how
many actually do have a relationship with

art of lphim that is

personal? Relationships involve give and take, mutual
interaction and dialogue. Marriages that
lack this grow stale. If I relate to my
wife by giving her a daily list of things to do or by telling her about my
thoughts and never ask her what her thoughts or feelings are, then our
relationship becomes impersonal. I will
know little about her. She will not know
that I care about her. To have a
personal relationship with my wife, I must

listen to her as well as
speak.

Our relationship with God
should work the same way. Jeremiah 33:3
says, ‘Call to me and

I will answer you.’
(emphasis added). God wants us to give
him our praises, our struggles, and our questions. And in return he also wants to give to us
counsel, encouragement, and consolation. This

interaction becomes the
fabric of our relationship. The more
frequent and honest our give-and-take with Jesus, the more personal it
becomes.

This is understandably uncomfortable. God may be personal,
but he is also different from us in some critical ways. He is invisible. He is transcendent; that is,
he is far above our understanding. He is
all-powerful. He is completely holy.

So, while we may

look for give and take in our
relationship with Jesus, oftentimes the main thing we hear is silence. It is no wonder Christians struggle to make
their relationship with him a truly personal one. Silence in conversation usually feels
awkward.

While it’s true that God
tells us over and over in his word to seek him and to love him, we must suspend
our expectations of

how he will respond to us. As we seek to know God personally, we must
not lose sight of his transcendence.

Jesus wants us not to just
know about him, but to actually have a deep, personal relationship with him –
to know him and to be known by him. John
17: 3 says, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true
God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
If you look at the Greek origin of the word translated “knowing,” it
refers to the most intimate of relationships.
He wants our relationship with him to be a deep and intimate.


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