Thanks Seth. I recall reading this for the first time and remembering how true this is. Love you friend…
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 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.
Yes, my realationship with Christ is personal and I’ve told him when it’s real personal and not always in a nice way. Getting up close and personal with the holy perfect God is wonderful but not always easy or always fun. He is God and he is holy and when I feel that he is not there or not doing his part, I tell him. I just tell him the truth because he knows it anyway. And, some kind of way, in his communiction back to me, he tells me that he is right. I lose every argument with him. But I’d rather have a realtionship with him with its wonders and arguments than not have a relatinship at all.
I’m reading this today and may use it or some of the scriptures you used here for my young adult/youth class at my church. We are talking about listening prayer. Know that your influence goes beyond what you see every day.
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