Think of a very good and close friendship you have. Ask yourself how it came to be. It’s not as simple as just having come to know the person, is it? It’s not just that you spent time with them. It’s not only that you had some things in common, for we have lots in common with lots of people that we aren’t particularly close to, don’t we?
So, it’s not just knowing, spending time with or having things in common with a person. Those elements have their place but there’s something more. Isn’t it true that we somehow see that which we admire in a person and it draws us to them?
The way they, in turn, accept us and allow us into their lives blesses us. This is a gift of trust. We spend more time together as we are able. That leads to many more experiences with them in many more circumstances...good ones and tough ones. We have times together alone and times together with others.
We pick up on their values and aims. We share some of those in common. We watch how they handle trouble. We are comfortable in their presence. We get to work together, and we see how they carry their share. We see the way they take responsibility. The relationship grows as we interact in daily life.
Now let me ask, how is your relationship with your Father God? Maybe you think it could definitely be better. Maybe you even want it to be better. But just as a friendship doesn’t happen magically, a growing relationship with God doesn’t either. The only way we get to know one another better is through experiencing the phases of life together.
I am not speaking simply of reading the Bible, though that is foundational. We couldn’t know much about our God had He not told us in His book. It’s in the Bible He gives us the wonderful revelation of Himself in His Son, Jesus Christ (see John 14:9).
Of course we cannot see or touch God directly. So that sort of gives us pause, don’t you think? How can we have a relationship with an invisible someone? But the Apostle Peter explains that we definitely can have such a relationship. Have a read of 1 Peter 1:8-9.
Without having seen Jesus in the flesh ourselves, we can consider the sheer volume of evidence we have been given concerning Him. We then are able to love Him, believe in Him, commit to Him, receive true life from Him, rejoice in Him and find our purpose and destiny in Him! We are in relationship with Him.
The Proverb writer tells us to “acknowledge Him” (Proverbs 3:6). What does that mean? Well, what does it mean to acknowledge a friend? We speak with them. We share good and tough news. When we are happy we can’t wait to bring them in on it, can we? We honor them.
We make plans with them in mind. We make decisions based on our friendship. If they need us, we do whatever we can to get there for them. We help each other. It’s not magic. It’s friendship!
Does it make sense then that we approach our relationship with our God in some similar ways? I don’t want to experience my life without my God! And the more I acknowledge Him in everything the closer I grow to Him...the more I am getting to know Him. Make sense?
Submitted by Doug Oakes, minister, Woodlawn Church of Christ, Zanesville