Posted by: the warrioress | August 14, 2013

Relationship With God

Holy Spirit 33

(Photo credit: Waiting For The Word)

In comments to my last posting, a regular reader of this blog asked me if I realized that the word “relationship” wasn’t in the bible in reference to God and humanity. He asked me where in the bible it talks about “relationship,” and how one can have this with God. I thought this was an excellent question. In fact, it’s such a good question that I decided I should do an entire post on the topic; so here goes:

In order to explain a relationship with God, I thought I would share a bit about mine and why I believe it’s probably different from the relationships God has with other believers.

Since I was a child, I felt the presence of something “out there.” I just sensed something. Sensing this presence was the beginning of the relationship because I was always aware of it; I just didn’t know it had a name or what to call it because I wasn’t brought up with religious instruction or belief – quite the opposite. My family was hostile to religion and God. We didn’t talk about God in my home.

Holy Spirit 29

(Photo credit: Waiting For The Word)

I’m not sure at what age I began to realize that I could cry out to and reach out to this presence, but I began doing so and was comforted when I did, internally. Fast forward to my teens and my becoming aware of the person of Jesus Christ, the gift of salvation, and Christ’s death on the cross which offered me this gift of salvation. I learned about sin and that my sins could and would be forgiven if I only just believed. I learned that God loved me and wanted to be close to me. I learned of my importance to God. And I learned about holy God and who He really was/is.

My experience and relationship with God has been ongoing. It has ranged from close, personal, and peaceful, to distant, blocked, and confusing. When I was straying from God through out my twenties and early thirties, I was smoking marijuana and drinking heavily/regularly. I was doing these things to escape various problems and issues in my life and using drugs and alcohol actually blocked me from God. It was as if there was a glass wall between us. I could still feel God’s love and concern for me, but it was muted somehow, as was my ability to reach Him.

After I surrendered once again to God and stopped drinking and drugging, the relationship became a close, very personal one that is vibrant and intense, as well as peaceful, pleasant, secure, and stable. I have a certain security that I never had before within me. I know I’m in the will of God. I’m safe, happy, secure, and know that I need not worry or fear, unless I just want to waste my energy doing so.

Holy Spirit 28

(Photo credit: Waiting For The Word)

Since I became aware that it was important to my relationship with God that I spend regular time communing with God through His word, (the bible), and socializing with other Christians online through blogging and at church, my relationship with God changed again. Now I feel as if I’m in a sort of continuous class with the Holy Spirit as my teacher. I’m on the fast track to doing what God wants me to be doing directly in service to Him. I’m taught how to do this daily through the bible, other Christians in my life directly, and through countless other intriguing ways and methods that God uses to communicate with me.

God reaches me through music, film, television, reading, other people, and even my animals and my child sometimes. The relationship with God is unexpected and wonderful — and it is growing daily! It’s amazing, to tell the truth. I had no idea how this could be and I believe it’s only going to continue to get better and better.

God is my anchor. Jesus is my conduit to get to God. I’m plugged in through Jesus and the Holy Spirit is my teacher. The Holy Spirit lives within my heart and mind, and He just can’t get much closer than that. God loves me. I have never felt so secure as I feel when I know I am in the ongoing will of God. Prayer is a continuous thing because God is my Father and we talk or commune together through out the day. Communication is ongoing.

Holy Spirit dove window

(Photo credit: hickory hardscrabble)

My relationship with God is different from other Christians because the way that God deals with me is different than the way that God deals with others. My issues, sins, problems, and dilemmas that I bring to God are different, so they require a different response and unique handling. God does not deal with me harshly. God is gentle and loves me unconditionally. God teaches me gently. I do not fear God’s wrath because I know God will not allow me to stray too far as long as I stay close to Him and His instructions to me.

There have been difficult experiences that God has allowed in my life. Most of these were consequences to my own poor choices. I have grown from these and developed into the person who I am supposed to be because God can use even our poor judgment and disobedience for our good when we love Him.

I could go on forever about this relationship; it’s something I cherish deeply and have never had in my life before like I do now. The closest I’ve come to this kind of love is the love my daughter and I share for one another, but this is even beyond that in its potency, security, and comfort.

I include the reading below because it offers a scriptural context to what I’ve explained above. I hope this clarifies “relationship” to some degree. I think a relationship with God is complex, personal, and simply just amazing. It is a hard thing to try to explain. I recommend trying it out for one’s self because God will be found if we seek Him with a sincere heart.

“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” Proverbs 8:17

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12

 —————————-

Question: “What does it mean to have a personal relationship with God?”

Answer:Having a personal relationship with God begins the moment we realize our need for Him, admit we are sinners, and in faith receive Jesus Christ as Savior. God, our heavenly Father, has always desired to be close to us, to have a relationship with us. Before Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden (Genesis chapter 3), both he and Eve knew God on an intimate, personal level. They walked with Him in the garden and talked directly to Him. Due to the sin of man, we became separated and disconnected from God.

What many people do not know, realize, or care about, is that Jesus gave us the most amazing gift—the opportunity to spend eternity with God if we trust in Him. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). God became a human being in the Person of Jesus Christ to take on our sin, be killed, and then be raised to life again, proving His victory over sin and death. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). If we accept this gift, we have become acceptable to God and can have a relationship with Him.

Having a personal relationship with God means we should include God in our daily lives. We should pray to Him, read His word, and meditate on verses in an effort to get to know Him better. We should pray for wisdom (James 1:5), which is the most valuable asset we could ever have. We should take our requests to Him, asking in Jesus’ name (John 15:16). Jesus is the one who loves us enough to give His life for us (Romans 5:8), and He is the one who bridged the gap between us and God.

The Holy Spirit has been given to us as our Counselor. “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:15-17). Jesus said this before He died, and after He died, the Holy Spirit became available to all who earnestly seek to receive Him. He is the one who lives in the hearts of believers and never leaves. He counsels us, teaches us truths, and changes our hearts. Without this divine Holy Spirit, we would not have the ability to fight against evil and temptations. But since we do have Him, we begin to produce the fruit that comes from allowing the Spirit to control us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

This personal relationship with God is not as hard to find as we might think, and there is no mysterious formula for getting it. As soon as we become children of God, we receive the Holy Spirit, who will begin to work on our hearts. We should pray without ceasing, read the Bible, and join a Bible-believing church; all these things will help us to grow spiritually. Trusting in God to get us through each day and believing that He is our sustainer is the way to have a relationship with Him. Although we may not see changes immediately, we will begin to see them over time, and all the truths will become clear.

Read more:   http://www.gotquestions.org/personal-relationship-with-God.html#ixzz2bz3sGMvA

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Responses

  1. Thank you for this great post, Adrienne and for sharing a little bit of your precious relationship with God. I pray many are encouraged to seek the Lord! There is NOTHING better than being with Him!!

    One chapter of the Bible I thought of that talks about relationship (without using that exact word) is John 17 (esp vs 20-26) which is Jesus prayer for His disciples and all that would believe in Him. One of His biggest desires is that we will be one with Him as He is with the Father – that we will have such a close relationship that we are completely and constantly together 🙂

  2. (The word “Bible” isn’t in the Bible either…) 🙂

    Yes, the relationship is everything. That’s what the incarnation was all about – Emmanuel, God with us.

    “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God….” (1 John 3:1) Sounds pretty relational to me.

  3. Interesting post. You are correct in using the terms personal and unique to describe the relationships we have with God. It could seem to those who don’t have a relationship with God like this is something similar to the homeless person walking down the sidewalk talking to himself (or someone). The Christian “relationship” thing could seem like craziness to some. But, I have lived 1/2 my life without a relationship with God and the other 1/2 with one. During the time I’ve had a relationship with Him I’ve seen way too many “coincidences” to describe. There is no answer for them other than that God is in relationship with me. I’m not just talking into the air! So, maybe the only way to convince someone is not to find a verse in the Bible that says we should have a relationship; but rather, to encourage people to taste and see for themselves. I think you mentioned that. I can’t imagine anyone trying God out and not finding that He is very real. But, there sure are a lot of skeptics unwilling to try.

  4. @ Adrienne,

    BTW, I am only an occasional reader of your blog. Not regular, I’m afraid.

    In replying to this post, I will make short replies so as to keep the conversation focused. I find that you skip important questions when I make long replies. So, after addressing a focused point, I will move on to the next.

    So here we will do two related ones:

    (1) The Graphing of a Fad
    Look at this graph
    http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=relationship+with+Jesus&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=

    It shows that the phrase “relationship with Jesus” is a new phrase the sprung up in the 1960s.
    How do you explain this fad? Do you understand what Google Ngram is doing?

    (2) The Non-Biblical Use of Crucial Evangelical Phrase
    Your long cut-and-paste from your Go-To Apologetic source (arggghhhh) did not give one Bible verse that used the phrase “a relationship with Jesus”

    So let’s start there, the invention of that phrase — and then, after admitting that — try to imagine why the phrase was invented and why it took off. I am encouraging you to think historically and demographically.

  5. I have continued to think about your post since reading it last night…

    The Bible starts with God having a relationship with Adam & Eve. He walked and talked with them in the Garden of Eden. It ends with all believers together with Him forever. The whole reason Jesus came was to reconcile us to God – to make a way for us to be in relationship with Him with no barriers. Jesus said that there is no greater love than laying down your life for your friend, and He calls us friends. That is relationship. He laid down His life for us. We are adopted into God’s family as His children. That’s relationship. We are the Bride of Christ. Relationship.

    Just wanted to add that 🙂

    Love you, friend!!

  6. Adrienne… this post is one of the best I’ve read explaining what an “honest” relationship is with our Father, Lord Jesus and His Holy Spirit. These few sentences you wrote hit me!
    “I have a certain security that I never had before within me. I know I’m in the will of God. I’m safe, happy, secure, and know that I need not worry or fear, unless I just want to waste my energy doing so.” You used the word KNOW! In 1 John he uses that word (in the KJV) 23 times to express our relationship to the Almighty LORD God!
    Bless you for writing this and for knowing whom you serve!
    Stephanie

  7. Very good reply.
    If Romans 8:14-17, John 10:27-29, Ephesians 2:5-7 and so very many other Scriptures don’t talk about our relationship with Jesus, I don’t understand English!
    Praise God for the REALITY of our experience in Christ.

  8. To the Choir:

    Ok, until Adrienne returns, let me ask a few questions of other believers here who rush to agree with the OP.

    But before I ask, please remember that I use to have a deeply personal relationship with Jesus also. Hours of prayer, bible study and worship.

    Believers tend to look at this horrific tragedy in one of two ways:
    (a) Sabio was never really a Christian — never really knew Jesus.
    or
    (b) Alas, the sin in Sabio’s life, the rebellion or the hatred must have turned him from the truth. Poor Sabio can no longer hear our Lord. Let’s pray he returns

    Calvinists tend to fall into category (a) category and see me as never elected, while Arminians fall into category (b).

    So, question (1) for the choir — which camp do you belong to?

    Now for question (2): If were to read a biography about one of you, then close my eyes and imagine I am talking to you, then wait for some sort of confirmatory feeling to tell me I am hearing your voice, am I now having a relationship with you?

    Two Questions — anyone care to share?

    Mind you, I am not saying that such an imaginary psychotherapist is not useful. I have seen Hindus do it with Krishna, Buddhists do it with Amida and my daughter do it with her two invisible geese. But of course, they are all different, right? Let’s see, you’d explain these away by saying:
    (i) They are deceived by the devil
    (ii) They are deceived by their sinful nature
    (iii) They are lying, evil deceivers themselves

    Did I miss any?

    Here is my post on “A Relationship with Jesus

  9. There is no doubt in my mind that God created us for relationship. Here are a few reference from the bible. Though the word relationship in not found, there is no question what is being rederenced.

    Our Relationship With God
    1 Peter 5:6,7

    Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.

    Psalm 19:14

    Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

    Marriage Relationships
    Ephesians 4:2-3

    with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

    1 Corinthians 13:4-8

    Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.

    Parent/ Child Relationships
    Proverbs 22:6

    Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

    Ephesians 6:1-3

    Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.

    Relationships with other Christians
    Hebrews 10:24-25

    and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.

    Friendship Bible Quotes
    Proverbs 13:20

    He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

    John 15:13

    “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

    Relationships at Work
    Colossians 3:23

    Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men;

    Thank you for a wonderful post!

    Ed

  10. […] Relationship With God (lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com) […]

  11. So because you wrote this as a response to me, I troubled to visit and respond but don’t hear from you. Interesting.

  12. Sabio,
    You said:

    @ Adrienne,

    BTW, I am only an occasional reader of your blog. Not regular, I’m afraid.

    Regular enough, Sabio. Were you to stop by and comment more, I doubt I could keep up. 😉

    In replying to this post, I will make short replies so as to keep the conversation focused. I find that you skip important questions when I make long replies. So, after addressing a focused point, I will move on to the next.

    lol…okay.

    So here we will do two related ones:

    (

    1) The Graphing of a Fad
    Look at this graph
    http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=relationship+with+Jesus&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=

    It shows that the phrase “relationship with Jesus” is a new phrase the sprung up in the 1960s.
    How do you explain this fad? Do you understand what Google Ngram is doing?

    Yes, I understand that others have described their religious beliefs as a “relationship” as well. This new phrase that I may have evidently picked up on myself does describe what’s occurring rather well. I don’t feel like what I share with God is “religion,” though I have no problem with calling it religion; it’s just that it’s a word that doesn’t come close to being descriptive of what’s going on between God and I. I like “relationship” better because this is what it feels like. It’s just a more accurate way of sharing what this give and take is like.

    (2) The Non-Biblical Use of Crucial Evangelical Phrase
    Your long cut-and-paste from your Go-To Apologetic source (arggghhhh) did not give one Bible verse that used the phrase “a relationship with Jesus”

    So let’s start there, the invention of that phrase — and then, after admitting that — try to imagine why the phrase was invented and why it took off. I am encouraging you to think historically and demographically.

    It doesn’t matter if the phrase is not used within the bible. The countless citations within the bible that were presented are synonymous with relationship. As for why the phrase was invented, again I would concur that it is something that better describes what people are feeling as they relate to and with God. Historically and demographically, I’m sure you would point out that other people have also had what they consider “relationship” with a god of their understanding; I’m not attempting to argue that, I’m merely discussing my own and telling you why what is happening between God and I cannot be summed up by just using the word “religion.” That word lacks the depth, nuances, and intricacies of the communications & events I’ve experienced since I have come to know God.

  13. @ Adrienne,
    Wow, 2 week delayed response. That usually requires me to re-read the post and the comments. But instead, I will just respond to your comment to say: It seems like you understand that others do what you do but having different god(s) or ideas of god(s). And I haven’t seen you deal with that fact except to say, “I am very comfortable with what I do.”

    That is fine. If you don’t want to explore that issue or to keep your thoughts private, I understand — but that is what I do here. Sure, people can say, “Look, X works for me!” And they could mean Astrology, New Age Stuff, Islam, Vegetarianism, Marxism, Homeopathy, Christianity or any number of things. If they want that to close a conversation, then it is closed.

  14. Thank you all for your participation here and for your thoughts. I am so sorry my responses have been delayed. I simply don’t have the time to consistently answer the comments, but I do the best I can. I thank you for your understanding and for continuing to read me and give me your feedback!


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