Five Fundamentals For Your Devotional Life
DAY 4 OF 5
Defining The Relationship
Some say that it’s easy to have a personal relationship with God. It’s not. Eating a hot dog or drinking a soda is easy. Knowing an invisible, ineffable, eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, triune deity is complicated! By all means (or divine means), it’s possible.
A relationship with God is often uneasy and impersonal. He gives us words to read, rather than His voice to hear. We seek His counsel but receive His silence. We share ourselves with Him, but He remains a mystery to us. And if we count all our unanswered prayers and missing moments of intimacy, we’ll be asking ourselves, “Do we really have a ‘personal relationship’?”
The answer is no—we don’t. What we have is personal and a relationship, but it’s not like any other interpersonal relationship. Whereas two people become close by knowing one another, a Christian can be close to God without even knowing it. As Jesus indicated regarding the final judgment, many people will be considered righteous for having entertained God—not directly, but indirectly— by the kindness they’ve shown others. Our treatment of one another is a measurement of how we treat God.
The extent to which we presently know God is less important than the extent to which He knows us. Distilled down, this life is for God to know us. The next life is for us to know Him (see John 17:3). This isn’t to say God shouldn’t be sought or to argue that He can’t be found. In this relationship, self-revelation extends both ways. It can occur when we lay open our lives by laying them down: feeding the hungry, forgiving the foe, and loving the neighbor. It can also happen when we continue to pray and study the scriptures, even if it feels lifeless and insincere. And for all this, we might not experience anything, but God does. Because it’s when God seems most absent to us, faithfulness can make us all the more present to Him.
Great and enduring love relationships are based not just on feelings but promises. Write down your vows to God and frame them.
About this Plan
These are five reflections/meditations on how we can live our devotional life when our faith feels faltering, our prayers seem powerless, and our God seems absent. They challenge our commonly held conceptions about what ...
We would like to thank T.W.S. Hunt, author of Winter with God (BroadStreet Publishing, November 2016) for this 5-day reading plan. For more information, please visit: https://broadstreetpublishing.com/winter-with-god/9781424552986/