Tuesday, March 27, 2007
God, you and I
Keeping a relationship is not easy, it is hard. We do not know how the other party really thinks and we do not know what they want. But we try, even though sometimes we fail; with our spouse, our children, our parents, our siblings, our friends, we try.
I am thinking about my relationship with God. I do try to keep the relationship going but many a times I fail. Here is a relationship with a perfect Being, he has revealed what he wants and what his intentions are. He is omnipresence, he is Emmanuel. So, what do I really need to do to build this relationship?
I am asking because I find it hard. Everytime I think it is going well, I fall back. What does it take to have a relationship with a perfect Being?
3 Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
5 He will receive blessing from the LORD
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.
It is an uphill task. To meet and have communion with God is an uphill walk and experience. It will not happen just sitting there waiting for things to happen, something I am guilty of doing. I am rest assured that God is there and I am here, I love him and he loves me and that’s it, everyone is happy but no sooner have I said that, I feel faraway from God. It is an uphill task. In Rev 3:20 Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Jesus is at the door of our heart knocking. Do we hear it? If we hear his voice, go open it. He will come in. Then we will eat together. Keeping a real relationship requires active action and effort. Our walk with God must be done mindfully, obediently and lovingly.
And who may then stand in his holy place? Those who have clean hands. Outward practical holiness is a very precious mark of grace (Spurgeon). If we want to draw near to God, we must have clean hands – it is what we do and how we do it – let it be clean. If it is not, we need to wash it in the blood of Christ.
But just clean hands will not suffice, it must come together with a pure heart. Our walk with Christ is heart-work. We must never be white-washed tombs, how Jesus has accused the Pharisees of – clean and white on the outside but dead and filthy on the inside. Our hearts are more truly ourselves than our hands are.
We also must not lift our soul to what is false. King James Version uses the word “vanity” for “false”. We are not to spend our lives in things that are vain, and worldly. I do waste a lot of my time doing unnecessary things. If I can redirect my attention and time to more important things, I believe I can walk closer with him. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. ~ Mat 16:24.
We are not ever to swear deceitfully, i.e. to speak the truth, not to say one thing and do another. Oh I am so guilty of this. I say I will pray more, but never do. I say I will do more good but spent my time an d money doing things for myself. I say I will study his word more but I ended up wasting my time on the television.
A Psalm of David.
1 O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
2 He who walks blamelessly
and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
3 who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
4 in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
but who honors those who fear the LORD;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 who does not put out his money at interest
and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.
The Lord has revealed to us through his word what he wants of us to keep a close walk with him. It is to walk blamelessly, do what is right, speak the truth in the heart, do not slander, love his neighbour.
One more thing I thought about while contemplating about being in relationship with Christ is our relationship with one another. We are a body of Christ. Our relationship with God is also brought into reality with our relationship within the body of Christ. Jesus supped with his disciples. He gave them bread and wine and told them to eat, and drink to remember him. It is done at the table, it is done together. We don’t do communion alone. We eat, we drink, we commune as a body of Christ. We are to do it in a community, to commune as a people of God. We share in our relationship with God together as the body of Christ. We learn and grow together. We read his word and pray together. We give to the poor and help the needy together. Therefore, our relationship with God and not just God and I, but God and us, God, you and I, we are the body of Christ. If all were a single member, where would the body be? ~ 1Co 12:19.
With that, I must not only be concerned about my relationship with God but our relationship with God. When one part of the body is hurting, we all hurt. When one part is faraway from God, we miss his fellowship.
Picture by spiz