Our Relationship with God
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.
~ Revelation 3:20
Think about your closest personal relationships. What conditions had to be met before you could get to know these people? When you think about your relationships with them, it will shed light on how we grow in our knowledge of God. Here are five that you might think about:
The first condition is that both people are willing to get to know each other. You can only know someone to the extent that he or she is willing to be known. One-sided relationships are always dead-ends. Scripture tells us that God, the most significant person in the universe, wants us to know Him. He is the initiator, and He waits for our response. When we accept Christ's gift of new life by trusting in Him, the relationship begins.
A second condition for a personal relationship is that both people gain a knowledge of each other, not merely about each other. We can know a great deal about another person and yet hardly know the person at all. Similarly, we can be well-acquainted with sound theology and have no acquaintance with the living God. It is only as we get to know God as a person that we will grow in our love for Him.
A third condition for a growing relationship is openness, acceptance, and forgiveness. People are often afraid that if others know them as they really are, they will be rejected. God tells us that in Christ we have been given the gift of acceptance and forgiveness of sins. He knows us completely, and we do not need to be afraid of being open with Him in our thoughts and feelings.
A fourth condition is time spent in communication. No relationship can become intimate without the regular expenditure of time in talking, listening, and caring. In the same way, we cannot become intimate with God unless we talk with Him and listen to His voice in Scripture on a daily basis.
Fifth, a quality relationship is developed in action; it is nourished through a series of responses to the needs and desires of one another. To know God is to love Him, and to love Him is to want to respond to His desires for our lives. Faith in God is simply trusting Him as a person, and trust is manifested in action.
Lord, let me understand how I can come to know you better every day. Amen.
~ Ken Boa
Dr. Boa is devoted to a ministry of relational evangelism and discipleship, teaching, writing, and speaking. He holds a B.S. in astronomy from Case Institute of Technology, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, a Ph.D. from New York University, and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in England. Visit his website at KenBoa.org.