Non-Personal Girlfriend

Imagine that you have a girlfriend or a wife.  In that relationship, you never see her face, never meet—you read about her, speak to her but never audibly the other way around and when you question her about it, she tells you that you have a deep inner personal relationship with her.

The above scenario leaves much to the imagination, but indeed, we have many today who speak about that concerning God.  They say that they have a personal relationship with Him, but much is left to the imagination.

We witness the connection between Moses and God, and again we see it somewhat with Jesus and His Father, but otherwise there is NO prescription of this in the bible.

Some would have us believe that God only speaks in a whisper, so much so, that often times we don’t even know if it is Him who is speaking.  Again, in other accounts throughout the scriptures, God’s voice is loud, terrible at times, and very, very real to all around the intended receiver.

In fact, while we have direct access to God, even though we are not a High Priest, we have access only by going through the ultimate High Priest and that is Jesus.  Jesus is there standing in the gap speaking for us with His Holy Spirit.

Getting directly to the point:  our access, our personal relationship with God’s spirit is first with Jesus, second with His Church and finally with His creation.

We are to experience that spiritual relationship one on one with members of His church—those who walk within His spirit and abide by his Spirit and of whom His spirit is indwelling.

Make no mistake about it.  The only way to experience God is through His Son and His church.  This means that we are not as Holy as we’d like others to see us and that an act of faith is required to provide service to others as commanded by Christ.

We should not kid others about our sanctification.  True sanctification comes about as a result of giving and doing through action of our faith as it is expressed towards others.  Here, the attention is not so much on us, but on our faith as it is manifested in reality.

This is a moment to moment, daily manifestation, not about mere words of piety.

It means getting down, getting dirty and hurting and sharing the pain that is generated as the outcome of being in this world with out brothers.

So then our communion is consummated by being and sharing with others through Christ.  It is not about praying, reading the scriptures and then proclaiming our love.  It is doing the love in which we proclaim and that which we have learned from the scriptures that establish us as a living testament in the act of doing.

In the end, it is a matter of pure logic.  Would we ever marry someone we have never seen?  Of course not. And the same is true in serving a God that we have never seen.  WE see God through other Christians as they step up to the plate in announcing His presence.  It is by that, we give witness to the goodness of the Spirit that is the embodiment of God.  That is the God that is personal and that is the fundamentals of a personal relationship.  It is performed through the body of Christ, His Church.


4 thoughts on “Non-Personal Girlfriend

  1. Yay Tom!!!

    You got my goat with this one… I think I will have to write a post on some deeply related stuff to fully respond, and some of that response, I think will differ with you at some key places. HOWEVER… that said, there are other ways in which your post really speaks powerfully to me and in which I am in full agreement. I will dwell on that part for the moment…

    I love the way you start this post. It seems coincidental or ironic or whatever, but just this week I was blowing the minds of my teenage kids because I was going off and blowing hard about a Bible class discussion I was recently involved in where all these nice, middle-aged, white, middle-class, American Christians kept bantering about and using the phrase – “It’s all about RELATIONSHIP”.

    Yeah, I kept my peace in class, but upon reflection later, with the kids, I popped the cork. I said, “WHO TALKS LIKE THAT? I MEAN ANYWHERE ELSE IN LIFE… WHO TALKS LIKE THAT? ”

    “it’s all about relationship…” PUCKY! It’s a copout. It’s one of those nifty little catch phrases that at one level sort of SAYS IT ALL but really says NOTHING at the same time. A paradox, I know, but actually it’s bogus.

    When a bunch of white middle class Americans get together in a room and tell each other “It’s all about relationship”, they are really deeply involved in their own spiritual masturbation. Wouldn’t you rather actually get with the girl??? I would.

    And here’s the thing:

    IN REAL LIFE, I am married. We love each other and all that, and that story has its ups and downs – its easy, happy times and its hard, painful times. It also is full of mundane things like paying bills and doing laundry, picking up kids from piano lessons and so forth. And WE NEVER reach the summit of those high points, look each other in the eyes and say, “Wow! It’s all about relationship, baby! It’s all about relationship.” We don’t get into those ruff patches and sustain ourselves by saying, “Babe… just remember, it’s all about relationship.”

    IN REAL LIFE, I don’t go out with the men’s group from church and get into accountability sessions where I confess my weaknesses and celebrate my strengths as a husband and say, “It’s all about relationship!” No. I say gritty stuff like, “I was tempted by porn” or “I got really upset and said hurtful things to her when she didn’t pay the light bill on time” – and so forth.

    IN REAL LIFE, before I married her and we went to premarital counseling, the counselor did not sit us down and say, “Now guys, I can see you love each other and all that, but you really need to get this part down: It’s all about relationship”.

    So why is it that when we get to Bible class, we pull the communal pud and spout this crap?

    I say it’s because we don’t want to deal with the RELATIONSHIP. We can talk in nifty catch phrases. The phrase that pays is: “It’s all about relationship” and there… we think we have now discovered something special. But the elephant in the room is Jesus whom we ignore.

    In fact, he is not actually in the room at that moment. He is panhandling down at the freeway exit we took to get to church when we came to this lame discussion. We drove right past him and locked the door, turned our head to look the other way, and did ANYTHING but relate with him. Then we got here and said, “It’s all about relationship!”

    I love this post! I think you call the bluff on that very thinly disguised crap. To quote a famous ex-candidate for vice president of the USA, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.” Go relate with that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, but it’s the same with me. That relationship crap is just that: crap for there is no damn relationship, merely words is all that sounds so nice. Going out and doing what the Lord said to do establishes relationships. It is being rained on: being cold, and hot and hungry and poor and being happy and sad and emotional and calm and all those things together with those who dwell in Christ and those outside of Christ. In all of that is God.


  2. After commenting about relationship this afternoon – where do I find myself (accidentally?) this evening? 🤣🤣🤣

    For me He is the ultimate “relationshipper” – He connects – and that connection is the catalyst for change. Without connection there is no catalyst and no change. With connection comes relationship.

    Mens Groups … marriage … friends … teams … is connecting is relationships. Getting out and doing stuff is about relationships. I have a relationship with the world around me. Sometimes scratchy, sometimes not. Sometimes loving, sometimes not. Sometimes active, and sometimes not. Relationship is not a spectator sport. Relationship is connecting.

    And that cuts through all the bull. All the politics. All the social etiquette. The Jesus and God I read about does nothing other than relationship. The living Jesus and God I have come to know invite relationship. And accepting that invitation has changed me.

    Liked by 1 person

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