Relationship with God
By Ivan Ho 3 Sept 2016
I have been sharing some principles that I believe would help us develop our relationship with God. The greatest love was demonstrated in Jesus when He laid down His life for us so that we, through His Son, can return to the loving arms of the heavenly Father. Relationship with God begins with our personal decision to accept Jesus into our life, but how do we continue to develop and strengthen that relationship?
4. Purpose driven relationship
A lot of human relationships will end up going nowhere because they are not driven by any God given purpose. Before you hop on a bus, the first thing you want to find out is whether or not its route will take you to your destination. If the bus does not take you to your intended destination, you are frankly speaking, on the wrong bus, and you need to get off before it takes you further and further away in the wrong direction! If you see someone going in the wrong direction, would you advise him to keep going? What kind of a friend would do that?
You are not supposed to enter into any close relationship with each and everyone who cross your path, especially if you don’t know where that relationship will take you. Just because you enjoy the company of someone is not a good enough reason for you to develop a lasting relationship with that person. If the person you think you are in relation with does not share the same God given purpose with you, there will eventually be conflicts of interest and life goals that will either pull you apart or move you away from God’s purpose for your life. As God says in His word: “Two cannot walk together unless they agree” (Amos 3:3), you may enjoy each other’s company but you cannot walk together with someone if there is no agreement of purpose. The two may have similar background, interests, hobbies, personality, preferences but unless they share the same values, life goals and pursue the same purpose and destiny together, they are not meant to walk together.
Two cannot walk together unless they agree
Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
Amos 3:3 NKJV
When it comes to our relationship with God, the same principle applies. We cannot walk with God unless we align our plans with God’s purpose. God does not call us into relationship with Him because He is lonely and needs someone to talk to, but more importantly, He wants to take us to His destiny for our life! He has a purpose for your life and mine and He plans to take us there as we continue to relate with Him.
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
Matthew 4:17-20 NKJV
Notice when Jesus called His disciples, He did not say to them: “Come with Me and let’s hang out together..”. Rather, He said: “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Right from the beginning, Jesus made it very clear to His disciples to follow Him so that He will make them become “fishers of men”. Before, Peter and Andrew had been fishers of fish, now God wants to make them become fishers of men who will bring other men and women into the kingdom of God and make them disciples of Jesus as well. As disciples of Jesus, we are all called to make disciples of all nations in order to advance God’s kingdom on earth! There is a divine purpose and God given assignment to fulfill.
Jesus is calling us into a relationship with Him not without a purpose, or merely for the purpose of going to heaven after we die. If going to heaven is the only purpose, however important that is, Jesus would have said to His disciples: “ Follow Me and I will show you the way to heaven.” If we are born again in Christ, we will end up being with God in heaven after our life on earth ends but we are not saved just for that reason alone. God wants to make us into His disciples so that we will impact the people around us here on earth. What is purposed in heaven must be fulfilled on earth! God’s kingdom must come, His will must be done, on earth as it is in heaven! (Matthew 6:10)
If all we do is just to feel His presence without knowing His will and purpose, we will end up not going anywhere in our relationship with God. As said before, two cannot walk together unless there is agreement, so that we need to realise God’s will in order to walk in God’s purpose for our life. If your will does not agree with God’s will, you cannot walk with Him!
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV
Do you love Me?
Every day and night, a woman asks the man: “Do you love me?” All the while, she is thinking: “He loves me….he loves me not…”. When the man says the magic word, “I love you dear!” the woman would then feel happy!
So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.”
John 21:15-17 NKJV
When Jesus asked Peter: “Do you love Me?” He wasn’t having a ‘need-to-feel-affirmation-of-love’ syndrome. Rather, Jesus wanted to communicate to Peter and to us what it really means to love God. Jesus was saying to Peter: “If you truly love Me, feed My sheep.” True love is not just trying to make someone happy, but to make sure he or she is being fed the word of God. Our love for God is expressed through pursuing His purpose for His people. You might say: “I’m not Peter, I’m not called to be an apostle”. We may not be all called to be apostles, prophets or teachers, but God has a purpose for every believer to serve the body of Christ, to impact the people around us for Christ!
As we grow in our relationship with God, we will find out His purpose for our life so that we may align ourselves accordingly.