Christians often speak of being in relationship with God, but what does that really mean? This question can be perplexing, especially if we think of the God as some distant, uninvolved ethereal spirit or a generic greater power of some kind. When we understand that the Holy Trinity is tangible, three persons in one—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—the possibilities and rewards of such a relationship become real to us.
God is love, and for love to exist requires another to be the object of that love. Thus, being in a relationship with God means the same thing as being in a relationship with someone you love with all your heart. When we truly love someone, we are vulnerable. We willingly let our guard down and let our beloved see us for who we are, and we love the other person similarly. We seek to please and to be with this person every second of every day.
One of the ways we can deeply experience this remarkable relationship is to remember who Jesus is and who we are. Although He is with the Father, Jesus also is very much alive. Jesus’s resurrection is not a metaphor as some would argue, but something that happened. He is our Lord and our King. Recently I was asked to review a new book, Life in the Presence of God: Practices for Living Life in Eternity, by Ken Boa, PhD of Reflections Ministries. This book contains a wonderful story that speaks to this point.
“Remember who you are,” said a father to his daughter throughout her childhood. “She was the daughter of a King, he would tell her, and she should live her life in this truth” (p. 53). This story resonates deeply with me, and reminds me we are all children of a King. Yet, in our 24/7 world instant access world, we are bombarded by distractions that pull us away from this truth. As Dr. Boa emphasizes, “That is why it’s so important to form habits that bring you into his presence—to remind you of your true identity and purpose” (p. 53).
Dr. Boa’s rich and engaging book does just this and helps you to answer the question: What does it mean to be in a relationship with God? By using many examples from Jesus’s life and those who knew Jesus best, as well as from the Old Testament, Dr. Boa shows you how to live each day in God’s presence. The guidelines and exercises will help you keep your focus on Jesus as the center of your life rather than allowing the whims of secular culture to govern it. Jesus will become a tangible life-giving presence every moment of every day, from whom we can draw strength, comfort, and guidance. These practices also will help you listen for God and attune to his will.
As a result, you will be better able to remember who you are, to live into your true identity as a child of God, and to work towards fulfilling his purpose for you. By living in His presence, you also will have all the answers you need to the question, “What does it mean to be in a relationship with God?” because you will be intentionally engaged in an amazing relationship and experiencing God’s love which passes all understanding.
May God bless and protect you.
Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®
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