Our relationship with Christ should be seen like a marriage between two people who are deeply in love with each other. It was not born in a cold court room and it’s not based on a prenuptial contract.
For they didn’t fall in love based on a legal agreement. Yet, so many of God’s beloved live like this is so.
Let me ask you, would a loving husband give his wife a list of rules to follow or else she will be tortured and beaten?
And what would you normally call a husband who behaved this way?
Yet, so many live in fear of this very thing if they mess up their heavenly marriage.
And would I want my relationship with my Beloved only based on what I’ve been told by others? Would I want to relate to my spouse by studying all about her in books, listening to others talk about her, but never intimately knowing her? I hardly think so!
This is how the religious Pharisees wanted to relate to God. With their commentaries and endless theological debates. They looked for Truth and Life in their doctrines instead of a Person (John 5:39; 14:6).
So much is the same today, sadly.
Furthermore, would a wife who only does her duty, whose relationship is only based on serving her husband, be thought to be a loving wife? Again, hardly so.
But it seems to me that this is exactly how many Christians want to relate to God–by trying to serve Him rather than know Him and live His life.
Here’s the thing. Jesus told us we are no longer servants but friends…
“No longer do I call you servants,
for a servant does not know what his master is doing;
but I have called you friends,
for all things that I heard from My Father
I have made known to you.” (John 15:15 NKJV)
Furthermore, Paul said that we are no longer slaves but sons, even heirs…
“Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son,
and if a son, then an heir
of God through Christ.” (Gal.4:7 NKJV)
You see, in your relationship with God, you cannot be His bride and His servant. And you cannot be a slave and a son and co-heir with Christ. You are either one or the other.
But not knowing this is why we have so many blood-bought royal sons and daughters living like beggars under a bridge. Beloved, you are royalty; you were meant to reign in this life, on this earth, not live like a pauper (1 Pet.2:9; Rev.5:10).
The truth is , we are to reign in this life as co-heirs with Christ and serve our fellow man through Christ (Rom.5:17; 1 Pet.4:10).
So we reign by serving our fellow man, revealing the Father’s heart and partnering with Him as this royal son/daughter, bringing His heavenly kingdom to this earth.
This is who you are, beloved. Don’t let anyone defraud you with philosophies and religious traditions of men that cannot transform anyone (Col.2:8-10, 20-23).
Maybe you think having faith is the most important thing. But did we forget that our faith works on love? (Gal.5:6)
And did we forget that without love not only our faith but all of our spiritual gifts, even our sacrificial service, amounts to nothing? (1 Cor.13:1-3)
Another thing while we’re here…we seem to think the highest form of relating to God is “surrendering all.” But is it? I think Steve McVey hit the nail on the head when he said that we must do more than just “surrender all.”
“We are Christ’s bride, not His hostage. I’m not suggesting that it isn’t important to surrender ourselves totally to God, but He wants more than that. Nobody wants a frigid bride. Every groom wants his bride to eagerly desire him, not just “surrender all” to him.” (Grace Walk – p.122-123)
Beloved, the following is the poetic overture of God, how He truly sees you. Does this sound like the language of a distant and exacting taskmaster?
“You have ravished my heart,
My sister, my spouse;
You have ravished my heart
With one look of your eyes,
With one link of your necklace.” (Songs 4:9 NKJV)
You see, our relationship with Christ is based on love…and only love. Not duty, not serving, not all the people we save…not even obeying commandments, for we do what He says because we love Him.
Beloved, this is at the heart of all true romance, all intimacy, where all the deepest longings of the human heart resonate–the whole of the Christian life. We first receive His love, then return it back to Him–and we live and move and have our being from this place. This is what Jesus told us to do (bold-text added for emphasis). For we are His beloved and He is ours.
“As the Father loved Me,
I also have loved you;
abide in My love.” John 15:9 NKJV