In light of the title, why? Is it that awestriking presence of glory and power which surrounds
Him? Is it because He is a grand protector who will stand before you and weather everything
that is thrown at you? Is it because He is such an incredible and loving God who has forgiven us
of all sin and calls us to an incredible future? Is it because God will answer our prayers when we
cry out to Him?
Or perhaps, do you follow God because that feeling of incredible power and strength that flows
through us when He descends upon to channel His power through our lives? Do you follow God
because of how He grants you the power to reach out with His hands to lives that are
desperately calling out? Are you seeking the face of God because of how mighty and incredible
He makes you feel?
This is, perhaps, an important question to ask ourselves when we claim to be in relationship
with God. We are often told why we should follow God, but we are not often asked why we
follow God. Skye Jethani and his book With: Reimagining The Way You Relate To God covers
this topic extensively. It goes into detail, talking about the four most common ways that the
average modern-day church goer relates to God by. The summary of these four ways are as
OVER God – Is a method of relating to God that focuses on the principles in which we may
govern our lives, but never actually obeying Him directly. It is a using God to help us live a good
life, but never seeing God as King over us, nor ever seeing ourselves as servants under Him. This
is a posture that completely focuses on the ‘Me’ and has no second thought for God.
UNDER God – Is a posture where we are told that if we obey God, He will bless us and be on
our side. We eventually become so engrossed with ensuring that we obey God purely to get
something out of it, and thus descend into a lifestyle where we ‘obey’ God solely to gain control
over our own lives. And if God asks us to do something we don’t like, well then it obviously
can’t be God.
FOR God – Is one which many Christians that serve within the Church, or in the mission field,
may stumble into. It has the singular focus of having everything being driven by Gods mission in
the world. This perspective uses God to give us a sense of meaning and purpose and very often
leads to ‘burn outs’, where an individual has been working in a ministry for so long that they no
longer have the energy, drive or commitment to continue. This burning out is due to not being
connected to God directly.
FROM God – Is focused on a singular perspective, and that is God is our provider. From this
perspective God essentially becomes a divine vending machine, where we ‘slot’ in our ‘prayer
token’ and ping, we get what we want. In this we never see Lordship as a requirement, nor do
we ever see God as anything more than a means to an end for our own desires. We see no need
for a furthering of His Kingdom, for in this view we do not serve God; God serves us.
A note to be made of the above four points, is that they do have Biblical truths in them. God is
indeed a God who will grant us the principles in which we can live a good and Godly life (Psalms
1:1-2). God is indeed a God who gives us boundaries to follow and blesses us for the obedience
of following said boundaries. God is indeed a God who gives us a purpose and a calling to which
we must follow. And God is indeed a God who will answer our prayers when we cry out to Him.
But the key point here
However, there is a fifth relation with God that is also covered, and that is; WITH God. This is a
life that focuses on intimacy with God as Lord, as Father and as Savior. A perfect example of
what this kind of life looks like is the life of Jesus. In Christ we see the “image of the invisible
God” (Colossians 1:15), and we see what perfect intimacy with our Creator looks like. It looks
like someone completely devoted not to their own life, not to their own careers or dreams, but
dedicated as unto death for the glorification of God. It is a life intertwined through obedience,
surrendering and dying to self to a God so good that the mere knowledge of His existence
enables us to make such a radical decision (Matthew 6:33, Luke 22:42, Luke 9:23, Galatians
But to live in this fifth relation with God, there is a requirement first; and that is to know the
character and nature of God. Because if we never know, as in the Hebrew word יָדַע – ‘yada’,
then we will never appreciate, treasure or stand in awe of this Being we call God. This is an
extension of what the true Gospel Message is, for if that message was just about getting to
Heaven, then we have just made God a means to an end once more, and means would be to
escape the end of Hell. No, the Gospel Message, the Good News, is simply how to get to God.
We were never called to live luxurious lives, we were never called to live lives that focused on
our own careers, our own dreams or our own wants; we were called to live lives that radically
and desperately chase after a personal, intimate and wonderful God.
God should not merely be the means by which we achieve the ‘treasure’ of life; God is the
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