Relationship Re-Defined   Leave a comment

When He was on the way to the cross Jesus clearly envisaged a totally fresh approach to relationship for the future when he “comforted” his disciples.

I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you…The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you.  John 14:16-17,26 MSG

At first glance this does not seem comforting at all. Actually it seems entirely incomprehensible! Our relationships are dependent on our auditory and visual senses. However, neither eyes nor ears seem to have a significant role in the relational developments Jesus shares with his closest friends . But He clearly implies this “new” relationship will be better than their current experience of having Jesus physically present with them most of the time. How can this be? Centuries later we are still grappling for the answer.

And then there are the times He gives us a hint. Lying on a hospital bed waiting for surgery to remove my melanoma Maggie said to me that she had really sensed powerfully that these verses from Isaiah 43 were for us on that day; we read them out loud together and prayed them through.

Surgery completed and news of the melanoma having spread to my lymph nodes, I called my mother in the UK to give her the news. Within an hour she called back and said that as she was praying for us a passage from Isaiah came strongly to her mind. Yes it was the same verses from Isaiah 43:1-3a.

But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you.

O Israel, the one who formed you says,

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.

I have called you by name; you are mine.

When you go through deep waters,

I will be with you.

When you go through rivers of difficulty,

you will not drown.

When you walk through the fire of oppression,

you will not be burned up;

the flames will not consume you.

For I am the LORD, your God,

the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Did we “hear God or “see” him? No.  Did He speak? Most certainly yes, and He made a point of reassuring us of that fact through my mother.

I am very aware that I have barely touched the reality and the mystery of this relationship that God has designed for me. However the amazing thing is that because it is not dependent on sight nor sound it can be real for each of us at the same time and all the time, regardless of our location! So let’s not give up asking Him to teach us how to experience the fullness of this new way of relating. Don’t you think, if Jesus says its better, ultimately it must be?

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Posted March 23, 2013 by jolm15 in Uncategorized

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