Relationship with God
Relationship with God
In Genesis chapter 2 we see a great example of man’s relationship with God. Moses describes God as Yahweh Elohim throughout Genesis 2:4-25. Yahweh is God’s personal name. In the ancient world revealing your personal name to somebody was a sign of intimacy. Yahweh is translated “LORD”. While the title Elohim simply means that God is powerful, revealing His personal name Yahweh means that this powerful God also desires a relationship.
In Genesis 2 we see the LORD God forming man from the dust of the ground. Genesis 2:7 then the Lord God [Yahweh Elohim] formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. The word formed conveys the idea of an artistic inventive action that requires skill and planning. A sculptor forms rock into a masterpiece of art, God then takes His lifeless masterpiece and breathes life into its body and man became a living creature. God takes Adam and into his nostrils breathed the breath of life indicating that God was face-to-face with Adam. Then as Adam opens his eyes and takes his first breath he is in the presence of God. This account of the creation of man in Genesis 2 indicates that God was very intimate and close to Adam.
The most valuable way we profit from adversity in our lives is in the deepening of our relationship with God. Adversity deepens our relationship with a God that desires to have a close and personal relationship with us. We learn to bow before His sovereignty, to trust His wisdom, and to experience His love until we come to the place where we can see with Job. Job 42:5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you;
We know God in a personal and intimate way. We move from knowing about God, to knowing God Himself in deeper way. We just considered the fellowship of suffering among Christians. Sharing in the suffering of Jesus Christ, because Christians sharing with our Lord in His suffering on the cross. Philippians 3:10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. We have a need to know Christ in ever increasing intimate personal way.
Our prayer should be that God will make us like Christ. Is this what you want, do you want to know Christ and experience the fellowship of His suffering? To know Christ in a more intimate way and to experience the power of His resurrection in your life appeals to you but not the suffering. Do you shrink from suffering? This is a package deal; we cannot experience the intimate relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ unless we experience suffering.
Knowing Christ in a more intimate way is through the fellowship of His suffering. If we are to truly grow in knowing Christ we can be sure we will to some degree experience the fellowship of his suffering. If we are to experience the power of His resurrection we can also be sure we will experience the fellowship of His suffering. It will help to understand Philippians 3:10 if we understand that the suffering Paul envisions is not limited to persecution for the sake of the gospel. It includes all adversity that overtakes the believer and has as its ultimate purpose our conformity to Christ. This is definitely described by Paul – “becoming like him in his death”. In Scripture we see men and women of God drawn into a deeper relationship with God through the adversity that they experience. He draws us into a more intimate, personal relationship with him through this adversity. If we would seek to cooperate with God during times of adversity we would be drawn into that deep relationship with God that He desires for us.
We can come to know Him as Abraham, Job, David, and Paul came to know Him. With the Christian all pain has meaning, all adversity is profitable. Adversity takes us by surprise and seems to strike us where we are most vulnerable. It often appears completely senseless and irrational but to God none of it is either senseless or irrational. God has a purpose for every pain He allows in our life. We can be sure that in some way He intends it for our benefit and His glory.
How has adversity in your live brought you into a deeper and more intimate relationship with God?