Ministry Flows From Relationship

This God that you and I follow is an interesting fellow.

Some time back, he went through a lot of work, starting with, “Let there be light,” and then using that light to make the sun and the moon, to make planets and stars, then to make plants and fish and antelopes and woodpeckers, and finally to make a species of beings – we call them “human beings” – in his own image. “And,” he said, “It’s really good!”

And God worked hard enough during those six days of creation, that when he was done, he – God – had to rest, for a whole day.

And when he had finished this amazing work of creation, what did he do? What did he do with this thing that took six days of God working to create?

Why, he went for walks with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day, of course.

That was the high point of creation. God went through all of Creation for one thing: a relationship – a friendship – with his creation. God made us so that we could be close with him, so that we could be intimate with him.

And God said, “It’s really good.”

And that’s been a priority for God ever since: that we’d be close friends with him, and we’d be close friends with each other.

And you know the story: Adam & Eve sinned, and our race fell out of close relationship with God, but God had a plan to deal with that – a good plan, but it was an expensive plan. And through Jesus, we have a way back to close friendship with God.

And God still says, “It’s really good!”

For thousands of years, humanity related to God through Moses’ Tabernacle, and later through a Temple built on the Tabernacle’s laws. But for a very few of those years, King David had a tabernacle – a tent, essentially a pup tent – in his back bedroom or his back garden, where he and his friends worshipped God side-by-side, intimately, face-to-face, with nobody in between.

Both tabernacles fell into disuse over the centuries. And God has not chosen Moses’ Tabernacle, the place with tradition and history, as the model for New Testament worship. He chose to restore David’s Tabernacle, the place of informal intimacy, and he specifically emphasized that this was the way we relate to him: intimately, personally.

In these New Covenant days, God has completely affirmed this value. When the Son of God stepped into space and time as a human, he called a some human beings and “He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons.”

Clearly, their efficacy at preaching, healing the sick and casting out demons came from being with him.

I love how Jesus described our relationship from his point of view. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

Jesus considers you and me to be so precious, so alluring, that he sold everything – in Bible terms, “He laid aside the prerogatives of his deity,” and became one of us: God became human – so that he could have that intimate relationship with us again. We are his treasure!

And that’s been our foundation for doing anything worthwhile ever since. We’ve been saying it this way: “Ministry flows out of relationship.” Relationship with God. Relationship between us.

Without that, the best we have to give, is just us. Without an intimacy with God, there’s nothing supernatural to give.


Jim Stephens said...

Great words of truth! Are you on Facebook? It would be great to post links to your articles to a Facebook readership. Much of my devotional readership is on Fb. Just a thought.

Sharon said...

Your words are words of truth. I love everything you have said - each piece brings truth, wisdom and correction to my heart. Thank you for writing.

Prayingmedic said...

Still is and always will be your area of strength. Relationships are the priority of the King and his kingdom.