Sometimes Christians will talk of having a relationship with God. They’ll say something like, “I’m not into religion, I’m into a relationship.” Every now and then they’ll say, “I have a ‘personal’ relationship with Jesus Christ.” Now I don’t have anything against these statements, but I wonder if you’ve ever really thought about what a personal relationship with Jesus Christ really looks like.
In the book of Genesis there’s a story of a man named Abraham. God called Abraham out of his hometown and told him to go to a place He would show him. I don’t know about you but this sounds pretty risky. I’m not sure how Abraham heard God’s voice, whether it was audible or not, but apparently he was convinced it was God because he did what he was told. He packed up his things and set out to discover wherever God was leading him. This is what I would call a one on one, or personal, relationship with God. Abraham had no priest to consult, no Bible to read, no sacrificial system to obey and no temple, or church building to meet in regularly. No, he simply heard God speak to him and he obeyed.
Another man in the Old Testament named Moses was called by God to do something. After Israel had been slaves in Egypt for over 400 years God called Moses to go in and lead them out. If you know the story Moses was quite reluctant at first and actually questioned whether or not God had the right man for the job. You see Moses was looking at himself and seeing his faults but God’s response to him was “who made you?” You see God knew what He could do, it was Moses that wasn’t sure, but he soon was convinced. God showed him little by little he could trust Him so Moses complied.
After Moses had done what God called him to do, and he and Israel found themselves in the desert somewhere between Egyptian bondage and the freedom of the Promised Land, God did something wonderful. God told Moses to get all the elders and come to the Tent of Meeting. “Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him; and He took of the Spirit who was upon him and placed Him upon the seventy elders. And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied.” I think this is showing us right here God does want all of us to be connected to Him in a very personal way. While Moses was God’s man, God wants each and everyone of us to know Him one on one.
If we move on into the New Covenant we see this same thing with Jesus. As the time for Jesus to be handed over and crucified drew closer; He began telling His disciples, “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” He told them, “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” I think what Jesus is telling us here is not only does He need to dwell in us but He wants us to have a one on one relationship with His Father. You see Jesus didn’t want His disciples to get too attached to Him in the earthly sense. In the Old Covenant communion with God generally came through another man, namely a priest, but now in the New Covenant we are introduced to a brand new way. Jesus said, “In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father” (John 16:26-27). Notice He said we, ourselves, would ask the Father.
Because of Jesus Christ we can have a direct line to the Father. We no longer need any other go between because the very Spirit of the Living God dwells within us. It doesn’t get any more personal than that now does it?