Skip to main content

Where would you put your relationship with God?



Today I want to share something important to me, something that I read by the writer John Eldredge some years ago.

It was one of those observations that once you read it, changes the way you think forever. At least that's what it did to me/for me.

What Eldredge writes in Journey of Desire: A Journal and Guidebook is that the Bible uses a number of different metaphors for our relationship with God at various stages.

And, he writes - the rest of this is a direct, but slightly edited quote - notice how the metaphors (and our relationship with God) ascend, or grow, in a stunning way:
  • Potter and clay. At this level we are merely aware that our lives are shaped-even broken-by a powerful hand. There isn't much communication, just the sovereignty of God at work.
  • Shepherd and sheep. At this stage we feel provided for, watched over, cared about. But beyond that, a sheep has little by way of true intimacy with the Shepherd. They are altogether different creatures.
  • Master and servant. Many, many believers are stuck in this stage, where they are committed to obey, but the relationship is mostly about receiving orders and instructions and carrying them out.
  • Father and child. This is certainly more intimate than being a servant; children get the run of the house, they get to climb on Daddy's lap. These fortunate souls understand God's fatherly love and care for them. They feel "at home" with God.  
  • Friends. This stage actually opens up a deeper level of intimacy as we walk together with God, companions in a shared mission. We know what's on God's heart; God knows what's on ours. There is a maturity and intimacy to the relationship.
  • Bridegroom and bride (lovers). Here, the words of the Song of Songs could also describe our spiritual intimacy, our union and oneness with God. Madame Guyon wrote, "I love God far more than the most affectionate lover among men loves his earthly attachment."
So, considering those stages, here's Eldredge's final thought to leave you with:

Where would you put your relationship with God?


Take a minute and re-read the list. And ask yourself, honestly, why did you - why do you - choose that "level"? Has it always been that way?

And finally (and this is from me) ask yourself:

Is it time to grow in your relationship with God? If you sense that, please know it's the Holy Spirit already active in your life, inviting you to respond.

And so if that's the case, how can I personally - how can the church (the church in general, your church, the church I serve) - help you?

That's not only why I'm here, doing what I do as a priest/pastor, and writing what I write. It is one of the greatest joys of my life: helping people find ways to respond to what the Holy Spirit is doing in your life, in this church, and in the world.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Children's Creed: What More Needs to be Said?

One of the joys of my ministry is leading children's chapel for our Day School every other Wednesday (Rev. Cathy and I take turns). About 11:30 each Wednesday, the children - about a 190 of them, ranging in age from 18 months to five years of age - file in with their teachers, take their places in the pews in the Historic Church, and wait for Mrs. Thomas, the Day School Director, to start us. The service is simple: Mrs. Thomas welcomes everyone, brings us to order with a short prayer, and introduces Rev. Cathy or me. We give a short message based on the theme of the week ("David the Shepherd," "Mary and Joseph Go to Bethlehem," "Jesus is Born," "Jesus as a Little Boy" and so on.) After the homily, we stand and say what's called "The Children's Creed." I believe in God above, I believe in Jesus' love. I believe His Spirit too, comes to tell me what to do. I believe that I can be kind and good, dear Lord, like Thee.

A Christianity and a Church that people want to be part of

  A Church and a Christianity people and want to be part of Sermon preached November 22, 2020 Interim Dean John Ohmer All Souls Cathedral, Asheville, NC Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you

Farewell, The Falls Church Episcopal

Farewell, The Falls Church Episcopal The Rev. John Ohmer, Rector The Falls Church Episcopal October 27, 2019 Well I’ll name the elephant in the living room up front, which is that this is my last service here with you as your Rector, and therefore this is my final sermon. I don’t have anything new to say to you this morning. But, I hope, I’ve never had anything new to say to you - I hope I have spent seven years and two months reminding you of old truths, ancient truths, lasting truths. Seven years and two months: that's roughly 366 Sundays, and while of course I’ve only preached on slightly more than half of those Sundays, most Sundays we preach twice, and so roughly speaking, I figure I’ve preached over 350 times here. And in all those sermons I’ve really only been trying to make three points. One, you are the Body of Christ and individually members of it. Two, when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, he said “love the Lord your