What is God’s Relational Intention for Your Life?
May 11, 2017Fellowship, God's Love, Life purpose, Relationship Building
Everything is relational: what we are as beings, our beliefs, our expressions, the natural and spiritual realms, and truth itself. No part of our life or function is independent of influence.
God, Himself is very relational! The very first chapter of Scripture refers to God as a relational Being, using the words “Us” and “Our.”
Then God said, “Let Us make man [mankind] in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26).
God reveals Himself in multiple ways. However, He primarily communicates with His human offspring relationally: as a parent, a son, and an abiding presence.
• Father: as our source, His Presence watches over our birth and growth
• Son: as our example, He demonstrates His desire for us as children
• Holy Spirit: as an anointing Presence, He enables our overcoming walk through life
God also created us as relational beings. We are all a composite of body, soul, and spirit. Our soul consciousness is a blend of mind, will, and emotion. And our heart’s character, attitude, and personality illustrate “who” we are as expressive persons.
Relational Intention: Alone is Not Good
From humanity’s beginnings, God established the relational concept as the primary process He would use to produce His offspring. Under His care, offspring would develop into various degrees of His image and likeness.
Do you know where the first negative statement is found in Scripture? Genesis 2:18 tells us, “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man [individual] to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.'”
Singularity is not good because it is a sign of incompleteness.
God created the one as a first step of a two-step process. Then He restructured the one into two. The first was simply a precursor to God’s relational intention—relational completeness. And, God’s design includes many other relationships in addition to husband and wife.
Some definitions can be helpful at this point. Relate means to have connection, meaningful interaction. Relationship refers to being in touch with another, the condition or fact of being linked, joined, connected, associated, in harmony. Relational Linking is child, parent, spouse, offspring, friendship, fellowship, and community. God desires to be involved in each of life’s many relationships.
Primarily, Scripture teaches us to love God and one another—to be relationally focused. God’s maturing purpose in our life is realized in the relational interactions we experience. We are incomplete and shortchanged when not in active fellowship with God and with others.
We are incomplete when we’re not in active fellowship.
A Destructive Inflated Ego
During our human beginnings, a deceiver twisted God’s stated purpose for us. The deception insinuated we are supposed to be “as God,” something more than offspring of God (Genesis 3:4-5; 2 Corinthians 11:3). Adam and Eve’s acceptance of the scam planted in them an overly strong bent toward self-centeredness and an inflated view of “me, myself and I.”
This complicated, in them, God’s relational perspective. As a result, we all inherit an overly strong focus on our own importance. Everyone has contributing value and our self-awareness as a person is important. However, an inflated ego can be quite destructive to our relationships.
We all inherit an overly strong focus on our own importance.
Adam and Eve demonstrated what life is like both with God’s relational perspective and without it. Before the inflated self-centered ego brought separation and became their norm, they are described as being without shame, excuse, blame, or cover-up (Genesis 2:25). They only knew of God’s relational concept.
When Adam and Eve accepted the “as God” perspective from a deceiver, they immediately made clothes for themselves to cover their exposure from each other’s view. Distrust began to develop between them and their ability to lovingly relate began to deteriorate.
Their ability to relate to God was also compromised. A resulting fear of punishment obscured and confused their faith and trust in Father. When He came in the evening to visit, they were hiding. Instead of repenting, they made excuses and blamed another for their error (Genesis 3:1-13, 17).
Our loving Father made sure not to leave Adam and Eve in their error.
Deviation from God’s relational plan and their failure to repent (make an effort to change) began to hinder their growth into God’s full intention. As our loving Father, God was bound to do something about it rather than leave them to continue in their error.
Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man [mankind] has become like one of Us [separated] and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever [in separation]”—therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden…to guard the way to the tree of life (Genesis 3:22-24).
While they were in their “as one” state of mind, God showed them loving mercy. He removed their ability to eat of the Tree of Life, lest they eat and live forever in their unrepentant state. As with Adam and Eve, in our separation from God we are still offspring; however, we are suffering the extremes of an overly self-centered perspective. Thankfully we can repent of our separation and rebellious ways, enter into a receptive fellowship with God, and become disciplined children.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12).
Repentant Transformation and Completeness
God’s relational concept helps us become repentant people and move beyond the separating mentality of “me, myself and I.” Our relational fellowships with God and one another, lend to transforming us beyond the limitations of an overly self-centered perspective.
We want to see others as valuable. Every person is precious in God’s sight and should be in our sight as well. God intends that every one of us learn and develop into His mature child. When we relate to God and seek His insightful fellowship, our value actually improves because we partake of our “eternal source” of life.
We partake of our eternal source of life by seeking God’s insightful fellowship.
We experience a better wholeness through active fellowships with our Father and with one another. God incorporated this relational purpose into our being so we could find a fulfilling, completeness beyond self, in the interactive sharing of our life.
Jesus said the primary relational concept that is to guide our life is an unrestricted love of God and an unqualified love for one another.
And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him [Jesus] a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:35-40).
God’s love is an expression of His relational heart. Everything He has given us in the written word is based on His relational love for us. God intends that we reflect His love and relate to each other as siblings, as family members. We are all offspring of one heavenly Father. While we are not equipped or intended to live with everyone, His relational concept enables us to properly relate to Him as well as one another as family.
God intends us to reflect His loving heart.
To the degree that we commit to God’s relational intention for our life, His perspective is restored in us and we are better able to partake of His Presence among us. We want to be neighborly, loving, accepting and respecting one another as family, even with all our imperfections (mine as well as yours). Relating better with God and with one another is something we can all work on.
Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us to our own abilities to do this. His Spirit is resident within each of us as the spirit of life and His Abiding Presence is always available to those who seek Him. Wanting us to call on Him for help, our Father is ready to lead and guide us through our life processes. He readily assists our efforts to reflect His heart of love into every relationship.
Keith Carroll, Relational Gospel Founder
More resources about our relational God:
Created to Relate, Insights Into Our Design and Purpose, and The Christ Culture, A Way of Life Like No Other are available on this site for your devotional read, and for purchase in printed or eBooks.
Many folks are finding my books to be insightful and stimulating, excellent for personal understanding and to share in small groups. We provide a Leader’s Guide to facilitate discussions.
Sign up to receive our Biblically based insights and teachings via email. Plus, you’ll receive our exclusive insights “10 Secrets to Secure Healthy Relationships.” Our bi-monthly email “Living Relationally” is a notice of our latest blog articles (and nothing more.) Sign up at the top of this page. Mobile readers, go to “Blog – Living Relationally” page to subscribe.
Relational Gospel – We want to understand what we believe.