Starting this post has me typing and rewording and deleting over and over. Even now I’m sitting here watching my cursor blink, formulating the sentence in my head and still not getting it right. LOL.

When I titled this post Relationship, I was referring to a common way Christians qualify their faith. We say it’s all about relationship. Usually in a conversation about the law or good works. We emphasize God’s desire to be in relationship with us and downplay any need we have for repentance.

How I arrived at this thought is telling. Friday I was feeling some conviction about how I was spending my time. Then this morning I started a new Bible plan written by Cody Carnes about his song Nothing Else. Day one he quotes this scripture:

Do the riches of his extraordinary kindness make you take him for granted and despise him? Haven’t you experienced how kind and understanding he has been to you? Don’t mistake his tolerance for acceptance. Do you realize that all the wealth of his extravagant kindness is meant to melt your heart and lead you into repentance?

Romans‬ ‭2‬:‭4‬ ‭TPT

Cody described a time in his life where he was constantly asking of God, focusing on what God could give him or do for him.

I opened YouTube to listen to the song and in my recommended videos was another song I’ve loved, I Love Your Presence. I listened to both of these songs and remembered times of just sitting in the presence of God, feeling the realness of the Holy Spirit, the desire to be there again arising, but also a question – is just being in His presence what He means by being in relationship with Him?

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Luke‬ ‭10‬:‭38‬-‭42‬ ‭NLT

Looking at this verse it could be said that all we need is to sit and listen to Jesus. But does that mean Martha was wrong in serving Jesus?

I don’t think that was the point. To understand more fully, let’s look at another story.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

John‬ ‭15‬:‭5‬ ‭ESV

Mary was abiding. Her future actions would be influenced by what Jesus was teaching her. Martha was busy trying to serve Jesus, maybe trying to impress Him or prove her value. She needed some pruning.

The passage in John continues with this admonition:

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

John‬ ‭15‬:‭12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This demands more than just soaking in the presence of God. Abiding includes sitting and soaking, listening and learning, but it goes with us in loving and serving.

God is all about relationships. His with us and ours with others.

“O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

John‬ ‭17‬:‭25‬-‭26‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Our relationship transcends this world and our physical limitations. We are in Jesus, in the Father, and He is in us, the Holy Spirit is in us. This is God’s mind-blowing idea of relationship.

The point I’m trying to make is this: it is not either/or, it is both/and. Our relationship with God is not meant to be contained in the walls of the church or the walls of our heart, but lived out in the relationships of every person placed in our lives. Our abiding in tandem with our loving.

Grace & Peace,


Image from Canva

4 thoughts on “Relationship

  1. Domi Shanks

    Whoa! What a WORD, Sandy! I had to confess the truth that my desire has been for God to do for me rather than HIM. Rereading John 15 and changing that to abide in Him and desire Him above all else. AND thinking about how my friendships are a reflection of Jesus and what that means and how I should operate in that truth. SO MUCH GOODNESS. Thank you for taking the time to share these words with us!

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