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by Constantine Nikiforos
Constantine Nikiforos

DEFINITION

In a spiritual sense, it reveals the entered into and developed connection between the believer and God. Grace is needed to establish such a relationship. It is God who initiates it and binds us by a covenant. It is also God who acknowledges the relationship.

“You have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name” (Ex. 33:17).


HISTORICAL VIEW OF THE RELATIONSHIP

At the very beginning of man's earthly history, we find an account of people's awareness of a call for this kind of relationship. We see it first in the lives of Cain and Abel -

”And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the first-born of his flock and of their fat” (Gen 4:3-5).

After the birth of Seth, Adam and Eve's third son, we read,

“Then men began to call on the name of the Lord” (Gen 4:26).

From childhood up, people experience the need for fulfilling relationships on the human level. In a deeper way, as the Holy Spirit exercises His influence over the heart of man to move him to seek the supernatural, divine relationship, the spirit of man reaches out for communion with God. “My heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.”

HEALTHY vs. UNHEALTHY SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIPS

Again at the very beginning of humanity's earthly relationship record, we are made aware of a distinction between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship towards God. Each of the first two brothers came to express their worship of God by offering Him a gift. God who “searches the heart and tests the mind” (Jer. 17:10) differentiated between the sincerity of each one's heart; He accepted the one and rejected the other, although He left to Cain an opening for acceptance which sadly was not seized. Our Lord is a generous God in dealing with His people, and He created man to show His likeness.

“You crown the year with Your goodness, And your paths drip with abundance” (Ps. 65:11).
“No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Ps. 84:11).

We owe God to love Him with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength, spelling out a healthy relationship with Him.

“When You said, 'Seek My face,' My heart said to You, Your face, Lord, I will seek'.” (Ps. 27:8)
“...one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luk 21:15)
Not in things, but Him.
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (Jhn 10:10)

This kind of intimacy is arrived at by the frequency and quality of our intercourse with the Lord of grace. What a joy to hear our loving Lord utter such words; worth it all!