A relationship with Jesus is common vernacular in the church today. It is such a common phrase you probably do not give much thought to it. But have you ever stopped to ponder the meaning of the phrase?
We all know the implication behind the phrase is salvation. After that, it is about what living for Jesus looks like in everyday life. It seems that the whole relationship with Jesus thing has gotten off-kilter in much of the church. We hear people talk about experiencing God in nature, being reminded of a verse as we watch tv, or inspired by a song on the radio. Yet many of these same people who experience God in nature or who always seem to hear God speaking through a movie say they have a hard time reading the Bible or are bored while praying. How can we say we have a great relationship with Jesus or that we hear the Holy Spirit speak to us, yet we have no desire for the Scripture or prayer?
Job 23:12 NKJV “I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.“
Job was in the middle of a trial in life. He had lost his family, and livestock, and his friends gave him some bad counsel, yet Scripture says he never sinned with his lips by bringing accusations against God. It is with that in mind we consider the fact that he treasured the Word of God above food.
consider the implication of those words with the words of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “ All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for restoration, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that the person belonging to God may be capable, fully equipped for every good deed.”
When it comes to your relationship with Jesus, you should find it primarily in the Scriptures. John 1:1 and 14 tell us that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would bring to our remembrance the things that He said. We need to ask ourselves, if our relationship with Jesus is not leading us to the Bible, what kind of relationship do we have with Him?
The enemy does not mind if we have inspirational thoughts; if we hear “God” in nature, he does not even mind if we receive “blessings” as long as we neglect the Word of God.
If you are in a relationship with someone and do not spend time with them, are you really in a relationship with them? What if you think about them all the time, what if you go on walks and you think about them the entire time you are walking? What if you live with the person but never pay attention when they speak?
God has spoken in His Word. An Old Testament prophet may have heard a still small voice, but that does not mean you need to, nor that you are supposed to. That was the only instance in Scripture where that took place; it was descriptive of that situation, not prescriptive for our lives.
Let’s look at a few more Scriptures on hearing God.
Hebrews 1:1-4 NKJV “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.”
2 Peter 1:16-21 NKJV “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
Can something in a movie remind you of Scripture? Absolutely. Can a song inspire you? Of course, Can you be encouraged by taking a walk? Sure. But anyone can be encouraged by a song; anyone can be motivated through a movie. You do not need the Holy Spirit for these things. You do need the Holy Spirit if the Scriptures are going to mean anything to you.
If you are hearing God through all sources except the Bible, there is an issue. If you can hear God clearly on a walk but are confused every time you open the Bible, there is a chance that it is not God you hear on your walks. Ask yourself, why would God clearly speak outside His Word yet leave me confused when I read His Word?
The Bible is how God intends to speak to His people. Could it be, that you are looking for God everywhere but His Word because of conviction? Are you living in a way contrary to Scripture, so you would rather commune with God in another way? Or perhaps you go to a church that encourages all these outside sources. Jesus said it, Paul said it, and Peter said it, the Word of God is sufficient. Sin will keep you from the Word. If you know you are in sin, repent and conform your life to the Word of God (Psalm 119:9-11). If you are listening to pastors or reading authors who encourage you to hear God in everything but His Word, quit listening to them.
The Word of God is our answer, corrector, encourager, truth, it is our everything. The Word is where the relationship is found. You cannot love Jesus and treat the Word as unimportant. If you go for a walk, take your Bible. If a show you are watching makes you think of something, go to the Scripture. Let your life revolve around Scripture because Scripture is our source of life.