November 2015 Devotion

One Dimensional Relationship

 

A high school football coach struggled to win a game during a long season. As the season progressed, his folly became apparent. He loved a particular running play so much that it was called almost every first down. The same play was also popular on second and third down. Although his players gave a great effort, his one-dimensional offense became the laughing stock of the region.

 

Often, we as humans reduce our relationship with God into a single dimension. A prayer before a meal or perhaps a weekly church service encompasses our time with the Almighty. Are we reducing our relationship with God to a weekly chore? Like the football coach with only one play, we cannot be victorious in this setting.

 

During the life of Christ, large crowds gathered to receive a healing from the Master. This became the motivating factor for attendance. Sadly, these people were more interested in pragmatic results than the incredible words of Christ. Jesus had to preach in a boat to keep from being overrun with people seeking to be healed.

 

Jesus did not lack compassion. His love for people was incredible. He longed for them to have so much more than health. He knew that people needed a multidimensional relationship with God more than healing within their bodies. This principle still applies to us today.

 

“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.” (Psa. 119:103-104, NIV)

 

This passage within the context of this song is incredible.   The earlier verses reveal that the psalmist had suffered incredibly. In his anguish, he longs for the words of God rather than relief from his physical condition. This is not a form of denial, but a revelation of the complexity of his relationship with the Lord. This is a shining example for us to follow.

 

Often, we have what we perceive to be an overwhelming need for divine intervention. Conversely, God understands our every thought, emotion, and physical requirement. If we only talk to the Lord about a single issue, we are limiting ourselves like the stagnant football coach. Beloved, let us improve our connectivity with God rather than decrease it.

 

Teenagers often think of their parents as logistic agents. They only want to talk to mom and dad when they are hungry and the refrigerator is empty. Wise parents learn to use these opportunities to deepen relationships with their shallow children. A giant step of discipleship is learning that God is far more than our supply depot.

By Rev. Dr. Judy Baumgartner