The conundrum of our relationship with God
…among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters…His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead…
Revelation 1:13-15, 16-17 (NIV)
On the way back from a day out with a valued friend, we were talking of the Kingdom coming in its fullness at the establishment of the new heavens and the new earth (Revelation 21:1-4), and what life would be like on the new earth. Around us the glorious colours of a calm evening cast its deepening shadows on the mountain ranges of Scotland. We agreed that the beauty we were seeing around us would be greatly enhanced if we knew that neither we, nor anyone around us, would ever again suffer pain, sickness, death, grief, injustice, violence, war, famine, pollution or any other evil.
I then brought up a conundrum that had long puzzled me – how can one have a close intimate relationship with Jesus as our older brother and friend (Romans 8:29; John 15:13) – while at the same time God’s awesome glory causes ordinary mortals to collapse in a dead faint at his feet? My friend’s answer was simple but profound, ‘Christ will help you to know.’ Yes, of course. Christ who, through the Holy Spirit, is day by day teaching me to know the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, will certainly lead me to relax in the joy of his personal love and companionship (1 John 4:18), while glorying in the breath-taking radiance of Almighty God. It is in the power and purity of the Spirit that we come to know and worship the Lord, Jesus, not in the weakness of the sinful flesh.
What a future God has in store for his people. Well could Paul exclaim, ‘I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us…For in this hope we were saved.’ (Romans 8:18, 24). And John tells us: ‘No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.’ (Revelation 22:3-5).
Our glorious God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, your word tells us in 1 Corinthians 2:9 that no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. Thank you Lord that you are preparing a wonderful future, where we will be with you forever. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Study by Christina Campbell.
About the writer:
Christina Campbell attends the Glasgow congregation of
Grace Communion International where she is a speaker
and Bible Study facilitator.
St Stevens Presbytery
260 Bath Street
Glasgow G2 4JP
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