The way we view God, or think about God, can shape our relationship with Him. To guide us in this endeavor, God uses many metaphors to help us come to know Him in a personal and deeper way.
For example, in the Bible, God uses the metaphor of a shepherd and sheep, a father and child, a vine and branches, and my favorite, a bride and groom. The metaphor of a bride and groom is a love story.
Although the Bible contains sixty-six individual books, it is really one book with a consistent theme. It is a love story. Like every love story, this one has a beginning, some ups and downs, and then a dramatic conclusion.
Initiating the relationship:
This love story truly starts “In the beginning”. That’s where God created man and woman. He fashioned them exactly as He wanted. Using the material of earth, this Divine Craftsman lovingly formed and fashioned man out of the dust of the ground and then breathed into him the breath of life. Just like a loving father, God lovingly took us in his arms and admired His handiwork. He gazed into our eyes and examined our frame. He smiled and said, “Now, this is very good!”
Although God provided His creation with everything to enjoy, the man and women chose to reject God’s offer of an intimate relationship and chose rather to wander away into selfishness and sin (like the story about the “lost son” Luke 15:11-32). That decision created a chasm and alienation from God.
Throughout the generations, man has tried all sorts of things to satisfy the intimacy that was lost, but nothing would satisfy or suffice. Without God, these humans, who were created to enjoy transparency and intimacy, thus experienced loneliness, bitterness, anger, and pain.
The cycle continues downward. Humans find themselves lost in a cycle of despair and trade love for loss, fulfillment for fruition, and intimacy for isolation. In addition, mankind chose to erect a self-imposed wall of pride and arrogance—a trophy to his self-sufficiency, arrogance, and idolatry—causing bitter hostility between man and God (Rom. 5:10). Without intervention, catastrophe awaited.
Although man turned his back on God, oddly enough, it was God who initiated reconciliation. Because of His great love, God chose to reach out to man. (The Old Testament book of Hosea illustrates this beautifully).
But before things could be resolved, the main issue, sin and rebellion, would have to be brought out into the light and dealt with. Before any wounds could heal, they must first be fully exposed and treated.
In addition, God’s nature, a beautiful and harmonious balance between holiness and love, could not be violated. In his holiness, God would have to deal with sin. A price for reconciliation would have to be paid.
Man had nothing to offer. He could not reconcile the relationship (Matt. 18:23-34).
God is holy and loving. In His holiness, God knew something needed to be done. In His love, God knew that there was only one solution. The cost was high. It would cost God everything. He chose to willingly send His own Son. Someone has said, “He would rather die that live without us.” That sacrifice, opened the door for reconciliation and reunion.
The Christian, who is a part of the Church, then knows and experiences the presence and intimacy of God—in part. For you see, the best is yet to come. Although we maintain a spiritual unity, our faith will one day become sight (1 Jn 3:2).
God, the groom, who awaits his bride, is beaming with pride and joy. His bride, the church, who is holy and blameless and, of course, dressed in white, waits anxiously for the signal to make her grand entrance (Rev. 19:7-8). Naturally, after the wedding, it’s time to party! That which was lost has come home. A great party is planned and it will last forever!
The way we think about God can shape our relationship with Him. Christianity is not a religion nor is it about a bunch of rules. Instead, Christianity it is a relationship—and so much more than a relationship. It is a relationship that is illustrated with the bride and groom.
Think about a godly, loving couple. They are committed to each other and love spending time together. It’s hard to keep them apart. Within this relationship there is intimacy, transparency, and open communication. The couple shares life and love. They possess the same dreams, goals, and desires. When they are apart, they miss each other passionately.
As we think about our lives and our relationship to God, may the idea of a beautiful love story come to mind.After all, God does not to force us to love or serve Him. Instead, He invites us to come to him in a relationship. As you think about God and your relationship with him today, perhaps, picture Him as a groom. See, He is standing at the end of the isle awaiting His beautiful bride to begin that walk down the isle. It all begins with that first step.
Are you ready?
Every relationship has a beginning. Maybe you’ve never taken that first step to become a Christian. If you are ready to make that first step, let me invite you to pray the following prayer:
“Dear God, I am overwhelmed by the fact that you love me. I recognize that I have made lots of mistakes in my life and I am in need of a savior. I thank you for sending your son, Jesus to die for me upon the cross.
Right now, I turn from my sin and disobedience and ask you, Jesus, to come into my life and save me. I am tired of going my own way and I want to follow you and your path for my life. I give you my failures. I give you my hurt and pain. I give you my life. I long to be with you one day in heaven and I look forward to growing closer to You until that day. Amen.
If you made a decision to trust Christ, we would love to hear about it and also get you some free materials to help you grow in your relationship with God. Please email us and let us know at GrainValleyFirst@gmail.com.