“It will come about in that day,” declares the LORD, “That you will call Me Ishi [My Husband] And will no longer call Me Baali. [My Lord]” – Hosea 2:16Is there a difference between the relationship of a husband and wife and that which exists between a servant and lord? There should be. Am I saying that we should never refer to God as our “Lord”? No, not at all. Rather, I am simply pointing out that we are intended to be more than just God’s servants: we were made to be His bride (Revelation 21:9).
This week, we are looking at part four of our four-part E-sight series from the presentation Intrinsic or Imposed, found on our Web site. Over the past month, we have looked at how these two paradigms affect our church, our youth, and our evangelism. I want to conclude by taking a quick, common-sense look at what the Intrinsic paradigm means for us, relationally, with God.
I want you to consider the following questions:
1. How fulfilling would it be if you knew someone was with you only because the other option was death?
2. How fulfilling would it be to you if you were with someone because you had to be with him or her or face punishment?
3. Is there a more mature way of relating to God?
4. What did Jesus mean when he said, “Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it . . .” (Luke 9:24)?
We aren’t splitting hairs here. We are simply explaining why many do not experience the fulfillment in their relationship with God that they desire. Religion is notorious for using principles of control over its followers, rather than appealing to the principles of love.
The Imposed paradigm is necessary and needed in the beginning of our walk with God. But as we walk and grow in love, there is a “more excellent way” (2 Corinthians 12:31). As we grow into the Intrinsic paradigm–in which we refrain from certain behaviors because of the intrinsic results of those behaviors or engage in other behaviors because of the positive intrinsic cause and effect of those–we begin to see God completely differently. His love for us becomes the driving force in all our relations to Him. Maturity begins to take place, and fulfillment is left in the wake.
Just something more to ponder.
As we conclude, once again, I wish you God’s best this week.