January 4, 2020

Define the Relationship!

So here we are: the first couple days of 2020 behind us! Are you, like me, still writing “2019” on everything? It always takes me a couple months to get with the program. Doesn’t it seem especially hard to break out of the mold and stop doing something the old way?

In 2 Chronicles 34 is a story about a guy named Josiah. He was learning to do things differently than those before him. “Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left” (verses 1, 2, NIV).

In verses 1-8 of that chapter Josiah “cleans house,” so to speak. It’s almost as if he says to God, “OK, God, I’m tired of messing around; it’s time I got serious about You!” Take some time right now and read the rest of that chapter for yourself; you’ll learn how seriously Josiah took his relationship with God.

I work with lots of kids, teenagers, and young adults. Not a week goes by that I don’t talk with them about “defining the relationship”(DTR), often with someone they like—a lot—and want to become more serious with, but aren’t sure how the other person feels about it. Usually the discussion of the pending discussion is fraught with a lot of anxiety, even panic, because they’re just not certain that the other person is as crazy about them as they are about the other person.

But when we’re dealing with God, we can be certain that God is absolutely crazy about us; so much so that He, well, I’ll let Him tell you Himself: “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending His Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted” (John 3:16-18, Message).

So what about us? What do we have planned for 2020? Let me ask this question another way: What do we think God has planned for us in 2020? Do we recognize that if we got super-serious about knowing, loving, and living Jesus and DTR that God could come this year?

Christian writer Ellen White insightfully noted: “There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out His Spirit upon a languishing church and an impenitent congregation. . . . When the way is prepared for the Spirit of God, the blessing will come.”

So what’s it going to be this year? Will this be the year we say to God, “Let’s DTR!” I certainly hope so, because He’s ready and waiting (Rev. 3:20). Let’s get serious with God; we’ve got nothing to lose and eternity to gain.

Happy New Year!

Know Jesus. Love Jesus. Live Jesus.

Omar Miranda, a counselor and writer, lives with his family in unplain Plainville, Georgia.