The big change for us

2015-21.5 FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2015

1 Peter 1:3 – The New Birth

Intimate hand of God illustration

God wants a hand-in-hand ongoing relationship with us. It’s that simple.

1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

The personal renewal we all need

ONE of the most profound renewals is the one called, simply, the new birth. This transition, the new birth or in Christian jargon “being born again” changes everything. What was hazy about who Jesus was, who he is, becomes clear. Values change. Beliefs slot into place.

And where God seemed distant and not-quite-real and probably a bit austere, the regeneration of the Holy Spirit that happens when we ask Jesus to come and rule and reign in our life turns the light on.

Up close and personal

God becomes real – and most importantly, someone we can talk to and relate to – and even have an intimate relationship with.

Intimate? With God? We might not immediately want to go there. But God wants this kind of relationship with us. It took quite a bit of breaking down of personal pride and reserve before I got it – and entered into it.

It is in this closeness – and only in this closeness – that God shows us things. We tell Him what we are doing and He tells us what He is doing. Out of that, a kind of partnership evolves – and suddenly we see see the bigger picture.

Seeking partnership

God doesn’t just do things because He is all-powerful and all-knowing and everywhere. He can, of course, but He prefers to be in partnership with His people – that’s us.

That was the intention back in the Garden of Eden (it went a bit wrong) and it is His intention with us, now.

When we begin to understand His desire for close relationship – not in a controlling way at all, but in the way of Him trusting us and wanting to do His work through us – the kingdom of God, which Jesus spoke so much about, becomes clearer. And more desirable.

How amazing things happen

I have posted elsewhere on Red Run a summary of an arresting message about having intimacy with God, given by Stuart Glassborough at Network Vineyard Reading recently. He has seen some amazing things happen in response to prayer. His point is that is all starts with having an intimate relationship, a real closeness with God as Father.

God wants to use us, to partner with us. And not surprisingly, He wants to talk to us about it! That’s the way it works. Stuart’s point is that it doesn’t work any other way.

On one level this doesn’t seem quite what we are seeking in starting out, for exploring, for discovering faith in Jesus. Let’s just say it is the deep end of the same pool. The concept is disarmingly simple. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you James 4:7-8. Don’t look to Him to do it all – He may be looking to YOU to exercise the bit of faith you have, and be part of the answer to your own prayer.

Lord, may Your Holy Spirit come into my life more and more and be that Spirit of wisdom and revelation for me. Help me to give you time when I just focus on You, and when you can give me glimpses of what You are doing and even show me where I can join with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.