I had the privilege of listening to author Mike Breen speak this past Sunday. He touched on something that aligned well with the things we discuss here, so I wanted to expand on it a bit today. The statement he made was that the Bible is essentially about two things: Relationship and Representation. The relationship aspect applies to how God relates to us and how we relate back to Him. Representation refers to how we are the image bearers of God to our world.
Put in terms I often use here, representation is synonymous with reflecting God to others. The Bible is a large book and we generally think it complex; however when you break it down to these two concepts, it truly becomes very simple.
Before the creation of the world, God lived in relationship with His Son and the angelic beings He had created. At His essence God is a relational being; it’s not just what He does, it is who He is. He pours Himself into all of His creation. One cannot deny the care that was given when designing every living and non-living entity on our planet. The perfect balance of all things demonstrates that the Spirit of God continually flows throughout the earth.
Humans are perhaps the greatest relational risk that God undertook. In His desire to collaborate with us on the writing of history, He allowed us the ability to choose our own actions. In demonstration of His infinite knowledge and power, He is able to circumvent our best efforts to thwart His plans. No matter how badly we choose or how far from Him we wander God works through all of humanity to bring His sovereign will to pass. Better than a master chess player, God is able to think an infinite number of moves ahead and easily adapt to any wrong turn we might take. He does this because He loves us and He wants us to freely choose to love Him back. There is freedom in doing your own thing, but it ends in loneliness and despair because you are not engaging with the One who created you. When we struggle in our relationship with God, nothing feels right no matter how successful or liberated we might become.
Relationship is the key. When we are walking in the way Christ taught us to, we are able to experience the fullness of His love. When we commune with Him, we can feel His presence and the warmth of His arms around us. He longs to know us and to be known by us. Our best days are those spent in perfect relationship with our Father. This is where we were meant to be. In these moments we understand everything we were created to do. By moving in unison with God, we need never wonder if we are on the right path or doing the right things.
Representation, or reflecting God, flows naturally out of our relationship to Him. As we draw closer to God and better understand His character, we then begin to model those same traits in our own lives. When we do the things Jesus told us to do, we move as God moves. When we feed the hungry, care for the sick and watch over orphans and widows we become extensions of God to our world. As God lives through us we reflect His beauty and love to a world that knows only darkness and despair. God’s glory shines and we reflect Him; God’s holiness speaks and we represent Him. This can only happen if we are living in a healthy relationship with our Creator.
How is your relationship with God? Are you diligently seeking to know Him better? Are you working hard at being the hands and feet of Jesus? Or are you content to go your own way seeking whatever this world has to offer? Until we fully surrender our lives to Him, we will not be effective representatives of His power; until our lives are lived in harmony with Him, we cannot reflect His glory. The Bible really is simple. It comes down to living in a right relationship with God and then being His representatives on earth. Recommit yourself to Him today and determine to improve your relationship with Him, no matter how good or bad it currently is. Thank Him for the opportunity to be His representative; pray that He allows you to do it well, and reflect His light and love to everyone you meet. This is the message of the Bible and the mission for all those who would follow Christ.