We are all called to this kind of relationship with God: an upward relationship with our Father, which transforms our identity (inward), and an outward expression of that relationship to the world (as we step out in obedience to God).
This kind of lifestyle can be seen in Jesus’ example. Luke 6:12-19 shows it well:
12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. 17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
Jesus showed that he was in relationship with his heavenly Father. He attended to it by praying alone, often in remote places (v 12). Jesus was also part of a community with his disciples so he spent time with them too (v 13-16). With his disciples in tow, he also related to the wider world (the large crowd) and showed people God’s love in different ways (v 17-19).
As Jesus’ disciples today we are called to live this lifestyle. We are called to spend time with God, to live as part of a community which helps us discover our identity as God’s people, and to obey God’s call to serve Him in the world.
Which of these three areas comes naturally to us?
Which do we find difficult?
With thanks to Mike Breen.