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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

TRANSFORMING LOVE (ITS A RELATIONSHIP, PART 1)




IT’S A RELATIONSHIP
“…that you may KNOW…..the only true God and Jesus Christ…” John 17:3

Relationships are our most important endeavors and are the only vehicle we have to connect with another person (or thing) on any level whether deeply intimate or highly shallow.
God said it wasn’t good for man to be alone or he tells children to honor their parents (Genesis 2:18, Exodus 20:2 and Deuteronomy 5:16). These commands are about relationships.
For Christians, relationships began back in the Garden of Eden where God and Adam connected through a unified, divine, and loving relationship.
Nothing hindered this deep “oneness” connection since sin or darkness had not yet entered the picture. Adam could actually keep this command,"…..Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind" (Luke 10:27).
Adam, at one time, loved God with all his mind, all his heart, all his soul, and all his spirit. This had to be the most exquisite, holy, and mind-blowing relationship ever experienced by another human being on this earth.
Before the fall, Adam was in a relationship with God most people have never known and it was nothing for him to take walks with God in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8). 
Bad relationships are so common among most people, that the supernatural relationship between Adam and God can’t even penetrate the imagination without the limitation of human finite thinking or experiences.
Bad relationships with others entail some or all of the following issues and concerns:
1.      distrust,
2.      imbalanced demands
3.      some idea of so-called human perfection
4.      feels unsafe
5.      involves high levels of low esteem,
6.      is jealous,
7.      hosts of un-kindnesses
8.      lack of gentleness
9.      pride
10.  selfishness; withholds love
11.  is controlling
12.  manipulates to get their way,
13.  keeps a record of another’s wrong,
14.  shuts the other person out; un-forgiving,
15.   blames others for their behavior or emotional issues,
16.  Have negative behaviors that hurt others,
17.  Is extremely sensitive, yet critical of others
18.  Is easily angered
19.  shows little or no grace or mercy,
20.  Is unwilling to suffer through anything or make sacrifices for another, and
21.  Is quick to judge and think evil of another person’s character.
22.  Often wants what it doesn’t reciprocate. 

Adam had none of those concerns or negative experiences. For a while, Adam enjoyed a relationship with God uninterrupted by the sin and darkness that plague most relationships today.
In the loving relationship with God, Adam was freely given dominion over some of God’s creation. Adam didn’t do anything to earn it, deserve it, or to be worthy of such a generous opportunity, but he simply responded to God’s love.
What a GREAT love. God gave Adam the world in a sense. In addition, there were no laws for Adam to try to keep or a sinful nature to interfere. God and Adam were united by the Holy Spirit and since the Spirit knows what God requires, even the deep things; Adam stayed pleasing and upright with God (Romans 8).
FREEDOM TO RESPOND = CHOOSE LIFE
However, what lay virginally dormant in Adam was a “freedom to respond” to his experiences that he knew nothing about, but God did. God also knew that the “freedom to respond” could lead to a separation in the loving relationship he shared with Adam.
So God made a loving appeal to Adam as a way to maintain their oneness, “….of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17).  
When God made this appeal to Adam, Eve was still “one” with him in a way that is unique to God, but bestowed upon man to experience too.  Adam said Eve was “….bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 2:23a).
When God made man in his image, the bible says he created them “male and female” and when he spoke, he spoke to “them,” even through Eve had not yet been bodily manifested (Genesis 1:27-28). 
I believe when God made the appeal to Adam about “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” he made it to “them.” When Eve was finally manifested and taken from Adam; we know now she was “a weaker vessel (1 Peter 3:7d).
1 PETER 3:8=7
This doesn’t support any foolishness that women are weaker emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, or as co-heirs of Grace. It says weaker “vessel,” which points undeniably to physical strength.
This, however, does not make women less valuable or a less of a co-heir of Grace, rather is it a basis to explore another view of why Satan went to Eve and not Adam to destroy the relationship between “them” and God.
There are many speculations for this and we all know several traditional views of this Genesis story. However, we will only look at one view in this book as it relates to the relationship with God.
CONTINUE IN PART 2

EXCERPT FROM "ITS A RELATIONSHIP" CHAPTER
OF "TRANSFORMING LOVE" BY
DR PENSACOLA H. JEFFERSON

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