The Most Important Relationship in the Universe

Matthew 11:27–30 (The Message)

Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. “The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

CONSIDER THIS

Growing up on the farm meant growing up in the midst of my first real experience of a triune relationship. There was Peepaw, Uncle Martin, and my dad. Now, to be clear, I am not making any Father, Son, and Holy Spirit associations here, but it was an incredibly durable, loving, and welcoming community of three truly great men of God. 

I remember many early mornings at my house. As the sun began to crawl up the horizon, Peepaw (aka Martin Lee Walt Sr.) would tap on the back door and let himself in. He and Dad would then talk over coffee about the crops, farming, family, and the future. I would mostly listen in with a peace-filled security anchored in the richness of this abiding fellowship. These three men—they were the farm—and all the abundance, goodness, and fruit of that farm flowed from their fellowship, which not only included our families and those of all the farm team but extended into the whole town. 

For me, this is a beautiful albeit imperfect picture of what we hear from Jesus in today’s text. 

Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. “The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. 

The most important relationship in the universe is not my relationship with God. It is the relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is the fellowship of deepest and most bonded attachment. This is the origin of all affection that is born of love. This community and its intimate interrelatedness embodies a love so full it can enfold and infill not only this world but a million more should they come into being. And this is the miracle—Jesus brings you and me on the inside of this glorious realm. Not only is our relationship with God, but it is within God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.

We are moving now from the realm of affection (which frankly pervades the whole journey) into the glorious fellowship of abiding. No one describes this more beautifully and winsomely than Jesus:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Wake up, sleeper! We are leaving behind the broken religion of striving harder. We are learning the way of abiding intimacy, of living from a place of deep affection coming from a place of bonded attachment. And this will change everything about everything. 

THE PRAYER

Father Farmer God, thank you for your exquisite affection for us your sons and daughters. Break us free from broken religion. Jesus, thank you for bringing us into this most beautiful place of heaven right here on earth. Thank you for going over it with us line by line. Thank you for bringing us inside of the very love shared between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Even the thought of this delights my soul. This feels like the affection of abiding. Bring us into the experience of this reality. Prune away anything that stands in the way. Praying in Jesus’s name, amen. 

THE QUESTION

Do you sense the wooing of Jesus by the Spirit, drawing you into this treasured place of abiding? What do you think might be blocking your awareness of and experience of his affection for you? 

THE HYMN (Recording Only)

Today we will sing the gospel standard, “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” on page #61 of our newly released Seedbed hymnal Our Great Redeemer’s Praise. 

For the Awakening,

J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

2 Responses

  1. You ask, “What do think might be blocking your awareness of and experience of his affection for you? From what I’ve read, possibly two things. First of all, and you’ve alluded to this before, that a child’s relationship with God the Father is determined early on by their relationship with their earthly father. Secondly, for some of us, there’s a lot of religious teachings that will have to be unlearned to make room for new understandings concerning our relationship with God.

  2. I continually sense a tender wooing to enter deeper into spontaneous, unforced, and unprogrammed heart-to-heart interaction with the living Jesus. I think guilt and rebellion are the biggest blockers of our awareness of God’s love for us. Those are overcome by embracing humility, confession, repentance, and the direct, ongoing, and glorious revelation that we are being personally and deeply loved and transformed by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and invited to enter more fully into their intimacy.

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