How does this answer the question of “How Do I Walk In A Face-to-Face Relationship With The Lord?” It does not completely answer it, but it is a start. First you must accept the idea of covenant--that is, that He wants to be to you a God and He wants you to be to Him a people. Accept the covenant by accepting Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of your life. Fall in love with Him, and let the force of that relationship begin to change you. It will happen.
But what if you are like many, and you have struggled with this depth of the love of God? We must, at some point, allow the Scriptures, applied by the Holy Spirit, to convince us that the Lord does love us to this degree. Just because people have a difficult time loving themselves does not make the love of God any the less real.
We need to not only trust Him, but to lean very heavily upon His mercy. Consider this statement in light of the conceptual format that we are building. We read in Proverbs 3:5:
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct thy paths.”
The first part of this verse instructs us to trust in the Lord. Trust is built as a product of a growing, vibrant relationship. The word translated trust is the Hebrew word בְּטַ֣ח (batach), and it means, to throw one down on the back and not be afraid of falling. It also means, to be secure and to have confidence in. Trust in the Lord brings security. This security is not only in where we will spend eternity, but first and foremost, in the relationship that we have with the Lord.
Batach also means, to grow like a melon on a vine. Trust is a growing thing that is built as you begin to see the Lord operate in your life. We are also told to not lean (put your weight on) your own understanding.
Let’s look at the word understanding and see if there is a clearer conceptual picture. Remember that we are still building a conceptual picture of a face-to-face relationship with the Lord. The word understanding in Hebrew is the word (ב׳נה) (binah), and it refers to our intelligence and insight. The Scripture is saying for us to trust in the Lord and to be secure in the relationship and not trust in our own intelligence and insight.
The Lord gives us an alternative to trusting in ourselves, our intelligence and in our own ability to discern. That alternative is to acknowledge Him in all of our ways so that He can direct our paths. What does this really mean? How does this fit into the overall picture of a face-to-face relationship? The key is to understand the word acknowledge. The word translated acknowledge is the Hebrew word ׳דע (yadah). Do you recognize this word? You have seen it before. It means to know, to get to know, to be acquainted with, and to be intimate with. This Scripture is telling us to not trust and lean on our own understanding, intellect, reason, and judgment but to get to know the Lord. Get intimate with Jesus. As you do that, He will direct your paths.
Maybe it could be better said that if you get to know Jesus, you will be able to discern His involvement in your life. He is already directing your life, directing your path. It is the relationship that will give you the ability to discern it. It is like a snowball rolling down a hill. The more you see the Lord working in your life, the more your trust grows; like a melon growing on a vine. The more your trust grows, the more secure you get in the relationship. The more secure you are in the relationship that you have with the Lord the more you see Him working in your life. The more you see Him working in your life, the more your trust level grows.
The key here is not your effort but the force of the relationship with the Lord. Remember, He is always moving toward you. If you can’t find the Lord, just stand still. He will find you!!
Why does He do this? Can we really prove scripturally that He does this? The answer is found throughout the Bible. Let’s examine Psalm 106:1,
“Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for His mercy endureth forever.”
The psalmist is saying: "Praise the Lord, give thanks not only because He is good but because His mercy is forever." We must understand what is being said as it is central to the whole face-to-face concept. This is a key foundation stone in understanding the whole covenant relationship between God and people. Do you remember that covenant idea? "I will be to you a God, and you will be to me a people." The mercy of God is central to His personality. In our culture, we often think the word mercy means to pity, to feel sorry for, or to be forgiving and not hold someone accountable for what they have done to us. While all of this is true, it does not give us the whole picture of what is being said. The word translated mercy is the Hebrew word, חסד, and it means:
“An eager and ardent desire, not only love, but an eager desire that motivates giving. It also means to show oneself to be gracious. It is zeal towards someone, which manifests itself in kindness.”
What is this really saying? Again, many believers seem to spend much of their time and effort chasing God. Many think that the relationship that they have with the Lord is at a particular level because they have worked and paid the price for it to be so. Others struggle with whether or not the Lord really does care about them and their circumstances.
Performance has so robbed us of the freedom of the relationship that we actually believe that the relationship itself is held in place based upon the way we act. It is shocking when people really get a view of the Biblical fact that your relationship with the Lord is simply a reaction to Him. He first loved you. His love was motivated by His mercy. That is, it was His eager and ardent desire for you that motivates His love. It is what motivates covenant. It is what motivates grace. It is what motivated Him to send His only begotten Son as an atonement for sin and bring covenant to its logical end result; live eternal in the very presence of Him that loves us so deeply.
When people really grasp this they begin to change. You see, people need to belong. They need a place to fit and to feel totally accepted. That place is in God through Jesus Christ. Here your journey for acceptance ends. Upon accepting Jesus as the Lord and Savior of your life, you are totally accepted, totally forgiven and totally loved. Continue