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   It is obvious that the first condition for walking in a face-to-face relationship with God is to accept Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of your life. Then you have to begin to trust in the mercy of the Lord. He loves you. He desires you. You are the apple of His eye, whether you feel like it or not. You cannot base your feelings on how you “perform.” Part of the trusting is not just trusting that you are forgiven when you sin, but that you are totally accepted just as you are. The best way to change a life is not through behavior modification, but by allowing the force of a growing relationship with Jesus to change you. Since we must begin trusting in the love of the Lord in a deeper way, it would be a good idea to take a closer look at the love of God.

 

THE LOVE OF GOD DEFINED

 

   It is impossible to separate the love of God from His mercy. In English, love and mercy are worlds apart. In Hebraic conceptual thought they are very closely aligned. 

 

   The word translated love in the Old Testament is the Hebrew word אהב (ahav). Ahav means to desire and to breathe after. More than a word, ahav is a sound. It is the sound of a man making love to his wife. It is a breathing sound. It speaks of longing, desire, and love. Ahav also means to take delight in. The Lord not only desires to have relationship with us, but He delights in us and in that relationship. God really does like you. 

 

   The psalmist describes ahav in terms of a deer. He says, “As the hart (deer) pants after the waterbrook, so my heart pants after thee O God.” The psalmist is painting a word picture that beautifully describes the love of God toward us. This is a picture of a deer running in the midst of danger. Even though the deer is facing death, if it is thirsty it will stop to drink even if it costs his own life. Water is vital. It is more vital than life itself. In the book of John we read, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

 

   God pants after us. He not only desires us but He takes great delight in us. We are so important and vital to Him that even though it cost Him the life of His own Son, He stopped and established the cool water of relationship.

 

JESUS WAS FACE TO FACE WITH GOD

 

   Jesus is our prime example of a person who walked face-to-face with God. Jesus said in John 5:19, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”

 

   Jesus had an intimate relationship with the Father. He also said in this same chapter, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” 

 

   Spend just a moment and read of this special face-to-face relationship that He had with the Father. That same depth of relationship is available to us today.

 

“If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. Ye sent unto John, and he bear witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that you might be saved. He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me.”

 

   You have to be involved in a very deep face-to-face relationship in order to make these kinds of statements. Jesus was face-to-face with the Father. There is no better example of this than the words that Jesus spoke on the cross. In Matthew 27:46 we read, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” If it simply meant my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me, then why was it left untranslated in the text? In Hebrew there is a much clearer and deeper meaning. This statement in Hebrew reads:

 

                                ״אֵלִי, אֵלִי, לָמָה שבקתני״

 

   In English from right to left this would read, “Eli, Eli, lama shevaqetani.”

 

   The translation for this verse is, "God of me, God of me, why have you made me a bachelor?” This interesting translation shows the depth of the face-to-face relationship that He had with the Father. He is saying, "God of me, why has the face-to-face relationship that is so intimate that it could be compared to a spousal relationship, now been destroyed?"

 

   When He took the sin of humanity upon His shoulders, it destroyed the face-to-face relationship that He had with God. There was no more “soul kiss.” He was totally alone. He had never before known this kind of separation. He had always been face-to-face with the Father until that very moment in time.

 

   It is interesting the way that He was betrayed and how it relates to this whole idea of the al-peney, face-to-face relationship. 

 

“Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.”

 

“And when he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the son of man with a kiss?”

 

   What is striking about this is that Judas betrayed Jesus with the very sign of an intimate relationship--a kiss. This is the epitome of fraud. Judas was in essence saying that we have a face-to-face relationship, we are intimate, but at the same time, he was betraying him. 

 

THE FACE-TO-FACE RELATIONSHIP IS AVAILABLE TO US.   

 

   In I Corinthians 15:21-48, we read:

 

“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.... And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy:  the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.”  Continue