“Communion with God” is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot in Christian circles. This idea has a tendency to sound super spiritual, but it can be hard to conceptualize. In this Leadership Conversation, Israel Steinmetz and Amber Riggs (co-directors of Artios Christian College) sit down to answer the question: what does communion with God actually look like?
Israel defines communion by using another common term: relationship. Our communion with God should look like a relationship. But hold on—”relationship” is also a broad term. How does this help us?
Throughout Scripture, God uses examples of earthly relationships to illustrate His relationship with humankind. He uses familiar concepts—like the connection between a father and his children—to help us understand our place in the relationship.
Picturing the way a father loves his children is an excellent starting point, but it doesn’t begin to capture the full picture. If we focus on just one aspect of relationship with God, we risk missing out on other relational components. God is not only our Father, but our King, and our Shepherd. As Israel notes in the video below, communion with God is multifaceted. It cannot be described as simply one thing.Our relationship with God is utterly unique and can't be compared to just one thing. - Israel Steinmetz Click To Tweet
Scripture uses a variety of relationships to illustrate our connection with God and with Christ our Savior. As you read through the following passages, think about the different relational components implied. What are the different roles indicated? How might our role as subjects of the King differ from our role as children of our Heavenly Father?
A King ruling over His people—
- “But the Lord sits enthroned forever, he has established his throne for justice, and he judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with uprightness.” (Psalm 9:7-8)
- “God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne. The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted!” (Psalm 47:8-9)
- “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the Kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.” (1 Chronicles 29: 1)
A Father loving (and disciplining) His children—
- “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.”(Psalm 103:13)
- “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be wary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:11-12)
- “[Christ] came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:11-13)
- “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God; and so we are.” (1 John 3:1)
A Shepherd caring for His sheep—
- “For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.” (Psalm 95:7)
- “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” (Isaiah 40:11)
- “And they shall know that I am the Lord their God with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Lord God. And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord God.” (Ezekiel 34:30-31)
- “The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice… I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:3-4, 11)
- “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love… This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have made known to you.” (John 15:9, 12-15)
What Does Communion With God Look Like?
As you listen to the following conversation, remember that just like our relationship with God is multifaceted, so too is our communion with Him. Communion cannot simply be reduced to one task or activity. We are created for the closest, more complex, truly intimate relationship with God. True communion with God is deeper and richer than we can imagine.
Interested in cultivating a deeper relationship and with our Heavenly Father and the Body of Christ? Here are some additional resources:
- Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos like this.
- Read We Need to Study God (And Here’s How)
- Read Recovering the Lost Art of Contemplation
- Connect with fellow believers through Artios’ introductory course Essentials of Vibrant Leadership LEA 111
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