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Believe it or not, one’s theology can interfere with one’s relationship with God. By definition, theology is the study of God, His nature and His relation to the world. By the same token, it takes the relationship to wreck our theology, especially if it’s unclear or flat wrong. It’s easy to use theology as some sort of spiritual filter to determine whether something is of God. The problem we face in that regard is some of our theology becomes our truth, and may not be true in the way God sees it. It also incorporates a person’s hypotheses about Him (“I think”). Some love to prove their hypotheses, which can lead to error and of course, debate with others. And in that sense, it can hinder our relationships with people as well. To be clear, not all theology is filled with error; and yet, relationship can help clean it up on a number of levels.
Holy Spirit is The Teacher. The things of God are spiritually discerned, which means we need Him to teach us the Word and His nature (see 1 Corinthians 2:1-16). By cultivating our relationship with Holy Spirit, we are more apt to receive from Him. And that also means we may need to unlearn what we think we know. On occasion, He may show us something that totally rocks our world; especially, if it differs from what we’ve always believed to be true. This is one method relationship wrecks theology.
Part of our relationship with God includes conversation. Unfortunately, some get stuck in monologue-mode as they pray. They do all the talking, but none of the listening. Whether this is a new concept or has been part of your walk for years, one thing that will help in the listening is turning off your theology filter. If you continuously compare everything you hear to your biblical understanding, you may disrupt the flow of conversation, and miss what the Lord’s telling you. Moreover, He may give you chapter and verse from the Bible, so you know it’s Him. Sometimes, He clarifies His written Word by the spoken. Have you ever wondered what a particular passage meant, and then out of the blue, He reveals it to you? Regardless of how He does it, God is faithful to confirm what He says. Speaking of the Bible, it is not a textbook to be studied like any other. It too, is relational by design, which goes to the previous point: it is spiritually discerned and requires Holy Spirit to understand it. An important consideration is the importance of being open and willing to hear whatever God has to say. And there is much that could said about this point.
If you approach life relationally, you’ll fulfill what’s written in Scripture. As it is written, “He that loveth another hath fulfilled the Law” (Romans 13:8). Think about this, we can study about what it means to be holy and righteous, which is a great idea. Without getting into that study at this moment, suffice to say, by walking in love we walk in holiness and righteousness. When we determine to love God and others well, our entire being will come in alignment. By default, our love for God infuses the desire to be separated unto Him and do what is right in His eyes. Love encompasses holiness and righteousness. Think relationally!
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