Some christians seem to talk a lot about their faith as a "Face to Face" relationship with God.
I have a problem with those words, because it sounds to me much like a relationship of two equal people who have a good understanding of each other.
The bible mentions the phrase in these places (God and human being face to face):
- 1Mo (Gen) 32,30 It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.
- Jacob has fought with God before meeting Esau
- 2Mo (Ex) 33,11 The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.
- 5Mo (Deut) 34,10 Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,
- This was quite a unique relationship in the bible
- 5Mo (Deut) 5,4+5 The LORD spoke to you face to face out of the fire on the mountain. (At that time I stood between the LORD and you to declare to you the word of the LORD, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain.)
- The whole people of Israel met God, but it could not be continued, so Moses went alone
- Job 38, 3+4 Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand.
- Job cannot answer God
- 1Cor 13,12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
- This is a promise for the future
Now things look a bit different when we consider that Jesus became a man and so represented God to us in a way we can grasp a little.
- John 14, 9: Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.
But again, he does not have long discussions, but invites the disciples: Come and see! Follow me! I think there is the danger of just wanting to experience God but not being willing to follow and obey him.
- John 1, 39: Come, he replied, and you will see. So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him.
- Matthew 4, 19: Come, follow me, Jesus said, and I will make you fishers of men.
We don't need to be afraid of Jesus: He is compassionate and approachable
- e.g. Luke 8, 47: Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. [...] Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.
Jesus enjoyed blessing the children; perhaps that is how I would also describe my relationship with Jesus? I can sit on His lap, I can tell him about my little and big worries, and he will understand. When he starts talking about the things that worry him or he is busy with, I will sit there with big eyes and won't understand much, perhaps with growing maturity get more and more a better idea what is really important.
- Luke 18, 16: But Jesus called the children to him and said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
We can enter God's presence, and need to be intimate with him. But he will still surpass our understanding
- Phil 6,7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
My (personal) conclusion:
- When I follow Jesus, I will see the back of Him. My eyes need to be focused on Jesus' back. I don't want to stand still and face Him, because then I am going in the wrong direction.
- I know I need times when I sit on His lap and listen to Him and tell Him my joys and worries.
- I am looking forward to the day when I will see God face to face, and I will understand it all and know Him completely.