You believe in God. Maybe you even follow Jesus and pray through the Holy Spirit. But how do you see Jesus in your relationships—especially if they’re difficult, unhealthy, or even abusive? How do you see God at work in your life when you don’t feel His love, presence, or power?
“Not trusting God has repeatedly hurt people very close to me,” writes Steph on From Believing in God to Having a Relationship With Jesus. “By not seeing Jesus in my relationships I have taken on huge burdens that I cannot handle alone. Only God could handle the problems and pain I have faced with my family. I’ve been seeing a married man for a long time and I know Jesus is NOT in that relationship. Yet I can’t break it off. Please pray for deliverance from evil because surely it exists and it WILL destroy my life! I think part of what needs change is that I need to let God be God. I need to step down from that overwhelming role.”
My tips on how to see Jesus in your relationships at home, work, and in the community will change your perspective of God. It’s time to see how powerful, loving, and good Jesus is! Let the Holy Spirit change how you see yourself, and your relationships will improve (or dissolve if they need to). Changing how you see Jesus will change your heart…and this will change everything.
What relationship are you most concerned about? Maybe you want to see Jesus in your failing marriage or your difficult relationship with your kids. Maybe you work with nonChristians and you want to bring God into your job. Maybe you’re searching for ways to see Jesus in your dating relationship because you’re wondering if marriage is what God wants for you.
Or, maybe your relationships are fine…but ordinary. Dull, lifeless and boring. God isn’t at the center, Jesus isn’t seated at the table, the Holy Spirit isn’t in your conversations. Maybe you want to see Jesus in your relationships because you sense He can bring so much life, power, love, compassion and joy! But you don’t know how.
Good news! You’ve come to the right place.
How to See Jesus in Your Relationships
This blog post is part of my She Blossoms Through the Bible project; I’m writing an article for every chapter in every book of Scripture. This article draws on Moses’ and the Pharoah’s relationship with God and each other in Exodus 10.
Jesus isn’t explicitly mentioned in Exodus 10, but His name (Christ) is saturated throughout the Scriptures. Every article I write —even the ones inspired by the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament—includes the name of Jesus. For example, Deepening Your Relationship With God – Exodus 3 isnt’ just about God; it contains tips for strengthening your relationship with Jesus. Why? Because God the Father and Jesus the Son are One, and they’re in a mysterious, beautiful trinitarian dance with the Holy Spirit. And so are we! We need only learn how to see Jesus in our relationships.
1. Awaken to the wonder and awe of daily life
“Yet all the Israelites had light where they lived,” writes the narrator (possibly Moses) in Exodus 10:23. The rest of Egypt was in total darkness, so thick and black that “one person could not see another and they did not move from where they were” (verse 23). This darkness was the ninth plague God sent to the Pharoah and Egypt. Total pitch black darkness—not even the candles would light! Except for God’s children, of course. They saw the light because they had a relationship with God. They did not suffer through three days of thick darkness for three days that the rest of Egypt experienced because of their relationship with Yahweh. God sent the plagues to Pharoah so He (God) could do miraculous signs (Exodus 10:1), so the Hebrews would know God is with them.
In what ways do you see Jesus in your relationships? Look for what is already happening: maybe you and your boyfriend go to church together, or you and your husband agree on how to discipline your kids or cats. Maybe you know your parents are controlling because they love you and want the best for you. Maybe you see glimpses of goodness and helpfulness in your coworkers, or a glimmer of a smile in your grouchy neighbor—that’s Jesus in your relationships! Learn how to see God’s wonder and awe in daily life. If you follow Jesus, you live in the powerful light of the Holy Spirit. Learn how to shine His light in your relationships, and you will see glimpses of God. Look for Jesus in your relationships, and you will find Him.
Exodus 10:15 tells us that the eighth plague was “locusts that consumed all the plants on the ground and all the fruit on the trees.” This devastating plague left the land of Egypt empty of plants, fruit and fields. “The locusts went up over the entire land of Egypt and settled on the whole territory of Egypt. Never before had there been such a large number of locusts, and there never will be again.” (Exodus 10:14). Pharoah’s officials were so upset, they pleaded with him to let Moses’ people go. “Don’t you realize yet that Egypt is devastated?” they asked Pharoah in verse 7. Yes, Pharoah saw the destruction God brought on Egypt. But even so Pharoah remained stubbornly convinced that he could win his battle with the Lord. And who paid the price for his pride, ego, hardheartedness? Everyone.
How long will you refuse to completely surrender your relationships to God? We all have things we refuse to give to God. We don’t completely trust Him. We can’t fully surrender our hearts, minds, souls, bodies and spirits because what if He doesn’t come through? What if God takes away the things we want most, the people we love most, the dreams we cherish most? If you’re longing to see Jesus in your relationships with your partner, family, coworker or friends, then you haven’t completely surrendered them to God. If you were totally, completely, humbly surrendered to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, then you wouldn’t be searching for Jesus in your relationships. You’d already be seeing Him there.
3. Return God’s gaze
Pharoah wasn’t a good guy. God had a weird relationship with that Egyptian king. Sometimes Pharoah would harden his own heart (Exodus 8:32) and sometimes the Lord hardened Pharoah’s heart (Exodus 10:20, 27). Sometimes Pharoah’s heart was hardened by things we know naught of (Exodus 9:35). In Exodus 10:1-2 God claimed responsibility for everything: the plagues, the pain, the suffering, and the miraculous signs. Why? So Moses could tell his son and grandson how severely He dealt with the Egyptians and how He performed miraculous signs in Egypt. God brought the plagues—with Moses’ and Aaron’s participation—so the Hebrews and everyone would know that He is the Lord. God’s gaze never, ever left His children. Nor did it leave His enemies.
What is your response to God’s gaze? God’s gaze was firmly fixed on Moses and the Israelites in Egypt, and His gaze stays on His children today. You. Me. All of Jesus’ followers are firmly, lovingly, compassionately watched by the Lord and strengthened by the Holy Spirit. How do you see your relationship with Jesus? Your relationship with Him has a direct effect on your relationship with people in your life. How you relate to God is how you relate to others. How you see Jesus affects how you see your partner, family, friends, coworkers, and strangers. Maybe you believe in God, but don’t have a relationship with Jesus. Maybe you need to rebuild your relationship with God before you can learn how to see Jesus in your relationships with other people.
What do you think about my tips for seeing Jesus in your relationships? You probably didn’t get what you expected…or did you? Your comments — big and little — are welcome below!
With His love,
P.S. Are you struggling to make a decision or find the right path in your life? Read an Easy Way to Stop Overthinking God’s Will for Your Life.