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Law of Reciprocity (GWWG)

Proverbs 4:7 reads, “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” (NKJV). When we pursue God by His word, we should be adamant about receiving an understanding of what we are reading, studying, and praying. God has the ability to bring unique insight to the diligent disciple of His word. A phenomenon occurs when we devote ourselves to the word of God with the intention to receive understanding. It has the potential to mark us forever. He did this for me many years ago, and it truly has marked me. Throughout Scripture, I found that God works with Himself by a pattern called the law of reciprocity. Not only do I see reciprocity in the text of the Word, but I also see it in everyday life. This law is not some religious commandment to follow, but the flow of a big God choosing to do life with His beloved creation. Flow is the best way to describe the law of reciprocity because in it the will of God freely comes to fruition without hindrance. It is not something that makes life easier, but it is a help in seeing, acting, thinking, and speaking the way God does. That is what life is about—knowing God, the Father, and His Son. When you know someone intimately, like we are made to know God, it can be seen in how much we resemble that person. That is the goal of revealing how God works with Himself; to look like Father as much as possible on this earth.

Though the examples in the Word are numerous, the concept of the law is simple. The principle is intricately woven into the fabric of Jesus’ teachings concerning the Kingdom of God in Matthew and Luke. In Luke 6:37-38, Jesus gives His disciples the following commandments:

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

When reading this, we must remember that Jesus teaches according to the life He lives. It is not clear where Jesus’ words end and where His actions begin. When He speaks commands, like the aforementioned ones in Luke, He is commanding His disciples to put on the nature of God that He is revealing. This is what ultimately glorifies God. He is only impressed with Himself. His own nature, character, and likeness is what glorifies Him. The things that Jesus teaches were the way things should have always been. This is what God working with God is all about. There is this treasure in an earthen vessel that we possess. It is Christ in us, the hope of glory. In Christ dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily. We are commanded to put off the flesh and walk in the Spirit. All of these scriptures point to us yielding to the Helper that Jesus sent us. But why? Because God is only wanting to work with HImself. So much so that He sent His only Son to lay His life down to blot out our sin, and then sealed us with the Holy Spirit to produce eternal life. Remember, there is no separation between us and the Father in Christ. He looks on nothing but Himself, and all of those who are in Him.

Isaiah 43:26 says, “Put Me in remembrance; Let us contend together; state your case that you may be acquitted.” The entirety of Isaiah 43 is a depiction of a loving, merciful God that has been abandoned by His people through sin and disobedience. Though the accusations against His people are numerous in the chapter, it is always paired with God willing and ready to forgive, foreshadowing the coming of the Messiah. One of the extraordinary parts of this passage is the command to bring God in remembrance of Himself. This is what leads to being acquitted, according to the verse. John 1 explains this in prophetic detail. The Word that has always been coming and dwelt among the world to save it. When Jesus walked the earth, the Father was constantly reminded of Himself and what His purpose for man was from the beginning. God could look down on the earth and see the fullness of Himself in it. It caused our acquittal and transformed us to children of God. No one could intercede and acquit a man of their sin against God except God. This is seen in Isaiah 59:16: “He saw that there was no man, And wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him.” God was displeased with the rampant injustice that filled the earth, so He sent His Son to redeem it. God sees Himself. God hears HImself. God saves Himself. Wherever He can find Himself, He acts. This is why Paul says that it is Christ who lives in Him, and no longer himself. It is why Paul labors toward people that Christ be fully formed in them. He is showing us a key to how God operates, and what ultimately glorifies Him.

What does this all mean for us? We were made in the image and likeness of God, and nothing has moved God away from this, not even the fall of man. The law of reciprocity brings understanding to how God desires to carry out His will. Simply put, God cannot work with anything outside of His nature and character. When He looks at us, He is searching for something of Himself within us that He can work with. Because Christ lives in us, we can have confidence that God is working with Himself within us to do all that He has willed.

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