In comments to my last posting, a regular reader of this blog asked me if I realized that the word “relationship” wasn’t in the bible in reference to God and humanity. He asked me where in the bible it talks about “relationship,” and how one can have this with God. I thought this was an excellent question. In fact, it’s such a good question that I decided I should do an entire post on the topic; so here goes:
In order to explain a relationship with God, I thought I would share a bit about mine and why I believe it’s probably different from the relationships God has with other believers.
Since I was a child, I felt the presence of something “out there.” I just sensed something. Sensing this presence was the beginning of the relationship because I was always aware of it; I just didn’t know it had a name or what to call it because I wasn’t brought up with religious instruction or belief – quite the opposite. My family was hostile to religion and God. We didn’t talk about God in my home.
I’m not sure at what age I began to realize that I could cry out to and reach out to this presence, but I began doing so and was comforted when I did, internally. Fast forward to my teens and my becoming aware of the person of Jesus Christ, the gift of salvation, and Christ’s death on the cross which offered me this gift of salvation. I learned about sin and that my sins could and would be forgiven if I only just believed. I learned that God loved me and wanted to be close to me. I learned of my importance to God. And I learned about holy God and who He really was/is.
My experience and relationship with God has been ongoing. It has ranged from close, personal, and peaceful, to distant, blocked, and confusing. When I was straying from God through out my twenties and early thirties, I was smoking marijuana and drinking heavily/regularly. I was doing these things to escape various problems and issues in my life and using drugs and alcohol actually blocked me from God. It was as if there was a glass wall between us. I could still feel God’s love and concern for me, but it was muted somehow, as was my ability to reach Him.
After I surrendered once again to God and stopped drinking and drugging, the relationship became a close, very personal one that is vibrant and intense, as well as peaceful, pleasant, secure, and stable. I have a certain security that I never had before within me. I know I’m in the will of God. I’m safe, happy, secure, and know that I need not worry or fear, unless I just want to waste my energy doing so.
Since I became aware that it was important to my relationship with God that I spend regular time communing with God through His word, (the bible), and socializing with other Christians online through blogging and at church, my relationship with God changed again. Now I feel as if I’m in a sort of continuous class with the Holy Spirit as my teacher. I’m on the fast track to doing what God wants me to be doing directly in service to Him. I’m taught how to do this daily through the bible, other Christians in my life directly, and through countless other intriguing ways and methods that God uses to communicate with me.
God reaches me through music, film, television, reading, other people, and even my animals and my child sometimes. The relationship with God is unexpected and wonderful — and it is growing daily! It’s amazing, to tell the truth. I had no idea how this could be and I believe it’s only going to continue to get better and better.
God is my anchor. Jesus is my conduit to get to God. I’m plugged in through Jesus and the Holy Spirit is my teacher. The Holy Spirit lives within my heart and mind, and He just can’t get much closer than that. God loves me. I have never felt so secure as I feel when I know I am in the ongoing will of God. Prayer is a continuous thing because God is my Father and we talk or commune together through out the day. Communication is ongoing.
My relationship with God is different from other Christians because the way that God deals with me is different than the way that God deals with others. My issues, sins, problems, and dilemmas that I bring to God are different, so they require a different response and unique handling. God does not deal with me harshly. God is gentle and loves me unconditionally. God teaches me gently. I do not fear God’s wrath because I know God will not allow me to stray too far as long as I stay close to Him and His instructions to me.
There have been difficult experiences that God has allowed in my life. Most of these were consequences to my own poor choices. I have grown from these and developed into the person who I am supposed to be because God can use even our poor judgment and disobedience for our good when we love Him.
I could go on forever about this relationship; it’s something I cherish deeply and have never had in my life before like I do now. The closest I’ve come to this kind of love is the love my daughter and I share for one another, but this is even beyond that in its potency, security, and comfort.
I include the reading below because it offers a scriptural context to what I’ve explained above. I hope this clarifies “relationship” to some degree. I think a relationship with God is complex, personal, and simply just amazing. It is a hard thing to try to explain. I recommend trying it out for one’s self because God will be found if we seek Him with a sincere heart.
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” Proverbs 8:17
“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12
Question: “What does it mean to have a personal relationship with God?”
Answer:Having a personal relationship with God begins the moment we realize our need for Him, admit we are sinners, and in faith receive Jesus Christ as Savior. God, our heavenly Father, has always desired to be close to us, to have a relationship with us. Before Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden (Genesis chapter 3), both he and Eve knew God on an intimate, personal level. They walked with Him in the garden and talked directly to Him. Due to the sin of man, we became separated and disconnected from God.
What many people do not know, realize, or care about, is that Jesus gave us the most amazing gift—the opportunity to spend eternity with God if we trust in Him. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). God became a human being in the Person of Jesus Christ to take on our sin, be killed, and then be raised to life again, proving His victory over sin and death. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). If we accept this gift, we have become acceptable to God and can have a relationship with Him.
Having a personal relationship with God means we should include God in our daily lives. We should pray to Him, read His word, and meditate on verses in an effort to get to know Him better. We should pray for wisdom (James 1:5), which is the most valuable asset we could ever have. We should take our requests to Him, asking in Jesus’ name (John 15:16). Jesus is the one who loves us enough to give His life for us (Romans 5:8), and He is the one who bridged the gap between us and God.
The Holy Spirit has been given to us as our Counselor. “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:15-17). Jesus said this before He died, and after He died, the Holy Spirit became available to all who earnestly seek to receive Him. He is the one who lives in the hearts of believers and never leaves. He counsels us, teaches us truths, and changes our hearts. Without this divine Holy Spirit, we would not have the ability to fight against evil and temptations. But since we do have Him, we begin to produce the fruit that comes from allowing the Spirit to control us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
This personal relationship with God is not as hard to find as we might think, and there is no mysterious formula for getting it. As soon as we become children of God, we receive the Holy Spirit, who will begin to work on our hearts. We should pray without ceasing, read the Bible, and join a Bible-believing church; all these things will help us to grow spiritually. Trusting in God to get us through each day and believing that He is our sustainer is the way to have a relationship with Him. Although we may not see changes immediately, we will begin to see them over time, and all the truths will become clear.
- Religion or Relationship? (loveslongears.wordpress.com)
- BEING in Relationship with God (christinebrooksmartin.wordpress.com)
- Relationships With God? (savedteens.wordpress.com)
- How to have Personal Revelation of Christ. (pastorbelieve.wordpress.com)