“Christianity is not a religion or a philosophy, but a relationship and a lifestyle. The core of that lifestyle is thinking of others, as Jesus did, instead of ourselves.” — Rick Warren.
You could make a strong case that human beings are defined by their relationships more than anything else. Relationships tell us who we are, whose we are and what is expected of us. Our relationships define where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. The company we keep is one of the most telling characteristics of who we truly are. And that includes our relationship with God.
Too often we try to define our relationship with God when in reality our relationship needs to be defined on His terms. Right now, God is actively seeking a relationship with you that is life-changing. He wants you to identify with His will and work in this world, but He wants you first to identify with Him. He invites you to be forgiven and enjoy His life in you. He wants to be your Father and desires that you be His child.
Relationships with people are dynamic, in that they often change with time and can grow deeper. So it is also with your relationship with Jesus. Just as God’s mercies are new every morning, your relationship with Jesus can also be new and alive every morning. The relationship becomes deeper as your love for Him increases, and as your own will decreases.
Today people want a relationship without putting in the work to make the relationship strong. In the same way, we want the benefits of a relationship with God without spending time with God. We want access to the power of God without the work and time needed to build an intimate relationship with God. A real relationship with God means getting to know God and we don’t get to know God in a day or over a weekend.
A true relationship with God will not happen automatically. We must want it, really want it. If you want an intimate relationship with God, He must become a priority. It must be something that you are motivated to do. It will not come from a sense of obligation.
There will be times in our lives when we have a real hunger and desperation for God. There will be times when we just can’t get enough of Him. There will be times when we feel His presence in tangible ways. At times like these God will feel close and there will be the intimacy we seek. But real intimacy means we do those things even during times of trial or when bad things just keep popping up and it is a labor of love to pray, to spend time in the word, and to serve. The deepest growth in intimacy in our relationship with God comes when we worship and serve God regardless of negative circumstances.
Augustine said, “To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances; To seek Him, the greatest adventure; To find Him, the greatest human achievement.”
- What keeps you from having a more intimate relationship with God?
- What role does fear play in developing an intimate relationship with God?
- How can we improve our relationship with God?