God wants a relationship with each of us.
How we open ourselves to a relationship with God.
It deepens as our knowledge,
faith and experience of God grows.
Firstly, do you doubt that God would want a relationship with you? The woman to the right ‘personifies’ that self questioning. She features on the homepage.
Well, the answer to that ‘doubt’ is provided under the next heading below. And if you have any other serious doubts in your mind, that prevent the start of your journey of faith, then please begin by reading the articles, “Dealing with Doubts” and “Too good to be true?“.
My own experiences have made it clear to me that creating a relationship with him is absolutely necessary in our search for both ‘belief in God’ and building ‘Christian faith’ itself. (I am from a senior auditing background and the majority of my advisory team are Christian clergy. To glimpse the ‘who’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of this website please click here.)
2. GOD WANTS A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU!
I will say upfront, God does actually want a relationship with each and every one of us! And, as explained in the previous article, that is made clear in the Bible itself. I have no problems with writing that our God loves each one of us dearly.
Perhaps you are thinking about becoming a Christian. If so, the Bible explains that it does not matter what bad things you have done in the past, because he has already ‘cleaned the slate‘. We really can accept, through ‘faith’, that he did that over two thousand years ago when Jesus (God incarnate) died on the cross. Hence one of Jesus’ titles is, “Lamb of God”. He sacrificed his life to redeem/ pay for our wrongdoings. He did that so all we have to do now is concentrate on our relationship with him. That is, in the way he offers us in the Bible.
Now, I am not expecting every beginner Christian to easily accept that offer above. But if I was capable all those decades ago, as the analytical dude that I was, then I guess anyone else can ‘give it a try’.
3. HOW DO WE ENTER THAT RELATIONSHIP?
As such, the Lord is always ready and waiting for us. But, how do we begin?
Look, although God may give us little hints about his presence, he rarely forces himself on anyone. So … in effect we just need to ‘engage with God’: open ourselves to him. Yes, we must normally make that decision!
Based on my own 30 plus year ‘evaluation‘ of using Christian faith within life, that is where we do come to recognise his presence; his existence. Potentially, very clearly!
So, how do we do it?
In effect, I consider we need to apply two steps when entering that relationship with him. They are both important. Both need to be applied during the process.
3.1 Understanding what we are trying to believe in
Again from my experience, the first step involves getting some understanding of God and the relationship he wants to have with each of us. In this manner, we begin to build our Christian ‘faith‘. The Bible explains for us:
- Who God is;
- What God has done for us;
- What God expects of us;
- What God offers us through faith.
This step of ‘building knowledge’ is important as you may guess. That is because it is very hard to believe in anything at all, without first understanding ‘what we are trying to believe in’. In other words, searching for some fairy-tale god in our lives is unlikely to lead to the long lasting belief and faith that has been evident within Christianity for some 2,000 years.
For a brief explanation of Christianity and our God please read “Christianity explained” on this website.
However, I am certain that to ensure the success of your Bible studies, you must be guided by your ‘church of choice‘. Now, it might be tempting to leave ‘going to church’ out of your journey. I know because I too tried to build faith and belief on my own, without the Church. And now I do say it just does not work. Have a look at the article, “Too Good to be true?” which explains how I came to my own conclusion, at least.
Also, you will encounter experiences there in the Church that can build your actual ‘belief in God’. Sounds important? I hope so! We’ll get to that stuff later in this article.
3.2 Applying faith to our lives
The all important second step begins with accepting through ‘faith’ that God really is there, as explained within the Bible. That is, loving each of us unconditionally and wanting us to enter into that relationship with him. First off, we simply just ‘accept’ or ‘suppose’ that he is in this world and within our lives. ‘Supposing’ his existence in this way does not make him any less real, as you will come to find out for yourself.
In effect, we deliberately ‘open ourselves’ to his presence in our lives. Of course we use the knowledge that we build in church, and during our Bible studies, to ‘inform’ or guide our relationship with him.
4. OPENING OURSELVES TO HIS PRESENCE
Ok, so how do we go on to build this ‘relationship’ with the Lord?
4.1 Beginning the relationship
Firstly, as already suggested, we begin to connect with him through a fellowship of faith; a church.
And I guess it should be obvious to all of us, that is, to regularly spend time in his company … and not just at church. Pretty well any relationship needs ongoing communication to survive eh? In the Lord’s case, it means talking to him through prayer, trying to sense his presence; his love. And indeed, being grateful that this powerful ‘being’ wants a relationship with each of us. Of course, I am not saying this all happens easily for us. We are human beings after all, aren’t we?
We should begin to actually engage with him in our daily lives: looking for his ‘guidance‘, his ‘help‘ and wisdom there. You can even tentatively begin, through “Prayers of request“, to invite him to bring positive changes to your life and the lives of others. Please use those links above to assist you though.
That previous article, “Can I really believe in God?” provides an overview of the results of engaging with God, and many examples of how we can do so. And two complete sections of this website, “God in church” and “God in our lives” have been developed to guide readers when engaging with him; opening themselves to him.
This is when it all becomes self proving, again from my experience, as his presence begins to become apparent to us.
As you may well guess, there are some responsibilities for us within that relationship. The article, “Sound faith” in this website section briefly discusses them there under Heading 3.
4.2 The relationship deepens
With the passing of time God desires that our relationship with him will further deepen. He dearly loves each one of us, and wants us to come to actually love him back. Jesus himself gave us this directive, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” [Mark 12:30]. And as the relationship deepens, so the evidence of his presence becomes all the more concrete, I can assure you.
It might just look like a ‘tall order’ to actually love God as Jesus instructed. And I personally understand that. Yes indeed! Again, I have been there … particularly in my early days of faith … struggling with that one.
But, as faith deepens and his ‘personality’ becomes so knowable, it begins to happen for us. We engage with him through ‘maturing prayer‘ and placing our growing ‘trust in him‘. Click onto that last link and, based on my lengthy experience, read an explanation of just how rock-solid evidence of his presence does pile up. That is as we become faithful Christians. And again, from my experience, the more we keep him ‘in the loop’ within our lives, then the more evident he becomes.
The Church helps us too in that regard. In that environment we are shoulder to shoulder with others who can be in deep relationships with the Lord. And church services should help us all to feel his love; his incredible commitment to us. All this stuff helps us to grow in our love for him.
4.3 “God is love”
Look, I understand how dramatic that heading above does look. But! I can honestly say without doubt that his impact on you, both within your chosen fellowship of faith and your everyday life, will ‘shore up’ what the Bible explains to us about the Lord. That is the close relationship existing between ‘God’ and that word, “love” [1John 4:8]. It refers to God’s deep love for us and his need for us to love him and our fellow human beings. Yes, it all revolves around ‘love’.
As explained in the article, “What does faith offer us?” I found that I came to revel in the ultimate freedom flowing from ‘sound faith‘. And that depth of faith is closely related to the concept of love.
God’s grace … beautiful ‘grace’ … becomes so very obvious through our ever deepening relationship with Jesus. He loves us without limits. Grace really does place our lives in perspective, greatly reducing the average worries and woes that can face us in everyday life.
The love flowing to us individually and collectively from God, through his grace in action, again really does draw us effortlessly to love him back.
I completely understand some of that stuff written above may ‘seem’ unreachable when you are just starting out on the path of faith. Firstly, I did come to recognise that when we ‘get our heads around’ what he actually did for us through the life and death of Jesus, we are encouraged to open our hearts towards him. Although atheist websites fail ‘to get it’, I can say with confidence that ‘recorded historical events‘ actually support the Bible’s account of events, rather than challenge them.
Secondly and importantly for myself, the relationship between God and me slowly but surely kindled deeper emotions as I relaxed into it. Now if an analytical dude like me can do it, I believe that anyone can! That is, I did find plenty of ‘exacting proof‘ for myself. (Once again, if you wish to read about the ‘who’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of this website please click here.)
Of course this stuff all just travels along at a pace relative to each of us individually. And don’t forget, this relationship is intended by God to be one that will never end!
Obviously the Bible has an important role in our faith journey. Continue to the next article, “Our amazing Bible”.
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