As I stare up from my desk, I see two pictures; one is of my dad. I smile. It’s a great picture of him in his dress uniform when he used to work for the fire department. I’ve been told what a great man he was. But unfortunately never got the chance to experience that for myself. I don’t have the memories that my siblings do, so I have to take their word when they tell me things about my dad. Because I was only two years old when he died, I never got to know him or form a relationship. I love my dad because no matter what, he is my dad.
The other picture is of my grandfather (My dad’s dad) and me. The smile widens when I look at our picture and remember where and when it was taken. I remember all the great things we did together and how much he loved me. A warmth comes over me as I look at the picture and remember him and the love I still feel toward him. We had an extraordinary bond and relationship.
These two pictures and relationships are how we can look at God. Let me explain through my experiences.
I grew up going to church and hearing how much God loved me and all the wonderful things He has done through Bible stories told to me. Yet that was the extent of it. I didn’t have a real relationship with God. I relied on what others said to me about Him and how others spoke of Him to determine my opinion of Christ.
When things got tough, I would blame God. Yet, I wouldn’t pray to Him. Instead, I turned to my older sister, who was nice and “tight” with God, to pray for me. I would also ask people in the church to pray when things were difficult, yet I barely would do so myself.
I knew who God was yet didn’t know Him or what He was really capable of.
That all changed about four years ago when I moved to take a job in management. I started attending a church that emphasized the importance of knowing God. The pastor didn’t just voice his thoughts on the importance of a relationship with Christ; he demonstrated it. Pastor Everett taught me the importance of spending time with God daily, reading the Bible for myself, and seeking answers through the Holy Spirit. He taught me to spend time daily praying and listening to what God had to say. What started as a simple five minutes in the morning turned into more and more time. I no longer dread getting up early to read the Bible and pray. I look forward to it. I seek what God wants me to learn.
Before, when I relied on others to have this relationship, God was just there. Now that I have my own relationship with Christ, there is a warmth when I think of what He has done for me. I pray (or with me just talk) to Him throughout my day. I am excited to see what plan He has for me next.
This is what God wants for all of us to have a relationship. If you look at the Gospels in the New Testament, you see how He took time to get to know the disciples. He had communication with them, ate with them. He did life with them, and He wants to do life with us. I know it’s a little different because we can’t see Him as the disciples did, but Jesus even told them that He was going to send them help when He died before He left them to go into Heaven. (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7)
It is through the Holy Spirit that we can have a deep relationship with Christ to know Him and how much He cares for us.
I challenge you just like I was to spend time daily in the Word (Bible), to sit in the quietness of the presence of the Lord, and to pray for everything that is on your mind and heart. He knows it anyway ( Matthew 9:4; Luke 5:22), but trust me when I say He wants to hear it from your mouth. He wants a relationship with you.
The question is, do you really want a relationship with Him?