If you were to be moved to a place or country where there was no Christianity, no Christians lived there, would your faith suffer? Would your fellowship with God be affected? Would you be able to still grow closer to God? Consider that for a moment.
It all starts with relationship
It’s important to fellowship with others, to live in community with other believers. It’s vital to be led by leaders after God’s own heart. Above and beyond all this, we each need our own relationship with God.
I’ve written about having a relationship with God before but I feel the need to stress this because when God told me the purpose for my life and I asked why that in particular, the answer was “Because my people are far from me.”
God believes we are far from Him. The God of the universe, who made the heavens and the earth, the King of kings wants to be close to us?! How amazing is that knowledge? God Almighty, who is and ever will be, wants to be your friend, my friend. The God who created human beings and all the animals wants us to be close to Him. To know Him so well we know His voice and will not follow another. Pause for a moment and appreciate that. He could do anything and spend time with whoever He wants to but He chooses you and me. Being God He cannot run out of things to do but He wants nothing more than to spend time with us.
Jesus Himself took time out to spend with God in the secret place. As Christians He should be our starting point. He did what He saw the Father do, we in turn should do what He did. One of the things He did was spend time with God. The following verses illustrate this:
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35.
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16.
“Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed.” Luke 2:39-41.
Without spending time with God, there can be no relationship. Do you think you could be in a thriving, sustainable, intimate relationship with someone if you never spent time together? Yet this is how we often treat God. Like a distant relative we see at family functions. Then we wonder why we feel so far from Him. If you ever feel far from God, you’re the one who moved. God is always there, waiting to spend time with us. He courted us and wooed us to Him when He led us to be saved. Now it’s our turn to seek Him, to pursue Him.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33.
“Seek me with all your heart and you will find me.” Jeremiah 29:13.
When you seek God, you will hear from Him. He loves talking to us, we just happen to miss it sometimes or just don’t understand Him. Relationship will help with that. When you meet someone, at the beginning of the relationship you may not get each other or misunderstand each other’s intentions. When you’ve become friends though and spend a lot of time together and trust each other, you’ll more likely get each other better and know each other’s intentions. It’s the same with God.
In being with God, not only will you grow closer to Him, you’ll hear Him better and He will tell you Kingdom secrets.
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3.
He will involve you in heaven’s purposes in ways you never could have imagined. He will reveal things that will guide your life, such as why you are on this earth, what role you will play in the Kingdom in your life time. You will become more than a servant, you’ll be a friend. Before you know it you’ll be more than a friend, He will allow you so close He’ll tell you about things to come.
He loves you
God loves you. The bible says:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” Jeremiah 1:5.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
“…Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1.
“With a mighty hand and outstretched arm; His love endures forever” Psalm 136:12.
His love is eternal and unconditional. He will never take it away from you. You know what He’d love though, for you to love Him too. Although God is sovereign, mighty and to be revered, He modeled us after Him in some ways. That means although He loves unconditionally, it pleases Him to be loved back. Through the Holy Spirit, He is with us every single moment of every day. Are you engaging Him? I know I’m asking a lot of questions here but it would be remiss of me if I only stressed God’s love for us, which as I love to highlight, is never changing and unconditional. There’s so much more to God though and the only way you’ll find it out is through relationship. Not an intellectual understanding but an experiential one found in being rooted in the word and abiding in God as you seek Him.
Look at King David’s example. Read his Psalms to get an idea of how close he was to God. If you read through the book of Samuel you’ll find David “inquiring” of the Lord before doing anything. You’ll find him “strengthening” himself in the Lord when things weren’t going the way he hoped. As a human being yes we know his Bathsheba mistake but God who is a forgiving Father still called Him “a man after my own heart.”
When he pleased God by wanting to build Him a dwelling place, God was so touched that He blessed him abundantly. Not just him, his family, his people and generations to come in his line. Christ came from David’s lineage. What legacy are you going to leave for your children because it all starts with relationship? What are your children and your children’s children going to inherit as a result of your relationship with God and your obedience or lack thereof?
When Solomon turned away from God, He showed him mercy because of the relationship He had with David. It says in 1 Kings:
“Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.” 1 Kings 11:10-13.
Relationship really matters. It’s not just about you but affects your children, your children’s children, your country and your people. At verse 36, God further says of King David:
“I will give one tribe to his son so that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I chose to put my Name.” 1 Kings 11:36.
How will you respond?
Through leading me to write this, God is inviting you to spend more time with Him, to get closer to Him. Will you answer that call? Will you carve out time in your day to spend with your Father who loves you like no other?