One of the things I find saddest when I pause to dwell on it is just how few people understand they can have a real relationship with God.
Within so many denominations and factions of Christianity, God is presented as a distant, angry figure who we serve out of deep respect and often fear, but rarely with warmth or a mutual sense of affection. Verses about God’s sacrificial and tender fatherly love are overshadowed by teachings of hellfire, brimstone and an angry God based largely on Old Testament passages.
Worse than the fact that many Christians think they can’t have a relationship with God is that they don’t want one. Not with a God like that.
Yet at its core, relationship with God—and with others—is the reason for our very existence. It is through relationship with Him that we discover a sense of purpose and peace beyond what our day-to-day life imparts. When we lack this relationship, it resonates in us like smacking a bone on wood—it vibrates through us and everything else goes strangely numb. Christian artist Plumb called this sense “a God-shaped hole, and the restless soul is searching.”
Do you have a true, personal, intimate relationship with God? Do you fear it? Desire it?
Because I guarantee you, He desires to have one with you.
What is Our Relationship with God?
Our relationship with God is established scripturally as primarily that of Father/child and Lord/servant. While those two concepts may seem dichotomous to our modern way of thinking, in the culture of the time when the biblical accounts take place, they actually weren’t quite so different from one another. In ancient cultures, the father was the head of the household, which made him the voice of the family, the decision-maker and the one to whom everyone under the roof answered. Like in Greco-Roman culture—if the father said the sky was purple, everyone in the family would agree and operate under this conclusion as fact and law!
In a similar way, servants were subject to their Lord’s leading. Where he told them to go, they went, and what he told them to do, they did. So when the Bible defines our relationship with God by these parameters, there is actually no division in mindset. As both children and servants of God, we are called to follow His leading unquestioningly. In return, we are treated as beloved sons and daughters, indispensable members of His family adopted into His purposes by His abounding grace and love.
What Does the Bible Say About Our Relationship with God?
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes inJohn 3:16
Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.1 Peter 5:7
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?Romans 8:31-32
How Can I Become Closer to God?
The first step toward becoming closer to God is to make your relationship with Him a priority. Just like any relationship, if we let it stagnate and don’t give proper care and attention to nourishing and nurturing it, we will eventually drift apart. So if we don’t prioritize our relationship with God, eventually we’ll begin to feel distance between us. While God seeks a deeper relationship with us, He will not “force” us to spend time with Him. He may press upon our hearts, but as the saying goes, “God is a gentleman.” He will not compel our relationship with Him—otherwise, it wouldn’t truly be a relationship with real interaction. We must be willing to meet Him halfway, like in any other relationship.
Some of the ways we can become closer to God are by:
- Reading His Word.
- Spending time in prayer and meditating on the things He deems important.
- Spending time both praising and worshiping Him.
- Training ourselves to speak of Him in conversational terms, not merely by the prescribed “reverential” terms of mainstream faith.
- Calling Him by His name! (For more information on the importance of speaking Yahweh’s name, see our blog “What’s In A Name?”
How can you make your relationship with God a priority this week?