A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
How to open ourselves to a
relationship with God.
may wonder does he want a relationship with you? Well, I will say upfront, my word he does! And as explained in the previous article, that is made clear in the Bible itself. Our
God loves each one of us dearly. Actually, the Bible tells us that It does not matter what bad things we 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 his titles is, “Lamb of God”.
He sacrificed his life to redeem/ pay for our wrongdoings,
so that all we have to do now is concentrate on our relationship with
him in the way that he offers us in the Bible.
Creating a relationship with God is pivotal in our search for belief in God and faith itself. In effect we
need to engage with God ... open ourselves to him. Briefly, we connect with him
just as he desires of us. And that is
where we come to recognise his presence; his existence. Potentially,
very clearly! The previous article, in this section of the website, titled “How to believe in God” provides an overview of where and how to find that evidence of God’s existence for ourselves.
2. HOW DO WE ENTER THAT RELATIONSHIP
indeed do we start with this aim in mind, i.e. beginning a relationship with
God? Well, we need to apply two steps here. They are both
need to be applied during the process.
Not surprisingly, the first step involves theoretically understanding God and his potential relationship with us:
who he is, what he actually expects of us, what he offers us through faith; where and how his presence
can impact us; how to walk through
life with him. This step
of building knowledge is important, as you may guess, 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 fairytale 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. It should give you a ‘head start’ in that required understanding. But further reading and study is necessary of course in the long term,
especially in regard to the New Testament (the Jesus bits). The outcome of your
Bible studies, at this stage, will be greatly improved if you are guided by your church of
choice. And it might be tempting to try and leave ‘going to church’
out of the equation. 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
The all important second step
begins with accepting through ‘faith’ that God really is
there, as defined within the Bible: loving each of us unconditionally
and wanting us to enter into that relationship with him. Initially we
simply just ‘accept’
or ‘suppose’ that he is in this world and within our lives. Imagining his existence in this way does
not make him any less real, as you should subsequently find out for yourself. In effect, we deliberately ‘open ourselves’ to his presence in our lives.
3. OPENING OURSELVES TO HIS PRESENCE
We should begin to regularly spend
time in his company, talking to him through prayer, looking for his guidance, help and
wisdom in relation to our individual lives, sensing 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?
through that relationship we should begin to engage with him in our
lives. That is when it all becomes self proving, as his presence begins
to become apparent to us. 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. Now that old adage of “If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is!”
might arise in your mind at this stage. I was a staunch atheist once,
so I can understand because I felt exactly the same way myself at that time. But, I
can now say with complete confidence that
if you are ready to believe, then you can absolutely do so through that relationship awaiting you!
With the passing of time God desires that the relationship will further deepen.
Essentially, 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.
I completely understand that may all seem a ‘tall order’ when you are just starting out on the
path of faith. I admit I could not even contemplate how to actually love God
when I took my first steps 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 Biblical 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. Of course this just travels along at a pace relative to each
of us individually.
Continue to the next article, “Sound faith”.