Matthew 7:21–23 (NKJV)
21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Do you know the Lord? More importantly, does He know you? The Bible reveals to us God the Father, the Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit: the Triune. We come to know God through His Word. However, if we have not established a true relationship with Him through acceptance as Jesus Christ as our Savior, and have not submitted to God in obedience, then we may know Him, but He may not know us.
It is not enough to know of God or about God. We must be in a relationship with Him that includes repentance of our sins, acceptance of forgiveness and salvation through Christ, and walking with Him on a daily basis. Our life with Christ is filled with prayer (talking with God), conforming to the Biblical principles He has given us to live by, living a life of love of God and others, having mercy and compassion, and being generous in our stewardship of our God-given gifts and resources.
How much time do you spend with God each day? Do you set aside time to express your gratitude for all that you have been given? Do you acknowledge daily your sins and ask for forgiveness? Do you spend talking with God (praying) and listening for His Answers?
The other day I was fortunate to hear a pastor speaking about his personal experience building a relationship with God. He told the story of how he kept increasing the amount of time he spent talking to God. He prayed unceasingly, increasing the time until some days he was in prayer talking to God for over three hours each day. Then when he felt no closer to God or knowing his direction, he prayed even more. Until one day he thought, “I need to be quiet and listen.” So he prayed for three hours or more and then he stopped to listen. He was going to listen until he heard God. Then you know what happened? He fell asleep!
His story of learning to build a relationship with God through prayer illustrates that the force of our will is not what building a relationship is about. We should talk to God and listen for His guidance. We likely will not get a burning bush, a column of fire leading the way, or other miraculous signs, but we do get clear answers through our reading of scripture, through the people and resources that come to us when they are needed, through new ideas and insights, and through using the skills God has given us to discern His Will for us.
First and foremost. knowing God involves giving ourselves to Him. It means accepting Jesus as Savior, Lord, and Master of our lives. Then it requires us to delve into His Word. It takes time and effort to write His Word in your heart and learn to live by it. Prayer and meditation on issues and scripture enable us to seek God’s direction for us. Serving God in what we do at all times and in all ways brings us closer to Him.
Our faith and our works build the relationship with God. Our Salvation happens in the moment we accept Jesus as Savior. The transformation of our lives and our hearts takes a lifetime of seeking God and learning to follow Him in all that we do. A relationship is not built in a moment, but through time spent together in true communication. The great thing about a relationship with God is that no matter how many mistakes you make, He stays with you. His forgiveness is infinite and there for the asking. Grace and mercy are gifts He bestows on those who love Him and seek to follow Him.
John 3:16 (NKJV)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Author: Lea A. Strickland, MBA CMA CFM CBM GMC
Copyright ©2012 Lea A. Strickland
All Rights Reserved