When thinking about a relationship with God it can be downright confusing and overwhelming to figure out what that means, to understand the Bible, or to sort through the various opinions and teachings presented online. In addition, it could be that the more you read the Bible the more guilty and lost you may feel. A relationship with God is vitally important, but where to begin.?
Receive God’s Hug
This may sound strange, but first of all, receive God’s hug, and rejoice that He holds you. Why is that so important? Because He indeed is hugging and holding you. He has had a relationship with you even before your life began. He planned that you would be. He has loved you from before time began. He knows you intimately down to every minute atom of your physical make-up and every thought and motive you have. You need Him in every way. Your very life and breath are in His hands. If He were to stop hugging and holding you, your physical life would immediately end.
His Spiritual Hug
God also longs to hug you and hold you spiritually. This involves your will and conscience. But there is a part in each of us that resists God hugging us in this way, because we’d rather put our will above His and then suppress the guilt of doing that. Yet, God loves you deeply and has initiated a spiritual hugging and holding of you. He came to this earth in the person of Jesus Christ and lived a holy, sinless life so that He could die to pay the spiritual death-sentence you and I owe because of our resistance to God.
Resting In Jesus
Jesus’ love and forgiveness for you are complete, constant and eternal – grasping that and resting in it is where your spiritual relationship with God begins – and how it grows. Our natural inclination is to think that we need to better ourselves or do things to earn His love or appease Him. No. He is the initiator and the merciful, all-wise leader. He forms the relationship. Rest in His great love for you and all He has completed for your salvation – otherwise He will seem distant and relating to him will be a burden rather than a joy.
Gather with God’s Family
Finding a good Jesus-focused church is God’s number one desire for His children. This kind of church will not ignore or water down God’s word, both as it convicts and comforts us. Even in the midst of both messages, a Jesus-focused pastor will himself know and be able to help you know how to joyfully walk with God. A Jesus-focused church will stress the difference between God declaring you righteous and growing in right-living out of thankfulness for what God’s done. God’s word will be the focus rather than emotional manipulation. Worship services will more than mention Jesus as Savior, but will center around His forgiving love – for example offering the Lord’s Supper frequently as a reminder of your constant need for forgiveness and Jesus gift of it through His body and blood given for you. The church will teach how friendship with God flows from what God has done and continues to do to draw close to you – for example His adoption of you into His family through baptism.
Someone could say that to have a relationship with God we should read the Bible daily, memorize scripture, pray often, attend worship every week, serve at church events, on mission trips, or in a leadership role, etc. These are good practices, but if I think of them as the basis of God’s love for me or that I’m doing them to earn my standing before Him, then my relationship with God will be me-focused rather than Christ-focused. So, first of all, receive Jesus’ full forgiveness, adoption of you, and completed salvation; and then, with thankfulness and assurance practice these good things for His sake.
Created for God
You were created for God. So, always keep in mind that God hugs and holds you both physically and spiritually forever. At Christ Lutheran Church, Montrose, we want to help you grasp that reality and know the beauty, comfort and love of belonging to God through all Jesus did for you. We welcome you to plan a visit or connect with us. Friendship with Jesus is an amazing relationship that you were created to enjoy.
At Christ Lutheran Church, we welcome you to our church with open arms! We are in Montrose, Colorado, and are always happy to meet new members, so come plan a visit and worship with us! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out at any time.