“What do you mean by there is no God? I just talked to him this morning – Car Bumper sticker
The Bible does not refer to a personal relationship with God. Not in those exact words. But it does show the importance of learning to know, love and trust a very personal God. While you won’t find the words personal relationship in the Bible, the idea is everywhere. Page after page suggests that it is who you know that counts, and that the who you need to know is God.
Furthermore, the Bible gives us reason to believe that we can’t afford just to know about this God. We need to know him personally. Even more important, we need to be known by him. We need to avoid the living nightmare of those who someday will be turned away from the gates of heaven by a God they claim to know, but a God who will declare that he never knew them.
To be known by God will someday be all that matters.
Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:22,23)
To know God is the primary purpose and privilege of this life and the next
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3). This eternal life begins with a personal introduction to God through Christ.
Is being religious same as personal relationship
Most people would probably feel that it is good to go to church, take communion, confess your sins, sing hymns, do volunteer work and try to keep the ten commandments. It may be good, but it is not enough. In fact, it can be very dangerous. When the Lord told his people that they had forgotten him (Jeremiah 2:32), He was not saying that they had stopped being religious. That was not their problem. Their problem was that they were using their religion as a substitute for a personal relationship with God.
Many of us make the same mistake. We break God’s heart by hiding from him in Church, or even the pages of the Bible. Instead of using worship to draw near to the Lord, we merely go to church to feel better about ourselves. Such religion would sadden our Lord. We give him our attendance, our gifts, and our praise but not our heart. (Matt 15:8.9). God has not forgotten us but we have.
What is a personal relationship with God?
A personal relationship with God has many of the same characteristics that mark a personal relationship between two friends. These factors include some degree of
Another way to describing a personal relationship is to say that it is a mind to mind, heart to heart, decision to decision relationship. A personal relationship is more than knowing of or about someone. I may know Bill Gates but he may not know me. As far as we are concerned, it all starts with a choice. A Yes or No. Are you willing to enter into a relationship with God through Christ?
Pointers for a Personal relationship with God
- A Personal relationship with God is an experience of mind and heart. Physical encounters while possible are not to be expected as a sign.
- To meet God doesn’t mean we have to see him visibly – we need not wait for bright lights, auras or life changing dreams.
- Hearing God doesn’t mean we have to hear him audibly – many a times he speaks through his word in the Bible
- Close with God is not a matter of location – our heart is his home.
- Knowing God is not a matter of knowing all about him – only though Christ that God revealed to us as much about himself as we need to know.
- Mediator is very important in relationships – Christ is our ultimate mediator
- God is to be feared more than all others – it drives us to the safety, certainty, and enjoyment of his love. Right fear of God will drive us to him and not away from him.
- Our relationship with God is a growing one. Maturity does not happen overnight – it requires time with God.
- Don’t expect heaven now – it is not a way to get everything we want in life. It is not a key to financial success, good health, long life. It is a means to finding the ultimate relationship, purpose, mission, security and hope.
- When we love God we will love others and submit to one another.