How Do You Develop a Personal Relationship With God?

There is an eternity between knowing about God and knowing Him personally.

What you are about to read is true. It is exclusive to Christianity. You will not find this promise in any other religion.

The most utterly amazing, life changing truth you could ever know is this: God is a person (as opposed to an obscure power or an impersonal force,) and you can know Him.

Here is how to cultivate a relationship with God according to His Word, beginning in Deuteronomy 4:29,

“But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find {Him} if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.”

Now consider Proverbs 2:1-5,

“My son, if you will receive my sayings, and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD, and discover the knowledge of God.”

Now Matthew 7:7-8,

“Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened.”

Now think about James 4:8,

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

And finally, in Revelation 3:20, God turns the table around and now He pursues you. These are the words of Jesus:

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.”

The door that Jesus is referring to is the door of your heart. How do you open the door of your heart?  In Matt. 4:17, the Bible says,

“From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”

What you believe is a matter of the heart as much as the mind. Repent means to change your mind about sin, turn around and go the other way. Stop ignoring God and living as if He did not exist. To do so, is the ultimate insult and rejection of His power, His glory, and His love.

How would you feel if you loved people so deeply that you were willing to die to save them, and they denied you even existed?

I’m not talking about living a life of guilt and remorse, I’m saying just the opposite. We all fall short every day. Asking forgiveness is not bondage; it’s liberating. Having a clear conscience is priceless. Developing and maintaining intimacy with God means keeping short accounts with Him and with people. Repentance is not a one-time event; it’s a lifestyle.

Asking for forgiveness from God and then forgiving those who have hurt you is one of the most freeing things you can do. In some cases, this may take time but, with God’s help, you can be free of all anger and unforgiveness.

Imagine what would happen to the economies of the world if we obeyed the bibles teaching of the 50-year jubilee and all debts were forgiven? Forgiveness is a beautiful thing—it’s ‘a God thing’.

Spiritually speaking, there is a direct correlation between how much truth you possess and the degree of freedom you enjoy. In John 8:32    Jesus said,

“You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

WHY WOULD ANYONE REJECT GOD?

#1 People love the world and the things of the world. That includes the passing “pleasure” of sin for a season. Sadly, many never take the time to think this through. Life is short and eternity is long. In 2 Cor. 4:17-18, speaking of this life, the bible says:

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

#2 The fear of man. Many people cannot bear the thought of identifying themselves with Jesus Christ and admitting they are sinners. “After all, what would my friends think? They might call me a religious fanatic or a “Jesus Freak.” This is why many people choose to ignore or deny God’s existence. But in Matthew 10, Jesus warned,

“Do not fear man who can only kill the body. But fear God who can not only kill your body but cast your soul into hell.”

Jesus also said,

“If you are ashamed of Me before men, I will be ashamed of you before My father in heaven. But if you acknowledge Me before men I will acknowledge you before My father in heaven.”

#3 The fear of death. Most people don’t want to think about death or sin or its consequences so they live like they’re never going to die. I remember asking a waitress, “I’d like to get your opinion on something.” She said, “I’m sorry, I don’t think.” And she walked away!

In 1 Cor. 15:55, the bible says,

“Death has no sting and the grave has no victory.”

For the Christian, death isn’t the end it’s the glorious   beginning.  One of the distinguishing marks of a genuine work of God’s Spirit in your life is simply this: sin will no longer be fun. You will want to obey the Lord because it’s a joy. Our obedience is not the obedience of a slave but of a child.

What Do I Do Now?

1. Pray. Talk to God as a child would speak to a loving father. This conversation is called prayer. There are many different kinds of prayer. In this case it’s a simple child-like, personal, private conversation with God.

Talking to God is one of the most normal, natural, sane, rational, intelligent and wonderful things a human being can do. You don’t even have to speak out loud. He knows your every thought. He wants to hear from and speak with you. He knows more about you then you do and He loves you.

You can start by meditating on the principles found in this model prayer in Matthew 6:9-13:

“Our Father who art in heaven, holy be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

Take time to think about the implications of each word and phrase in this prayer. It’s practically inexhaustible. The very first word speaks to one of our greatest needs—the need to be delivered from selfishness. Meditating on God’s Word is how spiritual truth is revealed to those who truly seek Him.

Contrary to popular opinion, as the first phrase in this prayer demonstrates, prayer is not primarily about getting God to give you everything you want. He already knows what you need. While God certainly does invite you to seek His grace and mercy, prayer is first and foremost about worship and thanksgiving. After all, He is the creator, the sustainer and the redeemer of mankind. Look up Revelation 5:8 and think about what prayer means to God. Also see Psalms 22:3.

2. Read the Bible. Prayer is how you talk to God, and reading the Bible is one way God talks to you. The better you know the Word of God the better you know the God of the Word. And the better you know His Word, the easier it is to discern His will. This is how you grow in your knowledge about Him and His will for your life.

Get a Bible. Read the central verse (John 3:16), remember what it says, then go to the beginning and start reading at Genesis 1:1. Keep reading it every day until the Bible begins to read you.

Genesis is fascinating and most of it is fairly easy to understand. As you read through, don’t worry about the parts you may not understand at first. It’s the parts you do understand that God will use to help you grow in knowledge and wisdom.

3. Make friends with other believers. The Bible calls this  fellowship. Find a church that believes and teaches the Bible as the inerrant Word of God and where the worship is inspiring. Then get involved!

Many churches have small groups that meet in homes during the week. This is almost always a great place to meet new friends and grow in your faith. Most of them are very nice people who are interested in helping you grow closer to God.

I cannot overemphasize the value of walking with like-minded people who will help you on your pilgrimage to spiritual growth and eternal life. Proverbs 13:20 says,

“Walk with wise men and you will become wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.”

4. Learn how to share your faith. Find people who are involved in active ministry and go with him or her. Learn how to share your faith and then go out and do it. You’ll never regret it throughout all eternity (Daniel 12:3). Sharing God’s plan of salvation is the Great Commission to every Christian. Your marching orders are found in Matthew 28:19.

Leading someone to Christ is one of the most exciting things you could ever do. Our website has resources that will help you learn how to explain why we believe what we believe. Go to www.voice-wilderness.org.

For man to be satisfied (free from insignificance), he needs three things:  Something to do, someone to love (and be loved by) and something to hope for. We realize all three of these in a personal love relationship with our great God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

YOU WERE CREATED BY GOD AND FOR GOD TO LOVE AND BE LOVED

I remember listening to a lecture by a Christian speaker on a college campus. After the message one student asked,

“How do I know I even exist?”

To which the speaker replied,

“Who should I say is asking?”

Everyone laughed.

When you know who created you, you find the purpose for which you were designed. You are the crowning achievement of God’s creation (He made you in His image and in His likeness). As such, you are the supreme object of His love and affection. That is why Jesus died for you. It’s not because you earned it; it’s because He loves you.

The bible is a book you study for a lifetime

The more you study the Bible, the more you grow spiritually. The more you grow spiritually, the closer you get to God. Paradoxically, the closer you get to Him, the farther away you realize you are and the closer you want to be. It’s a glorious journey.

“The older you get the more it takes to fill your heart with wonder and only God is big enough to fill it.” –R. Zacharias

I leave you with His promise from John 14:1-3,

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

 

 

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