A relationship with God isn’t for everyone. A relationship with God is available to everyone who seeks it, but God leaves the decision to us. God wants us to know Him, and He invites us all to have a personal relationship with Him. But God wants us to come to Him because we want Him in our lives and we are willing to commit ourselves to Him. He is not interested in relationships that are one-sided or coerced.
“Knowing God” requires action on our part. It requires knowledge of Him, faith in Him, and a decision on our part to believe, even when belief seems contrary to worldly consensus and understanding. As the term “knowing God” implies, it requires that we desire Him and invite Him into our lives. It requires that we choose Him over all other gods, material or spiritual. And perhaps most of all, God asks for our trust — and our love.
God loves us. When we believe in Him, His Son Christ offers us salvation. We cannot believe in God unless we also believe in Christ and the Holy Spirit.
For you and me, the way to God is through His Only Son, Christ. We cannot know one without the other. We must believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in order to have a close relationship with God and to receive salvation. For believers, salvation is easy. Salvation is given voluntarily through Christ and God’s grace; salvation is not earned.
“For salvation that comes from trusting Christ – which is what we preach – is already within easy reach of each of us; in fact, it is as near as our own hearts and mouths. For if you tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and believe in your own heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in his heart that a man becomes right with God; and with his mouth he tells others of his faith, confirming his salvation.”(Romans 10: 8-10)
So where does faith come from? Faith comes from listening to Christ’s teachings (“the Good News”) — and making a decision to believe. In my case, it came from listening to my heart. Perhaps our hearts are the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Still, it’s hard to hear Christ’s teachings when we are surrounded by so much worldly noise. It’s hard to reflect upon the Good Word when we are too busy to think. Perhaps that’s why God asks for a weekly day of rest — a day of worship and conversation with our Heavenly Father.
There will be those who choose not to believe, but faith always begins with listening to the teaching of Christ: “But not everyone who hears the Good News has welcomed it, for Isaiah the prophet said, ‘Lord, who has believed me when I told them?’ Yet faith comes from listening to this Good News – the Good News about Christ.”(Romans 10:16-17)
If ever you feel your faith waning, turn to God and pray for Him to strengthen your faith. Read the Bible, especially Christ’s teachings. If faith doesn’t come easily to you, that is all right. It doesn’t come easily to everyone all of the time, but with prayer and patience it will come. The point is to reach out and not simply wait for God to find you: “Ask, and you will be given what you ask for. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Anyone who seeks, finds. If only you will knock, the door will open.”(Matthew 7:7-8)
Whether you have a relationship with God is your decision alone, but trying to have a relationship with God without believing in Christ’s teachings is impossible.
For not believing in Christ is the same as no relationship with God at all.
Photo by Jozef Polc