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Do You Have a Relationship With God?

"If you love me, obey my commandments." John 14:15

The question used as the title of this post is one that many will answer with a quick "yes." But do we really have a relationship with God? Is having a relationship with Him going to church every single day of service? Is it not forgetting to pray an hour every day? Is it not drinking alcohol or going to worldly parties? Is it dressing a certain way? Is it that you see yourself as a good person, who does no harm to anyone so therefore you obviously love God and have a relationship with Him?

None of these things are bad in themselves, however, they do not define what a relationship with God is. Especially when they become something that we MUST do to feel like we have earned brownie points with God. There is no such thing as brownie points won or deducted for any of these things. God doesn't love you more or less by your definition of a relationship with Him. We must understand that to have a relationship with God, we must do away with any personal beliefs and perceptions of what we think is right. We must be willing to accept the Bible - His Word to define our relationship with God.

When we are in love, and commit to a relationship, we make certain choices to prove to our significant other that we love and are devoted to them. We make sacrifices, such as with our time, or compromise with one another to make each other happy. We enjoy sending texts throughout the day to each other and can't wait to have time to vent and share our feelings and thoughts. Many of us make a plethora of changes or endure some difficult moments because we trust and enjoy the benefits of that relationship. In contrast, there are many that cannot and will not commit to a relationship because of trust issues. Some will give a chance to love, only to decide that it is difficult to remain "all in."

Jesus says to us "if you love me..." God gave up His Son. He decided He wants a relationship with us. He decided that we are valuable to Him, that we were worth sacrificing His Son so that we would hold eternal communion with Him. His love for us is perfect and pure. There is no love like His!

Now, what does He say loving Him looks like? Jesus says: "obey my commandments." He says: "Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me" (John 14:21 NLT). Verses 23 and 24 say: 23 ... "All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. 24 Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me." What does it look like to do what He says? 24 "Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?" Matthew 16:24-26. Luke 14:26-27 says: 26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple."

A relationship with God comes with sacrifices, compromising, surrender, putting His will before your own, seeking His Kingdom over anything else. This is achieved once you decide to completely become His and be willing to live out His purpose for your life. This means that your current goals and desires might not align with His Word and His purpose for you. Are you willing to honestly ask Him to show you His will for your life? No matter what that looks like? Are you willing to ask Him to intervene in your goals and latest endeavors and stop or change whatever He needs to change? Will you dare to ask Him to help you forgive and love the ones who have caused you pain? Jesus says: 14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins" (Matthew 6:14-15). Are you willing to ask Him to sanctify and transform you? To reveal any sins you're not aware of? To remove people from your life?

Those are some difficult things to ponder and ask Him for. However, when the Holy Spirit takes over, these things will flow with ease from within. Sometimes we think we love God more than ourselves, but when we compare our lives to how the Bible says we should walk or love, we come to realize we're far from really understanding what it means to love Him. As I said in a previous post, this is not about having a check list and hoping we are well behaved everyday. This is about stepping away from the toxic perceptions we have about God and instead, spend time in His Word and in prayer to learn His character, how to love Him and what He likes. And, in the process, learning how to love ourselves and guard our hearts. Communication is key! Isn't this what a committed relationship looks like?


This is for You!

Jay