What does it mean to have a personal relationship with God?



Question: "What does it mean to have a personal relationship with God?"

Answer:
Having a personal relationship with Jesus begins the moment we realize our need for Him, admit we are sinners, repent from our sin, and ask Him into our hearts to be the authority in our lives. God, our heavenly Father, has always desired to be close to us, having a relationship with us. Before Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden (Genesis chapter 3), both he and Eve knew God on an intimate, personal level. Due to the sin of man, we became separated from Him. He is perfect, and can not live among sin. Before Jesus' death on the cross, people had to sacrifice animals when they sinned, for the Bible says that the wages of sin is death.

What a lot of people don't know, realize, or care about is that Jesus gave us the most amazing gift; the opportunity to spend eternity with Him and God the Father if all we do is believe, or trust, in Him. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). God sent His Son to take on our sin, be killed, and then be raised again, proving His victory over sin and death. “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). If we accept this gift, God has now become attainable to us.

We should include God in our daily lives the same way we would any other member of our family, only a much more important one! We should pray to Him, read His word, and meditate on verses in an effort to get to know Him better and be able to do His will. We should pray for wisdom, which is the most valuable asset we could ever have. We should take our requests to Him, asking in Jesus' name. Jesus said, “You didn't choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name” (John 15:16). Jesus is the one who loves us enough to give His life for us, and He is the one who bridged the gap between us and God. And God is the one who sent Jesus to do it; they are one in the same, and both deserve all of our honor, praise, and worship.

The Holy Spirit is also God; the “part” who has been given to us as our Counselor. “If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you do, because he lives with you now and later will be in you” (John 14:15-17). Jesus said this before He died, and after He died the Holy Spirit became available to all who earnestly seek to receive Him. He is the one who lives in the hearts of believers and never leaves. He counsels us, teaches us truths, and changes our hearts. Without this divine Holy Spirit, we would not have the ability to fight against evil and temptations. But since we do have Him, we begin to produce the fruit that comes from allowing the Spirit to control our us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

This personal relationship with Jesus that you are seeking is not as hard to find as you think; and there is no mysterious formula for getting it. As soon as we become children of God, we receive the Holy Spirit, who will begin work on our hearts. We should pray without ceasing, read the Bible, and join a Bible-believing church; all these things will grow us spiritually. Trusting in God to get you through each day, and believing that He is your sustainer is the way to have a relationship with Him. Although you may not see changes immediately, you will begin to see them over time, and all the truths will become more clear.


Recommended Resource: Seeking the Face of God: The Path to a More Intimate Relationship with Him by Gary Thomas.


Related Topics:

What is the meaning of life?

How can I know God's will for my life?

What does it mean to find God?

How can we recognize the voice of God?

How can I turn all my worries and problems over to God?



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What does it mean to have a personal relationship with God?