For He Himself has said: "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
It can be so easy to do things ritualistically. We can pursue rituals, religious practices and feel a false sense of accomplishment. Once we say our prayers and read our Bibles as often as possible and go to church every week, we can feel good about ourselves and as if we have accomplished our religious duty for the week.
But what if God expects and wants more from us? You may say, "More? How much more can He possibly want? I'm giving my best, my all, my everything." But are you really? God is a God that desires relationship. And in any relationship quality is certainly more important than quantity. Even we, in our relationships, don't just desire ritualistic acts of kindness or good deeds, we want to know that we are cared for, that our opinions matter, that our desires and needs are deemed important and not just another burden or chore to be carried out. We desire to be treated with more than just face value. We desire relationship too. So, our time with God should not be another religious "chore" to tick off our list. We should look forward to spending time with Him, communicating with Him, being in His presence, learning from Him. We should get excited about spending time in His Word and not just reading a chapter a day.
That's what my "relationship" with God was like when I first got saved. Each day I said my prayers and read my Bible. That was like a chore. I didn't enjoy it but did it with the understanding that this was what was expected of me. I went to church because I was supposed to. When I backslid and returned to the Lord, I finally somehow understood that christianity was about relationship not ritual, not just good deeds. It was about an intimate relationship between me and my God. I was getting to know Him and I was understanding and seeing for myself how much He loved and cared about me and still does and always will. So, my prayer time changed, my Bible reading time gradually expanded to include Bible study time. I was no longer just reading the Bible but reading to learn and grow in my relationship with my Heavenly Daddy. It became about understanding who God is so I could relate to and serve Him better.
When it ceases to be about religion and becomes instead a relationship, everything changes. Your attitude, your thoughts towards God, your desires, most importantly, begin to change and to conform to His desires for you. You're no longer living for yourself but you're now living for your God, your personal God because He is no longer just God, someone far away and unreachable. Now He's near and extremely accessible. You don't have to go far because He is right there waiting, loving, covering, protecting you and doing everything in His power to give His best to you. When you put things in that perspective, how can you possibly go back to a dry, unfulfilling religious lifestyle when you can have and experience and enjoy an intimate, all-satisfying one with Him?
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.