G4G: Personal relationship with God
BY CARLEY ESCHLIMAN
Having a personal relationship with God, which He wants His children to develop, involves a life of walking with and worshipping Christ. Yes, God wants us to devote all aspects of our lives to living for Him, according to His will for each of us. “Walking” with God is ultimately composed of prayer to Him—a way of talking with Him that can be as formal or as informal as one would like it to be. Our prayers ultimately fall within four major categories: adoration for God’s blessings and grace, our confession of sins, thanksgiving for happenings/things that God provides for your relationship growth with Christ, and condolences, or praying for the needs of yourself and others.
In everyday circumstances, if one should face a situation that might challenge their Christian faith, it is helpful to ask God, through prayer, to provide His strength and guidance in trying times. And God will provide what one truly needs, whether or not it is what we think we need. This all serves to bring us closer to Christ, not away from Him, even though we might reject Him or pervert His gifts in our selfishness and brokenness.
Many people ask: Why should I have a personal relationship with God? The Bible tells us that we are all born of His Creation in His image, and our main purpose is to love and glorify Him (Romans 8:28, 1 Peter 4: 11). We are called to develop a relationship with our God because He loves us and wants us all to go to Him to fulfill our purpose as His children. We are also encouraged to call out to God: “The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them (Psalm 145: 18-19).” This personal relationship with God is unique to Christianity and a very special, important part of what God wants with us and why.
What does a personal relationship with God fundamentally entail? A relationship with Christ means first believing and having faith in God’s Gospel: Jesus was crucified on the cross to save us from our sins. Without Jesus’ sacrifice for all of mankind, we would have no way of being saved from evil. And despite the ways in which we fall short, God continues to grant us His blessings in our lives. Understanding this great act that reveals who God is—so loving that he would do these things for us—is itself reason for and the foundation to developing a relationship with Him.