It's not about rules, or doing things right,
or religious practices and rituals...it's about loving God and Him
WHY IS UNDERSTANDING THIS TRUTH IMPORTANT?
When we try to live the Christian life without putting God at the
center of it, it just doesn't work. Not only will we become frustrated
and bored, but we will probably annoy and frustrate others in the
Common "symptoms" of living the Christian
life without God: going through the motions of Christianity; dryness
or boredom in our Christian walk; giving up in our faith because
I dont need God in order to be a good person,
or I dont like all the rules; and having a self-righteous
attitude towards others.
Christianity gets ugly when it centers around
anything other than our relationship with God.
THE TRUTH: IT'S ALL ABOUT A RELATIONSHIP
God intended us to live out our faith with Him as
our friend. Jesus died so that this relationship could take place,
and it is the most significant truth we are to base our spiritual
People often mistakenly think that
Christianity is about being good, or going to heaven, or having
a happy life, but the real point of our faith is a relationship
with God. Sometimes even those who have been in that relationship
can get distracted by things like church, and Bible studies, and
doing things for God that they forget to cultivate a relationship
with their Creator!
God wants to be our friend. Thats an
amazing truth, if you really think about it! He doesnt just
want to be our lord, our provider, our father
He also wants
to be our friend. He wants us to enjoy Him as much as He enjoys
us. John 13-15 talks about Jesus love for us:
John 14.18, 21 I will not leave you as
orphans; I will come to you
Whoever has my commands and obeys
them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved
by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."
John 15.9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved
you. Now remain in my love.
John 15.12-16 My command is this: Love each other as
I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay
down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what
I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does
not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends,
for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to
you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to
go and bear fruit--fruit that will last
It can sometimes be difficult for people to understand
what a relationship with God is like if they havent experienced
it for themselves. Even though God isnt a physical person
we can see, our relationship with Him is much the same as a relationship
with anyone else. We can enjoy His company, spend time with Him,
trust Him, be honest and genuine with Him, talk about things were
excited or frustrated about
just look at any of your good friendships
with people and it can be an example of how to relate to God.
When we are in a close relationship with God, our
faith will fall into place and make sense. It is the foundational
principle to living the Christian life. So many times people worry
about their walk they worry about bearing fruit, or listening
to the Holy Spirit, or making sure they know Gods will
that they ignore this relationship with God. Not that these things
arent important, but many of them will be taken care of when
your relationship with God is as it should be.
The next section, GROWTH,
covers some practical things we can do to grow and deepen this relationship