RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
P. Samuel Manoharam
If the necessities of our transient life on earth such as food, clothes, shelter, finance, education and career concern us so much that we devote most of our time, intellect and labour acquiring them, how much more we need to be concerned about the things of eternal value (Col.3:1-2)! What are the thoughts and conversations we are mostly pre-occupied with? Are they about preparations on this earth or the heavenly glory we will be sharing with Christ? How much of the resources God has given us are we using to equip ourselves, in the strength of the Holy Spirit, so that we worship and serve God in heaven throughout eternity? Are we cultivating an intimate personal relationship with God, which alone can help us to receive His favour and blessings? Shouldn't we Christians, whom God has set apart for Himself, be concerned about the life beyond our earthly sojourn?
A little of God's word with a little prayer spells death to one's spiritual life. The Holy Bible contains many golden nuggets of truth which can be understood and applied only by those who have God's Spirit in them (1Cor.2:14). Romans 8:9 says, "If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, He does not belong to Christ." It is the Spirit of God, dwelling in the heart of every spiritually born person, who creates spiritual hunger and thirst in him/her. A genuine 'born-again' experience - a second birth - is necessary to 'see' the kingdom of God (Jn.3:3). An evidence of the spiritual birth of a person is seen in his/her love for God's word; that person will delight in God's commands and rejoice while obeying them (Psa.1:2;119:9-16). Such a person is 'related' to God the Father as His child through faith in Jesus Christ (Jn.1:12). If you have become a child of God on His terms, then the Spirit of God in your heart will create in you a deep desire to know Him and His plans.
God is our instructor and teacher who directs and guides our steps through His written word (Psa.119:105). He redeems and delivers us from all our troubles (1Cor.1:3-4). For these truths to be a reality in us, we should be eager to learn from Him and walk daily in the light of His word.
Many preachers of God's word fight shy of communicating its truth in all its purity and power. By twisting the truth to suit the situation and please their audience, they mislead the people and deprive them of the thrill of knowing God intimately through His life-giving word. The sad result of deceptive teaching is seen in the lifestyle of Christians, which is far from Christ-like!
We need courage to stand for the truth and the teachings of God's word, in the face of opposition and rejection. It is not easy to hate what is wrong and love what is right; but that is what counts in the sight of God for eternity!
Relationship With God
The depth of our relationship with God is measured by two factors: the time we spend at the feet of Christ (talking to Him in prayer and listening to Him by reading and meditating on His word) and reflecting His character in our conduct in society and in secret when no one is watching us. Are we cultivating such a quality of life or do we find ourselves entangled in worldly pursuits? Eternal issues can be understood only through a personal relationship with God by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.
Life is a journey, with God as our companion. He longs to help us deal with life's problems. How good it is to let God take charge of our lives!
Unless we are deeply rooted in Christ, we cannot withstand the storms of life. How great our Lord is and what a privilege it is to walk in intimate relationship with Him, to be loved by Him and to serve Him!
Fellowship With Christ
Only an active faith in God, who has revealed Himself to us in His Son Jesus Christ, enables us to weed out the world and its sinful lusts from our hearts and lay hold of heaven and its glories (1Jn.5:1-5). Many Christians have difficulty understanding what the apostle Paul writes, "The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God" (Rom.8:7). The Christian who remains carnal (sinful) has neither the disposition nor the strength to follow after God. Carnality manifests itself in many different ways when Christians seek the pleasures of this world. When we do not yield to the Spirit of Christ in us, we live under the power of 'the flesh' fulfilling its lusts. We have time for everything that interests us, but little or no time to practise fellowship with Christ and to delight ourselves in Him.
A 'Christian' who has never yielded his life to Christ can never delight in His fellowship. The word of God says, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation…" (2Cor.5:17). Our relationship with Christ must be a new experience daily if we have to be victorious over the world, the flesh and the Devil. By constantly abiding in the fellowship of Christ we can bear the fruit that glorifies God (Jn.15:1-8).
When we make time to be alone with Christ, to worship Him, to adore Him and to wait upon Him, He will make us channels of His blessing to others. The Lord can use us wonderfully for His kingdom.
God wants us to practise His kingdom principles on earth, sharing His selfless love with our neighbours. Such a life brings down God's blessings from heaven. Holiness of God helps us to avoid sin. Greatness of God reminds us of our insignificance. Fellowship with God makes us humble and Christ-like.
Dear brother, sister, how intimate is your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ?