God wants a relationship with YOU
First and foremost, the only way you can begin to have a relationship with God is to know His Son, Jesus Christ, as your Savior.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” You see, we were each born into this world as a sinner. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23) Because of that sin, we are all condemned to eternal death–separation from God forever. Roman 6:23 speaks of the price of sin saying, “For the wages of sin is death…” But the verse doesn’t stop there! It continues with, “ …but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” And in Romans 5:8, we read, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that , while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God doesn’t want you to suffer for eternity in a place called hell, forever separated from Him. He loves you, and He wants you to accept His gift of eternal life. Accepting that gift is simple. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” So if you see your sin, and you realize your need for a Savior, and you have never called on Jesus Christ to save you, will you do that now? There is no greater decision!
If you have received Christ as your Savior, and you know without a doubt that you have a home in heaven, what next?
God doesn’t save you and then just leave you to live the rest of your life on your own. He has a plan for you, and He wants you to know Him more.
Think about any significant relationship in your life. It didn’t end upon meeting. Inevitably, there were many conversations in which you slowly got to know one another. In those conversations, you probably realized you had a lot in common. As your relationship developed, naturally, you wanted to spend time with that person, you wanted to know that person even more, you wanted to make that person happy. You wanted to give them things – for Christmas, for a birthday, then just because. You wanted the best for that person. You would do anything for that person if they needed it, and you knew this wasn’t one-sided. That person would do anything for you as well.
A good friend, right? Yes! But every friend holds one flaw. They are human. They will at some point let you down, and it is quite likely that you will let down a friend as well. Does your friendship end? I should hope not! If it is a true friendship, it will not (we will save this for another post).
“There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother…” (Proverbs 18:24) and he says, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5) He wants a personal relationship with you. He wants you to know Him. He wants to reveal Himself to you, but you must seek Him.
Have you ever gone to Starbucks and just waited for your friend to show up? You didn’t text her to let her know that you were going. You didn’t ask her to meet up with you. You just hoped she would come. That would be absurd. If you want to spend time with someone, you usually have to plan that time.
How can you expect to know God if you do not seek to know Him? You have to make time for Him. I cannot emphasize enough how important this time is! Every decision that you make in this life, everything that you do or don’t do will be directly related to your relationship with God and how well you know His Word.
So how do you even begin to know an infinite God?
How can you know His will?
Read His Word
The best way to know God and His will is to know His Word, because Jesus Christ is the living Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
In the beginning of my Christian life, the task of reading the Bible seemed overwhelming. Recently, I asked my class of junior high girls if they had ever made a decision to read through the Bible in a year. Almost every hand went up. I then asked them how many of them had quit after missing a day or two because they felt like they would never be able to catch up. Those same hands stayed up. I was not surprised in the least! I knew exactly how each girl felt because I had done the same thing! I would determine to read through the Bible. I would get through Genesis and then Exodus and then I would start Leviticus; then suddenly I had no idea what was happening. I would miss a day, then two, then three, and then I would conclude that I had failed altogether for the year, so I would quit and make another attempt next year.
It was in high school that I learned something that shifted my paradigm (sadly, it wasn’t until several years later that I actually put it into practice, but the lesson stayed with me nonetheless). If I read my Bible solely for the purpose of the getting through it by the end of the year, I would probably quit every time. BUT, if I read the Bible because I loved God and I wanted to know Him and His will, reading was no longer a task, but rather my special time with God. So I threw out my “Through the Bible in a Year” schedule and started reading specific books of the Bible in varied order. Please do not get me wrong, reading through the Bible in a year is awesome, and I think everyone should do it at some point, but you cannot hasten through the Bible for the sake of saying you read it. If you do, you will miss out on so many things that God may be trying to teach you. R.A. Torrey said, “It is better to read one verse attentively than to read a dozen chapters thoughtlessly.”
You must begin reading your Bible daily. Your relationship with the Lord depends on it. It is unlikely that you go a day without talking to your best friend. Why should it be any different with the truest Friend, the One that gave His life for you?
With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. ~ Psalm 119:10