God wants a REAL relationship with us. It’s almost become cliché to say that He wants relationship and not religion, but it’s very easy, if we aren’t careful to slip into…
Even let our faith be reduced to Superstition…yes just like a rabbit’s foot… a good luck charm.
It’s easy just to go with the flow of what you’ve been taught growing up.
It’s easy to ‘come to God’ simply because you are looking for something (not necessarily someone) to make your life better, or to get it on track.
It’s easy to worship and go to church because you think it’s the right thing to do.
But, God wants to be just as real to us as the people in our lives, and to be treated as such.
You spend quality time with the people you love. You communicate with the people you love (communication is talking and listening). You sacrifice for the people you love. You give to the people you love without expecting nothing but love in return. You give your life for the people you love…You would die for the people you love!
So, family of God! Take a moment and look at your relationship with God to make sure that it’s just that…relationship. Here’s a quick relationship counseling session for your marriage with God.
Isaiah 54:5 (NKJV)
5 For your Maker is your husband,
The Lord of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth.
ALLOW YOUR FAITH TO BE PROVEN THROUGH BEING CHALLENGED
No relationship is proven until it’s challenged. No marriage. No friendship…None. When a real rival or threat challenges a relationship, love is proven. Sometimes that love may be denied or even betrayed, but if it survives the challenge, then it’s proven. So it goes with our faith. Our faith will be challenged. Sometimes you may doubt God’s Word. Sometimes you may wonder if He’s really there. Sometimes you may entertain other religions, but if your faith in God is strong enough, if you really believe His word is truth. If you really WANT to love Him, your faith will sustain and grow. Remember, when we present Christ to someone of another faith, we challenging their faith.
2 Corinthians 13:5 (NKJV)
5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
MAKE SURE THAT READING GOD’S WORD ISN’T REDUCED TO A RITUALISTIC VERSE OF THE DAY
There’s nothing wrong with reading a verse of the day if you will truly meditate on it and incorporate it into your thinking…into your life. But, if you read a verse of the day simply because you think it impresses God, that you think it’s going to make your day magically go well, or you’re afraid something will go wrong if you don’t – it’s been reduced to ritual and superstition. Read a verse of the day, but never neglect not just reading, but studying God’s Word, so you can grow.
1 Peter 2:2 (NKJV)
2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,[a]
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
DON’T JUST GIVE SO YOU CAN BE BLESSED
Don’t allow the promise of giving to become a stumbling block to you…
Malachi 3:10 (NKJV)
10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”
Says the Lord of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.
It’s easy to allow your giving to be driven by wanting a blessing to be poured out that you don’t have room to receive. But, the true purpose of giving is so that needs can be met, ministry can go forward, and prayers can be confirmed. We should give out of genuine love for God, His people, His Kingdom and people in general How many times have you heard this scripture preached or taught…
Luke 6:35 (NKJV)
35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, HOPING FOR NOTHING IN RETURN; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
It’s easy to allow giving to be reduced to a good luck charm or no different from any of your other ‘bills’. People don’t pay their car payment or mortgage because they love the finance company or bank. People don’t pay their utility bill because they love the utility company. They do it because they want to keep their car, their house…to keep their lights on. Don’t just give because you don’t want God to ‘cut off’ your blessings. Examine your true motives and intentions as to why you give.
2 Corinthians 9:6-15 (NKJV)
6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written:
“He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”[a]
10 Now may[b] He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. 12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, 13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, 14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
WITNESS TO SOMEONE WHO IS NOT A BELIEVER
Many of us witness and testify of God’s goodness to our friends, family, church family and other Christians…and that’s good. But, intentionally witnessing to someone who doesn’t believe is a good exercise in making sure your relationship with God is real. Witnessing to unbelievers makes us vulnerable. It puts us at risk of rejection, insults, ridicule and sometimes harm. But, you don’t make yourself vulnerable to that level for someone who isn’t real, someone you don’t love, or someone with whom your relationship isn’t important. Remember we are ambassadors for Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:20 (NKJV)
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
ALLOW SOME THINGS TO BE BETWEEN JUST YOU AND GOD
Have you ever had an issue, problem or situation and just needed to talk to someone? It’s good to be able to talk to people, but sometimes we have to let some situations be between us and God. We sometimes say we ‘take our burdens to God and leave them there’, but may not feel real peace until we have talked to a ‘real person’. Make up in your mind that you will trust some situations ONLY to God. Pray about it, know He heard you and then feel confident that He is going to work it out to your good.
Let God be real to you! Make sure your relationship with Him is as real as any others in your life. Don’t let worshiping Him become ‘going through the motions’.
Don’t let God be your GOD luck charm.