My relationship with Jesus began when I was 9 years old, but it has developed into something much more intimate and vital in the years since then.
I know God as the Creator of all things. My relationship with God was broken by sin – aka, me wanting to live life my own way – until I realized my sin was killing me and told God I wanted to do things His way. Now, I relate to God as my Father, like Jesus taught. Jesus is God’s Son, fully God and fully man at the same time. Jesus came to earth and lived among us to show us what it looked like to have right relationship with the Father – since we humans had been wandering from the Father for generations! Jesus modeled the Christian life – in His relationship with the Father and the love, purity, and healing power that flowed from that relationship – and then He purchased the same life for us by bearing our punishment for wrongdoing when He died on the cross. But He didn’t stay dead! The Bible calls Jesus “the firstborn from the dead” because He rose from the grave – conquering the consequence of our brokenness and defeating sin, sickness, and even death for us! Through Jesus, we may all know Father God and enter into life as it was originally intended! After raising back to life from the dead, Jesus returned to heaven and now intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father. Jesus is coming again in the flesh (Acts 1:11)! Holy Spirit is the Comforter, Teacher, and Helper that Jesus sent to be present with us – to dwell within us – now on earth. Holy Spirit makes His home in us and glorifies Jesus. He is the power we depend on for walking out the Christian life. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are mysteriously One – God in a bond of love with open arms (John 17:20-21)! 🙂
I have to depend on God daily, or I’ll fall flat on my face. I have to go to Him for strength, peace, joy, encouragement, fulfillment, and direction. If I don’t remain in Him, I can’t do anything (John 15:5). But, if I simply position myself to receive from Him – like a branch simply makes itself available to receive life from the vine – then the Bible tells us that nothing is impossible. Just like fruit on a branch is a natural outgrowth of the life of the vine, so anything good in my life comes only as a natural outflow of my life with God. It’s that simple.
I strengthen my relationship with God by going to Him daily in worship, prayer, Scripture reading, and waiting in His presence. I hear the voice of God through the Holy Spirit, who often speaks to me through Scripture, dreams, or directly into my thoughts, saying, “This is the way; walk ye in it!” (or something to that effect! :))
In my times with God, my heart is encouraged, enlarged, corrected, and guided. I always try to speak to Him honestly. I often sing to Him. I fast regularly. I like simply enjoying life with Him – bringing an awareness of His presence with me into everyday life. My heart’s desire is to walk in such fellowship with God, that no matter the situation, I would have a joyful heart at peace and in constant conversation with Him. I long for perfect fellowship! Unity with Him and His people as I walk in the spirit! That’s what eternal life is all about (John 17:3).