No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. (2 Timothy 2:4 ESV)
So you will be my people, and I will be your God. (Jeremiah 22:30 NIV)
My brother Eyram wrote about money and fame in our last 2 posts. Today, I will be talking about simplifying our relationship with God. It is easy for us to say we know God, but do we actually know Him intimately or from a distance?
The pursuits of this world can sometimes clutter our relationship with Him which makes it very difficult to have that intimate relationship we long and desire to have with Him. There is nothing painful or stressful like longing to have that intimate relationship or be in awe of Him but other things are holding you back. It is important we do not let life and the desires of this world complicate our relationship with God, but rather decluttering all these things that are affecting our intimate relationship with God. This raises the question: how we go about gaining an intimate relationship with Him?
1. Placing Jesus at the centre of lives
For us to know Him intimately He needs to be at the centre and at the forefront of our lives. He shouldn’t be in the shadows of our lives, but when there is trouble or when we want something from God that’s when we call upon Him. If we put Him in the shadows of our lives, we do not have a true desire to intimately know Him. We rather desire His blessings rather God himself, which is ungodly because there is no regard for Him unless we need Him (God is not our errand boy!). What it truly means to place Jesus at the centre is when everything we do revolves around Him i.e. doing everything to glorify His name. Paul understood what it means to have Jesus at the centre of our lives because 1 Corinthians 10:31 says that – “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”. When we place Him at the centre of our lives that is when we are able to count everything as loss and knowing Christ as a great gain (Philippians 3:7-8).
It is impossible to have an intimate relationship with God without Him not being at the centre. This is the first and major step of decluttering the things that hinder our intimate relationship with God.
2. Love the word, read the word and apply the word.
An intimate relationship is built on love but we cannot build that intimate relationship if we do not love God’s word. There is no way we can love someone if we do not know them or have an interest about them. In the same way we cannot love God if we do not know who He is or do not actually desire to know Him more in His word.
Therefore in loving His word it inspires us to seek more of Him in His word. The true way we can actually show that we love God is by obeying His word. “Jesus is, in fact, the model of intimacy with God because He and the Father are one (John 10:30), and no relationship can be closer than that oneness with the Father that Jesus experienced. His relationship with the Father was characterised by love and obedience.” (Got Questions). To love God is to obey His word with reference to John 14:15. This point ties in with point 1- we cannot love Him if He’s not truly at the centre.
God speaks to us through His word and we also speak to Him through prayer. Prayer we normally define as a communication between man and God. There’s no way an intimate relationship can be built if there’s no communication. As believers for us to have the intimate relationship with God that we desire, we should first desire prayer and actually pray.
Brethren, we cannot put Jesus at the centre of our lives, love the word, read the word, apply the word and pray by our own strength but by His Spirit. Therefore, we should constantly seek the help of the Holy Spirit to take these steps in order for us to have that intimate relationship with Him.