Too many times I hear people talk about their personal relationship with Jesus. That’s all fine and good, but often times it misses the whole point of the relationship with our Creator.
When you base your relationship with God on a human-level understanding, you lower God down to humanity, instead of raising yourself toward God. Intentionally or not, we can treat our friends poorly through our selfishness and sinfulness. Why would we ever base our relationship with God on such a flawed experience?
This approach has another BIG problem. Your satisfaction with this relationship depends on how you feel about it. If you base your relationship with God on a human feeling, it is destined to fail. Why? Because your relationship should be tied to God’s perfect divinity, not our imperfect humanity.
We must define our relationship with God on one simple thing. What does he expect of us? That’s it.
I am blessed to have a great relationship with my children. When they were younger and in need of far more guidance, I had to make clear that my role in their life was as a father first, friend second. I can be friendly, but I am not their friend. I am their father.
This may sound harsh, but, at the time, it made sense to them. They had to understand that, as their father, my first job was to make sure they were on the right path. When required, it also meant I had to discipline them when they misbehaved so they would return to where they needed to be.
As they’ve gotten older, we have become great friends, but they know that I am always their father first.
We should approach our relationship with God the same way. He can be friendly, but he is not our friend. He is our father. Our creator. We owe our very existence to him.
Your relationship should revolve around what God wants you to do. As we discussed on the blog before, since God wants for nothing, everything he asks of you is for your benefit. It is configured specifically so you will grow closer to him, not for him to grow closer to you. It is so you will become more holy, not so God will seem more human.
If your relationship with God is based on human feelings, reset it. Redefine it. Your relationship with God isn’t about you. It’s about him.
I heard a wonderful and daunting phrase once. If you really want to know what God is calling you to do, pray this:
Holy Spirit, command me to do your will.
That could lead you anywhere. Africa. Homeless shelters. Prison ministries. Or to things closer to home, like Bible studies, little league baseball games or simply getting off work in time to share dinner with your family.
God has a plan for you and it’s not about God fitting into your understanding of the world, but God lifting you up to his expectations for your soul.
Have a chat with God. Ask him the tough questions.
What, Lord, do you expect of me? How, God, can I be more holy?