Stop living just for God. If you’re living for God, you’re relating to Him primarily as a servant. While serving God is good, it becomes unhealthy if it overtakes the main way in which God intends for you to relate to Him – as a beloved child who goes through life with Him, regardless of whether or not you’re able to accomplish something great for Him. You’re thinking of yourself as a worker whose value as a person is tied to whether or not you’re able to accomplish God’s mission for you in life. If you don’t have the impact on the world that you believe you should have, you worry that you’re a failure who doesn’t deserve God’s love and fear that your life is insignificant. But real success comes from connecting to God through a relationship with Him, and your life will be significant no matter what you do or don’t accomplish for God, because your significance comes from the simple facts that God made you and loves you. Although it’s important to work on whatever God mission calls you to fulfill, it’s more important to make your ultimate goal pursuing God Himself. When you make your top priority living with God in a close relationship, the details of serving Him will fall into place properly, and you’ll experience peace and joy as you serve Him.

Start living with God. When you focus on living with God, you relate to Him primarily as a beloved child. Then you can see God’s beauty, grasp His unconditional love, perceive His glory, and experience His goodness. Strengthen your union with God by training yourself to be aware of His constant presence with you and communing with Him in prayer often. Have faith that you’re always safe in God’s care, place your hope in God Himself rather than in your circumstances, and let God’s love inspire you to wonder, new discoveries, and joy.

Adapted from With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God, copyright 2011 by Skye Jethani. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tn., www.thomasnelson.com. 

Skye Jethani is an author, editor, speaker, and pastor. He is the senior editor of Leadership Journal, a magazine and online resource published by Christianity Today International. Visit his website at: www.skyejethani.com

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles. Contact Whitney at: angels.guide@about.com to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer. 

Publication date: August 20, 2012