You might be like a number of people who don’t know how to go about fostering a relationship with God or even if it’s possible to go beyond just knowing about Him. You may believe He exists because you grew up hearing about Him in Sunday School. However, moving beyond an acceptance of His existence into a relationship with Him isn’t an easy step for some. Also, others would question if it is really necessary to have a relationship with God and if so, how to go about it.

As a child, I remember attending church and hearing the pastor read from the Bible. There were numerous stories about men and women who existed in ancient times. Additionally, there were stories about God living a long time ago and also being alive today. I remember often leaving church as a child feeling confused and thinking that God was this invisible man that hovered above me. I wasn’t quite sure if He was there or even listening. Pastors taught me about God but the sermons never really addressed the ability to cultivate a relationship with Him. I would learn later in life that having a relationship with God is not only possible but has been and is the most rewarding relationship of my life. 

Some would question whether it really matters if we have a relationship with God. Isn’t it enough just to acknowledge that there is a God? As a child, I never really gave this question much thought. I just lived my life knowing that something I couldn’t see was there because I had been taught this at church and at home. We can readily find the answer to why a relationship with God matters if we refer to the Bible. God, we are told, is a jealous God who seeks our willingness to worship Him and only Him (Deuteronomy 4:24Exodus 34:14  Joshua 24:19  James 4:5. The act of worship itself implies a prerequisite of feeling connected to something or someone in order to show adoration or reverence.  Therefore, in order to truly worship God we must acquire that connectedness. Otherwise, we are merely going through the motions. 

God has always been connected to us. Jesus told us inJohn 16:7-14, when He departed from us to be with the Father, that He would send a Helper, the Holy Spirit to indwell us. Through this indwelling, He is always connected to us. He desires us to do more than just acknowledge this indwelling, however. He desires to have us join Him in this relationship and to receive every blessing that comes from this connection. He gives us free will, however, to decide if we want Him in our lives.

God gave us the answer in Jeremiah 29:13 regarding how to build a relationship with Him when He said, “And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for me with all your heart.” All that is required is an open heart with the desire to allow God into your life. There is nothing difficult about it. Once you begin this journey, you too can experience the most rewarding relationship of your life that will continue to develop and deepen.

My own journey in seeking a relationship with God began somewhat surprisingly while I was in the process of viewing a video. What happened was something that I will never forget. I remember sitting by myself one morning watching a sermon on a DVD.  I could tell as I watched from what the speaker was saying and how he was saying it that he had a true love for God. He wasn’t just mouthing the words. He was feeling the emotion and exhibiting the passion of a man who was truly connected to His Savior.  It was obvious that he had knowledge of God but there was something much deeper. I was witnessing a relationship between a man and God.  I recall being so moved by his love for Him that I said out loud, “I want what he has. I want a relationship like he has with God.” I meant what I said with everything in me. The next thing I knew I was sobbing and overcome with the feeling of pure joy. The Holy Spirit had filled my heart with His love. It was a beautiful moment that happened solely because I had desired with my whole heart to know God.

If you don’t already have a relationship with God, I encourage you to begin your relationship with Him today. Tell Him that you desire to know Him. He will show you the way. Open your heart to the possibility of beginning a new chapter with God that will be the start of an enduring relationship that will last forever.

Susan J. Calloway Knowles is a Licensed Christian Marriage & Family Therapist and former practicing Family Law Attorney. She is also a Christian music Songwriter. Susan’s songs can be found at www.worshipsong.com. Her website is www.susanknowles.com.

Publication date: November 16, 2012