5/3/10

More like falling in love.

I think any Christian would say they want a close relationship with God. I have heard this so many times in church and from other Christians. It's hard to explain what you mean when you say it though. To non-believers, it sounds ridiculous. If a non-Christian asked a Christian how he or she can even have a relationship with an unseen God, a lot of us Christians would be stuck for an answer. I'm still trying to figure out what I would say. But it is important that we have an answer. It's important to God - "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." (1 Peter 3:15).

I haven't prepared that answer as eloquently as I would like. I do know, however, that the relationship that we want with Christ is not something that can be developed over night. Like a human father, God is quick to protect us. But it takes time to develop a close relationship with him. And with each sin that separates us from Him, it becomes harder for us to feel any sort of intimacy with God. The problem with sin is that it hinders our ability to understand God. We literally lose insight into His word because we are not as close to Him when we sin. It would be the same as listening to a professor's lecture from outside the classroom. We may hear bits and pieces of the lecture, but we would have a full understanding of the material only if we were inside the room, watching and listening and learning. 

I have actually never thought about this until just a few days ago. I was listening to KLOVE and a song came on called, "More like falling in love," by Jason Gray. He explains it so well: 

It ought to be

More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance
Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now
It's like I'm falling, oh
It's like I'm falling in love



The more I search for intimacy with God, the more I realize how true those lyrics are. It takes time to develop a relationship with another human. You have to be vulnerable with that person. You have to share your deepest feelings and beliefs. You have to expose your weaknesses to them, and if they accept you, the relationship grows stronger. This is what God wants from us. I hesitate to say what God wants or thinks, but this has been my experience. The more I confess and talk to God (sometimes out loud), the more insight He gives me. He exposes more ways that he is taking care of me. Ways I had not been aware of before. And the relationship grows. We learn what He would do in our daily situations by absorbing his character.

How can a "close relationship" with God be explained to a non-believer? The only way I can think to explain it is through human feelings. Through God, I feel peace in not-so-peaceful situations. I feel stronger emotions for strangers than I ever did without Christ. I have more patience with others. All of these feelings are not strengths of mine. I'm a naturally worrisome, impatient, selfish person. How else could those natural tendencies be suppressed, but through the one who created me and my ability to think and feel.

I write on this because it has given me peace to know that when I don't feel God's presence as much as I would like, it's not because he is not there. It is because a close relationship with Him takes time, and effort. Paul compares it to a life-long race. (1 Cor. 9:24-27; 2 Tim. 4:7).

I'm interested in other thoughts on this. 

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