Having a personal relationship with God is a life-transforming experience.
Building and maintaining that relationship, that personal and intimate relationship with God, is what gives real meaning to the life of every human being.
We were created to live intimately related to Him.
But how can that be achieved?
How to have a personal relationship with God?
How to have an intimate relationship with God?
Today, as I was studying the Bible in the book of Philippians, the following words jumped out of the text and fixed themselves in my memory.
“I thank my God whenever I remember you.”
I’d like to talk to you about them and tell you why I think, in this short passage, there’s an idea that’s key to having a personal relationship with God.
You see, it’s possible that for most people, God is a concept, something like an abstract idea, something, or someone that’s there, but we don’t understand enough and therefore don’t know how to relate to Him.
But it shouldn’t be like that.
Notice this little detail: the apostle Paul in this text refers to God as “my God.”
He could have said, “our God” or he could have just said “God,” but he didn’t.
That expression, “my God”, lets us see that Paul had a personal and intimate relationship with God.
There was something that Paul had internalized and that we need to internalize as well.
While it is true that things like prayer, Bible study, gratitude, fasting, among some other spiritual disciplines; help us to deepen and maintain our relationship with God, it is not possible to have a personal relationship with God if we do not first understand that God is “my God”.
That is, the first thing you need is to understand that God is a personal being who cares about each creature in the universe in an individual way.
Jesus died for you in a particular way.
He did not carry the sins of mankind in a general abstract sense, he bore every sin of yours and mine one by one and paid the price for them.
To have a personal relationship with God, you need to break that paradigm of a generalized idea of Him.
Understand that God is not the God of a group of individuals whom he generally supervises.
No, God is “your God”, a God cares about you individually.
Jesus died and rose again for you individually.
That is why you can approach Him as if you were the only person in the universe.
Understanding that when we say that God is father, it is not useful to have that as an abstract idea.
We understand that God is our father.
You need to say of God “my father” in order to really draw closer to Him.
Understand that God is not only a friend, but he is “my friend.”
When we remove the mental barriers that we have put in, or that life has brought us in; which separate us from God, then we can develop a personal relationship with Him.
When we understand that we can enter into His presence and relate to Him as if there were no one else in the universe; then we understand that He is “my God”, “my father”, “my friend”, “my confidant”, “my helper”, “my sustainer”, mine, mine, mine.
The experience of others with God does not count, only mine counts
Now, I want you to also understand that there are psychological reasons why this is easier for some people to understand that than for others.
It is possible that things have happened in your life that were not your fault, but that caused your idea of God not to be formed correctly.
Maybe the absence of a loving father to trust fully, maybe abuse, maybe the loss of someone, some illness.
There are many possible reasons that make it difficult to appropriate this idea.
Even so, your past does not define you, God can help you understand, heal, and draw closer to Him.
Give yourself a chance to consider your perspective on God.
Think about whether you’re seeing him as someone abstract, general.
If so, start asking yourself why, maybe seek the help of someone who can guide you.
Start teaching yourself that God is “your God”, God is “your father”, God is “your friend”.
I am sure that when you do, your experience of faith will take a course in which it will be completely different.
That will make a big difference and put you on the right path to developing a personal and intimate relationship with God.
I hope these words can be of blessing to your life.
What do you think? Would you like to have a personal relationship with God? Share in the comments.
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A hug, God bless you.