I can recall many times when I doubted my relationship with Christ. There were some individuals around me who just seemed like, “Super Christians,” in my eyes. These individuals seem to have everything together and know everything there is know about the word of God. I would allow the game of comparison to intimidate, discourage and define my relationship with God. Several times I would ask myself, “What’s the key to living a perfect Christian life?” “Why does living for God seem so effortless for others but almost near impossible for me?” I would go through constant cycles of being a “Super Christian” and being a “Mediocre Christian,” you know—doing enough just to get by or so I thought. Then God began to show me that this walk is not as complicated as I thought it to be. He reminded me of the word “love.” If you consider the genuine relationships that are developed in your life, there are certain things you just won’t do simply because you love them. Matthew 22:37-38 reads, “ Jesus said unto him, THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD GOD WITH ALL THY HEART AND WITH ALL THY SOUL AND WITH ALL THY MIND. This is the first and greatest commandment.” It is to my conviction that the Lord considers this the greatest commandment of all because love is the single most powerful motive ever created. Love lead God to descend from heaven to be created in the flesh and sacrifice his own blood for our salvation.
I believe where many individuals find struggle is following religion instead of loving God. The motives behind religion include fulfilling the law of the land. If you think about it this way, many of us won’t break the law simply because we don’t want to end up in jail. I’ve been to several church services where salvation was presented as an escape way out of hell. Although denying Christ does have a consequence, we must remember that our salvation was based on love and not merely an escape route. Salvation gives us an opportunity to be with God, who is love. God wants to us to get to know him, fall in love with him and touch the world with his love. When you love God, obeying his word doesn’t feel like a burden. When you love God, spending time with him doesn’t seem like a chore. It’s similar to being in an intimate relationship. What if you discovered that your significant other only wanted to be with you because he/she didn’t want to be lonely? Nothing about you particularly interested him/her; you’re just simply a companion. You couldn’t help but think that you have so much more to offer this person. Or, what if your significant other never really wanted to spend time with you? They do it because they feel obligated in part, not because they actually enjoy being with you. I encourage you to evaluate where you are with God. Is your relationship with God based on love or is it based on the fear of going to hell? Do you have a genuine relationship with God or is it a religious commitment? Below you will find practical tips on how to grow deeper into your relationship with God.
1. Know God for Yourself
The only way to know God is to spend time with him. Get into his word. Communicate with God through prayer and worship. Don’t depend on your pastor or even a blog post to teach you all you need to know about God. [2 Peter 2:2] God wants you to seek him. He knows our heart. Be vulnerable with him and ask him to give you a genuine love for him.
2. Work Out Your Own Salvation
[Philippians 2:12] Don’t allow people to tell you how your walk with Christ should be. Don’t get me wrong, going to church and things of that matter are awesome! Yes, do it! However, you MUST BE LEAD BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. The holy spirit will give you discernment on what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate in your walk with Christ. If you’re not careful, people may try to condemn you based off of THEIR own theology or try to dilute your zeal because it’s something THEY don’t think is necessary. Some individuals may have you believe things that aren’t necessarily true, according to God’s word. The bible says to test the spirits [1 John 4:1] That’s why it’s important to be lead by the Spirit and to know the word of God for yourself. God is the one who presented salvation to you so, allow God to define your walk with him.
3. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Understand that what looks like fine silver on the outside may be rusted and tarnished on the inside. We don’t know the condition of a person’s heart. Don’t be so focused on someone else that you miss your own potential. If you’re not careful, you’ll soon realize that the game of comparison is a gateway to other issues such as jealousy and covetousness. [Luke 12:15] Before you know it, you may be secretly wishing to have someone else’s life or you may become bitter because it seems like, “God isn’t blessing me the way he blesses them.” There is something that God wants to develop in your unique situation, allow him to do it.
When you mess up, repent and keep going. Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes. The enemy wants to stagnate your growth by making you feel condemned. He wants you to forgot that you serve a God who loves you. He wants you to not even consider that God’s grace is made sufficient in your weakness. [2 Corinthians 12:9] The fact that you’re able to read this blog says that God granted you yet another chance to get things right with him. It doesn’t matter what you did or how recent you did it, change direction (repent) and move forward in God. Everyday we have to strive to be more like Christ. [2 Corinthians 3:18] So, think of this as a journey that we must continue.
There are so many toxins in our environment. I believe that being physically healthy requires an occasional detoxing. Likewise, there are so many things in our environment that influences our spirit man. Social media, television, and music can influence our spirituality. I use to be fan of a particular T.V show that’s been trending the nation for a couple of years now. I remember that there was an intimate scene that involved two males. I quickly reacted by turning the television to avoid seeing them interact and then I turned back once I felt the scene was over and continued to watch the show. Later that night, I can remember having sexually provoking dreams that I wouldn’t dare share with anyone. God began to show me that I was being influenced by demonic spirits that I invited in by watching that show. I was watching something that exploited the hatred of God. The thing is, you can’t really expect to abstain from sexual immortality if you listen to music, watch shows, or even like posts that encourages it. These things can clutter our spirit and cause us to become desensitized to the Spirit of God. I encourage you to take time to fast and detox your spirit from the influences of this world. [Romans 12:2] IF you have to unfollow people, block people, delete certain music and stop watching certain shows, do whatever is necessary to increase your growth in God.
6. Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People
It’s good to be around people who are on the same mission. People who can edify you and increase your growth with God. [Romans 14:19] I encourage you to not just attend church but, become involved. Join small groups, bible studies, ect. Don’t be afraid to open up to others because you never know who may benefit from the testament of your journey. Don’t feel like you have to endure this journey alone. God will set people in your path who love you and want to be there to help you. Be lead by him and be patient.
I hope that this encourages someone! Please share this message with whomever you believe will benefit from this. 🙂