The mystery of seeking God is that HE is the One who finds you. All through my childhood I heard “you need to have a relationship with God.” This was usually presented as time spent reading the Bible, going to church and joining a small group. I think their is truth in that idea but many times these things can feel empty. They can become a way of working for grace, like you are trying to find the right combinations that will open God up to you. I am talking about attitude not the action. The actions are simply the means to help us be with Jesus to become like him. As Jesus abided in the Father’s love so we abide in him and then he and the Father abide in us! (John 15:9-10). I think the way God made us is that we have a desire, a need that only He can fill. I think that desire is a real relationship with God.
Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee – Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning. Earning is an attitude. Effort is an action. Grace, you know, does not just have to do with forgiveness of sins alone.― Dallas Willard,
I am convinced that God has been pursing me like a woman who would turn her house upside down looking for her last coin and a shepherd looking for his lost sheep (Luke 15). It has taken me awhile but I am beginning to live and believe the truth that God wants me and delights in me. God’s love is like the sun, constant and unchanging, you’ll wake up one morning and realize that nothing can take that away. We come to this understanding by developing a relationship with God, so what is a relationship? It is built on shared experiences with God through something like the spiritual disciplines. These shared experiences with God do two things.
- Learn About God – We need to know about God to fully know Him. Spend time in scripture to learn about God and His ways.
- Experience God – If we want to have and enjoy the freedom that Jesus died to give us, then we need to learn how to follow the Spirit of God as we relationally experience Him. I am not talking about a mystical experience. I am referring to knowing and walking daily with God as you increase your awareness He is with you. The problem or the question is not whether God is with you or not – the problem is your awareness. You must grow in your awareness that He is with you.