How’s your walk with God? How strong is your personal relationship with God? Do you currently find yourself close to God or distant from Him? Are you walking away from God, traveling away to the far country as the Prodigal Son did in Luke 15? Or are you journeying back home to the waiting embrace of the Father? Do you realize you can be as close to God as you want to be? “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” These words from James describe what is available to all humanity. These words show what is available to you. The embrace between the Prodigal Son and the Father in Luke 15 is one of the most moving pictures in the Bible. This picture can be reality for you. You can be as close to the Father as you want to be. The opposite is also true. You can as distant from God as you want to be. How is your relationship with God?
The most important relationship you will ever have is your relationship with God. Your relationship with God is more important than your relationship with your spouse. Your relationship with God is more important than your relationships with your children. Your relationship with God is more important than your relationships with your friends and your coworkers. If we seek God first…if we draw near to Him…if we strengthen our walk with our Father, our other relationships will also be improved. I want to be a godly father. When I am close to God, I am a better dad. I want to be a good husband. When I have a close walk with God, I am a better husband. I want to be a reliable friend. When I have a strong relationship with God, I am a better friend. Closeness with God makes me a better person.
We need to remember the importance of our walk with God. God is worthy. He is worthy of every second you devote to Him. He is worthy of every dollar you give Him. He is worthy of every temptation you resist because of Him. He is worthy of every word you speak on His behalf. He is worthy of every trial and struggle you endure. He is worthy of your strength and energy. He is worthy of your devotion. We know all of this to be true. Yet we still struggle in our relationship with God. How can we build a stronger relationship with God? What can we do to strengthen this eternally important relationship? God provides us direction. Let’s take a look at God’s plan to strengthening our relationship with Him.
1. Obey God—In John 14:15 Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep My commandments.” Do you love God? Do you love Jesus? We know the right answer to these questions. What are our actions saying? We prove our love to God by obeying Him. The religious world has created a chasm between love and obedience as if they were mutually exclusive of each other. We like to hear the word “love.” We often cringe when we hear the word “obey.” Love and obedience go hand in hand. They are not mutually exclusive. It is impossible to show God we love Him without obedience. We cannot have a relationship with God without obedience.
2. Stand Up for God—There are some things worth fighting for. Fight for truth (John 17:17). Fight for your soul (Matthew 16:24-26). Fight for the souls of others (2 Corinthians 5:11). Fight for your purity (Ephesians 5:3). Fight for your family (Ephesians 6:4). Paul fought for God. He fought the good fight! Paul considered himself an ambassador for Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5, he challenged the church at Corinth to take up this same fight. Satan has many ambassadors in our world today. Our world is full of people representing the interests of Satan. Who is fighting for God? Who is representing God?
3. Seek God First—God’s expectations are made very clear in His Word. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Jesus spoke these words to people who were worried about the basic necessities of life. Jesus challenged them to trust God. He challenged them to seek God first. There is a big difference between first and second place. It will always be easy to put God first tomorrow. Tomorrow’s life may be too late. Live for God today.
4. Talk About God—“Witness” and “testify” are Biblical words. John the Baptizer came as a witness for Jesus. Paul was called to be a witness for Jesus. In 1 John 4:14 John writes, “We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” If you know why you became a Christian and how you became a Christian, you have a story to share. Our world needs to know the Father has sent the Son to be their Savior! Talk to others about God.
Relationships are challenging. Relationships are tough. Relationships are also a tremendous blessing. The most important relationship we have is our relationship with God. Take time to strengthen your relationship with God. He is worthy of your time. He is worthy of your effort. He is worthy of your devotion.