I feel compelled to express the importance of a believer and follower to have an individual and personal relationship with God. A relationship that is not based on community (other people), location (a church building), or circumstance (what’s going on in your life). Every believer and follower of Jesus Christ should invest in and cultivate their own relationship with Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and God the Father. It is paramount that you do so.
Once you connect with your source, you must feed your relationship constantly in order to build up from your foundation – brick by brick, level by level, unit by unit. How do you achieve the relationship and the numerous additions required throughout life?
By reading the Word of God, for yourself and accepting His Holy Spirit into you – for yourself. No one can do those two things for you. Therefore, another person’s relationship with God will not benefit you at the time of judgment.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ ~ Matthew 7:21-23
I have come to an uncomfortable realization that community – though it is an instruction and goal for God’s people to assemble themselves – community does very little good for the spiritually hungry. If you are seeking God’s word, His will, His guidance, an understanding of who He is and who you are – go straight to His Word. If you’re depending on other people to tell you about God, you’ve already missed Him. The Bible is Holy Spirit inspired. His Word is alive – it speaks. Whatever you need will greet you there. Whatever you seek will enlighten you there.
Committing myself to my relationship and journey with God has made me somewhat antisocial and, at times, something of a social pariah. I’m fine with that. I have no interest in conforming to the world, nor am I interested in conforming to “Christians” who are attempting to straddle the world and the Kingdom of God. The double-minded and uninformed can do nothing positive for my walk with God. I’ve been told recently that my speech is strong and that my delivery is scary and somewhat combative. Upon reflection, I receive that.
The enemy is seductive, coercive, and prone to disguise himself as a friend. With the same process we use to build, the enemy uses to destroy – thought by thought, action by action, relationship by relationship. He gets in by making you “feel good,” then he wreaks havoc by killing, stealing and destroying everything in your life – bit by bit. If that’s the approach one is used to, then yes, my direct speech and unapologetic recitation of God’s word is going to sound harsh.
The truth is difficult to digest, but death is easy to swallow.
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law — a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’” ~ Matthew 10:34-36
Imagery of a sword is rather harsh – extreme perhaps – but Ephesians 6:17 tells us that the sword is the Word of God and is held by His Spirit. That brings comfort to me.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. ~ Hebrews 4:12
Knowing and adhering to God’s word strengthens one’s personal relationship with him. By extension, our knowledge and obedience also improves our human relationships – the relationships that honor God, that is. The relationships that bring God no honor and glory are the one’s that are destroyed by the sword of truth. The darkness of the ungodly relationships can’t continue in the growing brilliance of the light within you – God’s Word.