There is a difference in knowing of God and truly knowing God. I can recite His words all day, sit in the pews of my church every time the doors open, and even pray before going to bed without ever really connecting with God. I cannot count how many people I encounter who have this problem in one way or another. In a way, I guess we ALL struggle with this concept from time to time. Periods of life occur where we just run through the motions without the connection. The problem I see so often is that for a LOT of people it's something that is constant; the connection is hardly ever there. They're in a rut.
What is it that makes a relationship with God?
I don't know that I can sum that up in one short sentence. (Hello? Do I shorten anything into one sentence?) I think a key element is sacrifice. It's being selfless and putting whatever God's will is in front of your own. Since we live in a world where everything is focused on oneself, this sacrificial attitude is even more difficult to attain. But get more realistic...what does the sacrifice mean? It means when God is your priority, you may be lonely. You may be uncomfortable. You may not be happy. You may not get what you want. And it won't always be easy. Rest assured that if your life is constantly hunky dory without any spiritual worry, Satan has already won!
But if God is not your priority, your foundation, then everything else built on top of whatever your foundation may be, is not stable. I'm talking every aspect of life--marriages, relationships, finances, work, conversations--even as minute as what you choose to clothe yourself in! If God is not the foundation, the priority, then truly knowing God is not there! It's only with the attitude of full sacrifice and commitment that the motions make a difference in our lives. Only when we are changed from the inside out does it make a difference whether our rear ends warm a pew, whether our prayers are effective, whether the words that come out of our lips in joyful song are true or not!
If we are not trying our best to LIVE the life we clothed ourselves in when we chose to be Christians, then we are dragging the reputation of Christ through the dirt. And we should be ashamed. Everyone makes mistakes. Jesus knew ahead of time that would be the case. But the difference is making a conscious decision to do better...to live better.
This week make putting EVERY aspect of your life into God's hands a priority. Be the hands and feet of Jesus this week. This is true Christian living!