I am learning more each passing day as I journey through my spiritual walk with the Lord the importance of cultivating that relationship. I cannot stress it enough.
We live in a very microwavable society today where we have come to expect everything at a moment’s notice whether it is the stuff we gather around ourselves or expecting that we are all grown up in our faith. I have also learned that in no way do we become instantly mature or grown-up. Christianity just does not work that way. The Apostle Paul said that one must “work out your salvation.” That takes time.
In fact, it takes time, someone praying, even planting seeds of the gospel before we come and respond to God’s calling upon our lives. With me it took years of God knocking at my heart’s door and drawing me close. Jesus said in Revelation 3:20, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.” The process is that we must first hear Him knocking and then come to the place of responding to His calling through obedience. There are many who refuse to hear, or just go on in life ignoring the knocking at their heart’s door. Some even try to prepare themselves before opening the door. “If I can just clean myself up first then God will receive me.” You cannot clean yourself up. We need Jesus to clean us up. God accepts us just the way we are through Jesus Christ.
As we come to Christ, or respond to His calling there needs to be a discipleship process to take place. Without it we all just wander around aimlessly. I am convinced that when Paul said we are to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” he was referring to growing in our faith. We need to make a deliberate attempt to continually seek the face of God daily. Sunday School or Discipleship Ministries, Bible studies, personal and corporately, personal devotions and hearing the gospel message preached all add to our spiritual maturity as we grow in grace, depth and knowledge of the things of God.
If there is not that deliberate attempt most will fall back into the old routines of life, even old lifestyles as their way of life. Some will just go to church and go through the motions of Christianity without ever really knowing Christ! God never intended for us to live that way. The Bible clearly points to a life with God that is filled abundantly with all the fullness of Jesus Christ. How do we achieve that? We do so with Jesus. Taking on His nature in character, attitude, and speech and most importantly loving Him with all the heart. Truly that takes cultivating that relationship every day.
In Him, Your Pastor,