Are you one of those people whose face expressions tell those around you exactly what you’re thinking? Same. Let me share a specific encounter with one of my readable face expressions…
Kelly*, a classmate in high school, shared with me her faith during history class one day. I remember overhearing another classmate brag about how he had read the whole Bible front-to-back. He wasn’t a nice person. My facial expression must have revealed my judgmental thoughts because Kelly leaned over to me and said, “Just because you read the Bible, doesn’t mean you know God.” She shared that God wanted a relationship with me. This unshakable truth buried deep in my memory.
Before I came to know God, I was a “believer”. I believed He existed; that He created the universe. I also believed He was detached from humanity; ever watchful, but in a condemning way. I was not, however, a “follower” or child of God. I hadn’t surrendered my heart to Him; I hadn’t been adopted into His family. I did not understand that I was created for a personal relationship with the Almighty.
Recently, I came across disturbing social media content stating that relational connection with God is not possible. Statements, like these, aren’t rare in our post-modern society. However, the statements were made from those who profess Christianity, and I found myself deeply troubled. I hope to encourage anyone seeking God to know that relationship with Him is not only possible, it’s everything.
Fast forward three years from my encounter with Kelly… I was 17 and kneeling in my parents’ damp, cold basement preparing to end my life. I had my journal where I would write my “goodbye” letter. A random thought came to me, “Why don’t I write to God?” So I did. I told Him how much my soul hurt. I told Him I wanted so badly to be loved… that I would live for Him if He proved to me He was real and He cared for me.
The next morning, I woke up a completely changed person. Suddenly, I wanted to live. A remarkable change occurred within me; the empty feeling was replaced with hope and peace. I couldn’t explain it, but I knew God did something. After that, my new faith journey continued with reading my Bible every night. I wanted to know more about this Jesus who did this incredible work within me and gave me hope when there was none. I went after Him and found friendship in Him. I have been walking in relationship with Almighty God for over half my life now.
He whispered to me through Kelly. He had whispered to me with a “random” thought to write to Him. All before I even knew Him personally. He is always speaking.
Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32) The Greek word for know is ginóskó which means to know, especially through personal experience (first-hand acquaintance). Knowledge of God should go beyond your intellect, it should be experienced.
Faith is the beginning of walking in relationship with God. The book of Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God, for He is the rewarder of those who earnestly/diligently seek Him. After you believe, you should be “seeking after Him” seriously, and you will continue to find Him, experience Him and hear Him.
The Bible is more than a textbook. It’s alive and active. It’s His words that continue to speak to your heart and situations. Relationship with God is more than just one-sided prayers. He speaks too. He’s active and alive in your daily life. His supernatural presence is at work in our natural world. If you only believe in God, but have not also supernaturally experienced Him, you are just touching the surface.
He speaks to me in many different ways, always confirmed from His Word: In dreams, through other people, through random movie scenes and books, through my journal writing… even, at times, through those who hate Him.
I wish I had more time to write the many ways and times God saved my life and intervened lovingly just by being in relationship with Him. If a wave of doubt comes, or I witness others living out Christianity inauthentic, I always think back to those real moments with him because I know Him.
If you have yet to experience real relationship with God, it’s time to stop renting your faith from your friends, pastors, podcasts or parents.
Here is how you can position yourself to hear Him:
Above all try to remain soft hearted toward God. The Bible is clear with so many examples of people being hard-hearted and it being impossible to hear from Him.
Are you angry with Him? Be honest with Him. Are you hurting? Let Him know. When you turn toward Him, you open yourself up to hear from Him. He is always speaking. He loves you and wants a personal relationship with you. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you as I did so many years ago. I bet my life on it that He will. If you are unable to hear Him, position your heart and your actions to listen intently. I pray you know Him too, friends.
*Name changed to protect privacy.
Guest Blogger, Chantal Small
Pastor Teresa actively travels throughout the country imparting the Word of God in a candid and refreshing way. Teresa is the host and creator of SisterFriends Cups and Conversations, an Internet Talk Show providing a platform for women to engage. www.newcreationfamilychurch.com to learn more.