Is it possible to pray, go to church, give an offering, recite a prayer and not have a personal relationship with Him, or experience His presence? You better believe it is. And that it what is so sad, that many of us practice “religion”, and completely miss out on a one on one personal relationship with our Lord.
I remember the morning it happened like it was this morning. It was a moment graciously given to me by God. It was the day that God taught me how to worship. I, like most of you, have had numerous times of worship and interaction with God in my life. I remember as a young man, being in San Diego in the late 1970’s. I was a part of the “Maranatha Movement” at Calvary Chapel where I experienced worship in mass with thousands of youth that took my interaction with God to a higher level than I had ever experienced before.
Even as a child, in my father’s church singing “I’ll Fly Away”, and “Prayer Bells of Heaven”, I experienced worship with God as we all sang, clapping our hands unified in corporate worship. But then worship for me changed as there I stood, almost 10 years ago today. It was a song that I had never heard before. And as I was reading the prompter and singing along with everyone else – it happened – God hit me. God hit me so hard that I was not sure what was happening. I was completely broken.
Have you ever had a moment where you are in the middle of a noisy crowd and everything goes silent? That is what happened to me. I went from singing, smiling, hands raised, to being reduced to a crumpled up heap; my legs would not support me as I knelt down sobbing uncontrollably. I did not know what was happening.
Looking back in retrospect I think that I had reduced my “worship” experience to a few moments in time during “worship” on Sunday mornings, or in passive quiet times with God, always making sure I gave Him a peck on the cheek to let Him know that I loved and appreciated Him.
It is almost like God was so tired of me toying with His emotions, that He smacked me to knock some sense into me to show me how much He loved me – because that’s what happened. I felt the love of God like I had never felt it before, even greater than when I first received Christ as my Savior. As I sang the words “capture me with grace”, God reached me in a place that I had never felt Him before. I have never been the same since that moment. It was as I sang the words “capture me with grace” that it happened.
You are the source of the life, I can’t be left behind, No one else will do, I will take hold of You – I need You Jesus to come to my rescue, Where else can I go, There’s no other name by which I am saved , Capture me with grace, I will follow You. – Rescue, Desperation Band
Have you reduced your interaction experience with God to a few moments during “worship” on Sunday mornings; or in passive quiet times with God, do you always making sure you give Him a peck on the cheek to let Him know that you love and appreciate Him?
We must not take the opportunity to interact with God for granted. Often we don’t even take the time to even speak to Him in prayer or conversation, or even stop to praise Him for the love and goodness He gives to us in life. Sometimes through habit we find ourselves by saying “canned” prayers, having a one way conversation, as we rush off after reciting a prayer without taking the time to sit back and listen to our heavenly Father speaking back to us, sharing His heart with us.
Prayer was given to us as gift so we could have intimate conversations with Him. Can you imagine? The Creator of the universe, in whom everything exists and has always been, cares and loves us enough that He give us an opportunity to talk one-on-one with Him. He gives us an opportunity to be heard, and to receive and hear His voice in return, bestowing upon us the privilege of developing an intimate personal relationship with our Him as our God.
Prayer and worship was instituted by God that we could experience Him in His fullness and glory, and for us in turn to respond to Him with love and affection. But for many, being a Christian has degenerated into “religious habits, or being “religious” – Something that we do out of habit. God designed us to give freely to Him; so that as we worship, showing our love to Him, we might receive as He shows His love in return to us. But much of the time in trying to appease our conscience or playing church we diminish our worship experience with Him by following habits instead of making it a relationship on a “personal” and intimate level with our Creator.
It is imperative that we establish a healthy two-way communication and dialogue with our Lord so that a close personal relationship can develop our God and us. The way to develop a good personal relationship is through personal, free-flowing conversation and dialogue where we are able to express all thoughts, opinions and feelings with one another. This is what develops a”best friend” relationship that has been offered to us by our God. This relationship is special, unique and wonderful. We are able to have personal conversations with our best friend, as we relax and become intimate with our Savior. By having this intimacy we are free to be ourselves and are able to release God to work in our lives so that we might reach our full potential.
By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
Being a Christian means having an intimate, personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Being a Christian does not mean that we have a set of man-made doctrines to follow and believe, prescribed prayers we must pray, or special rules we must act upon. Everything that God has commanded us in His Word is for our benefit, to grow and enhance the relation in love we have with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Take the time to let Him respond to you in kind – He will. This is vital to a Christian’s experience with God, and when that happens, that personal relationship will completely transform your life. He is amazing in that He will reach out to you and talk to you in His wondrous love; walk with you hand in hand, guiding you through life.
- 22 Inspirational Bible Verses http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/22-inspirational-bible-verses/
- The Power of a Praying Women (fggam.org)
- fire never says, “enough” (sharingloveandtruth.org)
- John 14:21 (1safeharborisjesus.wordpress.com)
- Worship – Old Post From March 1/13 (aragamuffinsheart.wordpress.com)
- Leading with Confidence: “Abide In Him” (christlikeministriesnwa.com)
- No need to “Come Out of the Box” if you are filled with the Holy Spirit (stevelashford.wordpress.com)
- What Makes Amazing Worship? (battisongrove.wordpress.com)
- There Is No Other Option (gameofeternity.org)
- The Answer (debiwandrey.com)