What Do I Want?
Somewhere in my reading this week – of course I can’t find it now – I came across a question that stopped me in my tracks:
“At the end of the coming year, how would you like your relationship with God to be different?”
As much time as I spend thinking about, reading about, writing about, and talking about the relationship God wants with us, I’m not sure I’ve ever really thought about the nature of the relationship I want with God. Sure, I want to be closer to God, but what do I hope that might be like? Sure I want to sense God’s presence and power in my life, but how would that be reflected in the quality of our relationship?
Often I think we tend to view God as very distant and unapproachable. After all, He does sit on a throne, so how can I expect to have a really close relationship with Him? He is reallllllly busy. Although my head knows that God wants to have an intimate relationship with me, do I really expect and ask for that? I don’t think I have ever explicitly prayed to God or talked with Him about our relationship. I’ve talked with Him about all kinds of other things and just assumed that our relationship would grow naturally. I think we often do that in human relationships as well.
In Matthew 7:7-8 Jesus tells the disciples: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. James 4:2 says “You do not have, because you do not ask.”
As I’ve reflected on the question above, I’ve begun to sketch out the type of relationship I really want with God. To get there, I sense I need to make some commitments to God, but first and foremost I need to take my desires to Him in prayer. I need to get a sense from Him about where our relationship currently stands, in His mind. I know He’ll help me define what I need to be doing to be more open to the relationship I want with Him, He’ll open my heart in ways I can’t, and He’ll be more than glad to walk through the door I’m knocking on and give me the desires of my heart – in His time.
I encourage you to spend time with this challenging question as you move into 2017. Is there any more important New Year’s resolution than committing to talk with God about your relationship? My prayer is that at the end of this year, our relationships with God will be surprisingly different, amazingly more powerful, and steeped in an even deeper sense of love, grace, and gratitude.
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