Take a moment and think about the longest-tenured relationship in your life. Whether it’s a romantic relationship with a spouse or a friendship that you’ve had since your childhood, ask yourself how you have become complacent with that relationship. If it’s a romantic relationship, perhaps you used to randomly bring home flowers or you would take the time to surprise your partner with his or her favorite meal.
Do you still do those things? If your longest-tenured relationship is a friendship, think about how you used to go out of your way to spend time with your friend. Do you still do that, or are you so comfortable with the relationship that you often go days or weeks at a time without checking in.
It’s easy to become so used to a relationship that you don’t take it as seriously as you used to anymore. This doesn’t make you a bad spouse, partner, or friend. Instead, it speaks to the human tendency to become complacent when you’re very familiar with something.
Since our relationship with God is just that, a relationship, it’s easy to fall into the same trap. Take a moment and think about the weeks that followed your conversion. You probably looked for opportunities to attend church. You carved out time in your busy day to spend time reading the Bible. You probably prayed all the time. However, over the years, it’s easy to let that commitment waiver because we’re familiar with Him.
Today can be a day of renewal in your relationship with God. While you have continued to believe in His love, mercy, and grace, do you truly nurture the relationship the way that you used to? If not, allow yourself to be transformed today. God hasn’t changed since the day you met Him, so if your relationship has grown a bit stale, today is a great day to start taking it more seriously.
A Covenant Relationship
Psalm 25:14 (TPT)
There’s a private place reserved for the devoted lovers of Yahweh, where they sit near him and receive the revelation-secrets of his promises.
A covenant is deeper than a contract. While a contract is a legally binding agreement between parties, a covenant is a spiritually binding relationship that was created by God. In the Garden of Eden, God created a covenant with Adam and Eve. That’s why He continued to protect and provide for them after they disobeyed Him. When you read about Cain’s murder of his brother Abel, God told Cain that He would put a mark on his body so that people would know that Cain was not to be punished for what he had done. God established covenants with people. However, it’s important to note that those covenants weren’t just offered to people who were living perfect lives. Instead, He established covenants with messy people who brought a great deal of baggage into the relationship.
When you accepted Christ as your Savior, you didn’t bring very many positives to the relationship. That’s a good thing, because God didn’t save us because of anything good that we offered. Instead, He simply extended the invitation for us to come into a covenant relationship with Him.
When you’re searching for ways to take your relationship with God more seriously, consider the fact that you entered into a covenant relationship with Him. He has most certainly held up His end of that covenant, so it’s up to us to do the same. When you accepted His gift of salvation, you committed your life to Him. Remember the power of that commitment and live in covenant with Him!
1 Thessalonians 5:23 (TPT)
Now, may the God of peace and harmony set you apart, making you completely holy. And may your entire being-spirit, soul, and body-be kept completely flawless in the appearing of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One.
The concept of sanctification is one of the most hotly debated and misunderstood concepts within the world of Christianity. In order to gain a better understanding of it, let’s look at what the term means. Sanctification is defined as “the action or process of being freed from sin or purified.”
One of the biggest points of contention among Christians today involving sanctification involves the speed at which sanctification happens. While some people believe it is an instantaneous action that you can mark the date and time of, others believe it’s a process. While the modern definition of the term lends credence to both sides, the verse we just read can help us understand it better.
Paul was asking God to do something in the lives of the Christians at Thessalonica. While there are cases of miracles happening instantly, the fact that Paul was asking God to perform a work in the lives of these believers paints a picture of something that takes some time.
Are you pursuing sanctification? That’s not a question to answer lightly. Pursuing sanctification involves a great deal of prayer and self-examination. To be freed from sin or perfect isn’t something that you can do on your own. However, when you start truly pursuing it, you can get a better understanding of how to take your walk with God more seriously.
None of us are going to be completely perfect as long as we are living in the flesh and are residents of a fallen world. However, when we spend time trying to be more obedient to God, we can get closer to perfection in the process.
How Do You View God?
Proverbs 10:27 (TPT)
Living in the worship and awe of God will bring you many years of contented living. So how could the wicked ever expect to have a long, happy life?
Finally, taking your relationship with God more seriously involves examining how you really view Him. Many people have one of two views when it comes to God, and both extremes can be dangerous. Some people view God as an angry, giant figure who is just waiting for us to mess up. While fearing God is discussed in Scripture at length, it’s not the kind of fear that we often think of. God isn’t mad at you; He is mad about you! He isn’t looking for an opportunity to punish you. Instead, He is looking for a way to be in a deeper, more meaningful relationship with you!
On the flip side, some people view God as this grandfather type figure that allows us to get away with anything. Most children love spending time with their grandparents because grandparents are notoriously bad at saying “no.” When we take this approach to God, we run the risk of living a sinful life and then thinking we can just apologize.
God does not exist within either of those extremes. While He is not waiting to punish us, He does expect us to make an effort to live lives that are obedient to His Word. He gave us Scripture so we could know what He wants from us and for us.
Instead of viewing God as overly angry or extremely permissive, spend some time truly getting to know God through His Word. When you do that, it is easy to “live in worship and awe of God.” God wants us to be in awe of Him. It’s not because His ego needs to be stroked, but rather because He knows that when we live in worship and awe, we can pursue the kind of lives that He wants His people to live.
A Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I want to take my relationship with You more seriously. Help me to live a life that is a pursuit of sanctification. Remind me that I am in covenant with You. Finally, leave me astounded and in awe of who You are. In Christ’s name, Amen.