Do you have an unquenchable thirst to have a close, intimate relationship with God? Maybe you have been a Christian for a very long time and although you have become good at a few things here and there that have helped you to lead what you consider a godly life. Perhaps you are discipline when it comes to studying your Bible and praying every day, maybe you attend church services regularly, but you still feel an emptiness, a void that you just cannot quite place your finger on, you may even feel as though you have some sense of a loss connection and closeness to God?
You are not alone many Christians have spent years living under a work performance mentality, mostly based on the things they were taught during their early years. From our youth most of us learn respect, discipline, and performance would be vital to our success in life. Therefore, when we became a Christian we approached God in very much the same way, respect, discipline and performing our best.
For me I remember making a list of the people and things I was going to pray about every day, then before bed, I would read over this list to be sure I had not forgotten anything or anybody. I also figured to get in good with God there had to be something special I would have to do, something big, certain rules I had to follow, just something to get Him to like me enough to be my friend. Nevertheless, nothing I did ever seemed to work for me I did not feel any closer to God or feel that he was closer to me.
As I got older, I started to look around and wonder, “Is this what being a Christian is all about?” Although, I never gave up trying, over time, I discovered that having a real, intimate relationship is not about using the “right” words, techniques, twisting of an arm, or always being impressive. It is also not about what you do, how long you do it or where you do it. What I discovered is it is about being yourself and really knowing who the other person is.
That’s it! It is not about saying special words in prayer, having super spiritual techniques, or twisting God’s arm to make him like me…but about knowing who God really is.
As we study searching the scriptures, we find all throughout the New Testament, Jesus demonstrating to us as He lives His own life that a relationship with God is not about rules, rituals, or some pseudo man made religion. These are but a few of the things man uses to exalt himself above his fellow man while attempting to impress God and those around him with his futile knowledge. However, we find these things are fruitless when it comes to attaining a real knowledge of God and who He truly is.
When we read in Luke 11, we find even the disciples struggled with really knowing God. One day when they were observing Jesus’ deep communion with the Father while He prayed, they noticed how He spoke to God intimately. He was not all caught up, nor consumed, with following certain rules or rituals of the day. The disciples wanted to have that same connection so they asked Jesus to tell them His secret to having close communion with the Father by teaching them how to pray to God.
When we read Luke 11: 9- 10 we find Jesus revealing the answer to them in an astounding parable: “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
The message that Jesus provided to His disciples is a message — for all of us as God’s children — God earnestly desires to talk with us and spend time with us through prayer. Not only does He want to speak with us, He is not at all reluctant to help us, instead He is exceedingly ready to come to our aide and to bless us.
Jesus goes on further in Luke 11:11-13. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Many of us learned from an early age to fear God, so for some of us we only saw Him as a very stern difficult to please God. However, Jesus teaches us through scripture that God is someone entirely different! He assures us that when we pray we do not have to be afraid of not being perfect in our approach, we learn through Him and His life there is no need to follow certain rules or rituals, before approaching God. We can pray with bold confidence knowing our Father in heaven loves us just as we are. We also know God is a good, generous, warm, receptive and an absolutely “on-our-side” God and He wants nothing but the best for all His children.
We can see through Jesus more than anything God desires to spend time with us and He wants us to see Him as a God who desires to teach, guide, protect, and bless His children. The more we study God’s word the better we understand how to remove the barriers to intimacy in our relationship with God. We also discover how to rekindle our spiritual passion towards Him, we begin to see Him with fresh, new eyes and experience His love in a much deeper way than ever before.