How do you know if you have a genuine relationship with God?
In this new year, I want to challenge all of us to also renew our relationship with God – to recommit to the beauty, intensity and exhilaration that a life of following His plan brings.
Let’s use the following 10 questions to evaluate where God truly stands in our lives:
1. Do you not care whether or not God exists?
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:1-5
Does the fact that God exists impact your life at all? Does it affect your decisions or attitudes toward your existence and the blessings you have in your life?
Have you ever felt a genuine need for God in your life? Do you want God in your life?
Are you potentially avoiding Him because you are afraid of what a real relationship with Him might mean for your life?
2. Are you angry at God?*
Maybe you “hate” Him because He gave you something you didn’t think you wanted? Did He allow something to happen to you or someone that you love that you cannot understand? Are you resentful because you feel Him drawing you closer to Himself, but you don’t want to leave your current comfort zone?
*This question, as surprising as it may seem, might even be a sign of the closest relationship with God in all 10 of these points. It’s hard to be angry at someone you don’t know or care about. In all likelihood, you are angry because of some misunderstanding on your part. There is always an explanation. He never makes mistakes…. Have patience and remember: only hindsight is 20/20.
I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. – Revelation 3:15-16
3. Do you see God as silent, unapproachable, distant, cold or heartless?
Are you afraid of Him?
What is your fear? Why does it exist?
Maybe you are afraid of Him challenging you? Changing you? Taking you out of your comfort zone?
Are afraid of Him ignoring you or not caring if you were to venture to speak to Him?
Or, Is it that you are afraid of Him “punishing” you?
Merciful and gracious is the Lord,
slow to anger, abounding in kindness. – Psalm 103:8
But, I ask you: If you knew Him, maybe you wouldn’t be so afraid? Maybe you would discover someone completely different than what you were afraid of? How will you know if you don’t give Him a chance to introduce Himself?
4. Do you only ever ask for favors?
Ask, seek, knock… YES! But we also need to make time to choose the better part! (Luke 10:42)
I ask you: How strong is your relationship with someone who only talks to you when they want something from you?
If this is your case your relationship might be one-sided or self-centered and might explain your “unanswered” prayers.
Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. – John 6:26
5. Do you only ever complain?
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28
Don’t get me wrong. It is good to bring our struggles before the Lord. But, there is such a thing as leaving our struggles at His feet and moving on, and constant wallowing in a pity party disguised as prayer.
How do you feel when your friends only ever “vent”, whine, complain or otherwise cry about the unfairness of life, when you see them? How strong would you say that relationship was?
6. Do you see Him as controlling?
Do you think He is overly concerned with “rules”, “garb”, or “dictating your life”? Is “religion” distasteful to you?
Maybe you need to see what His will is before you decide that it is horrible?
Read also: The Freedom of Being Loved
7. Do you only say prayers from wrote memorization?
Are you afraid of trying to have a real conversation?
Note: Wrote prayers are a beautiful way to pray that someone else made up (newsflash) to help inspire us to pray on our own. They are a beautiful and important springboard to prayer but NEVER the be-all-end-all of a true relationship with a very real, very personal God who cannot be confined to a prayer card.
8. Do you never stop talking just to listen?
Are you one of those people who think that God is a one way street and you just have to keep talking no matter what in order to fill the silence so that you don’t have to face the fact that you might be afraid that if you stopped talking He might not still be there or that He might not talk back or that He might not keep listening… or be listening in the first place… or that… or that… or that… or that He might not even be real? But if you keep talking you don’t have to think about it, so you just do?
Have you ever considered trying to talk to Him about what is really bothering you? Maybe giving Him a chance to get a word in edgewise to respond and calm your fears?
9. Are you sometimes ashamed to live your relationship with God in public?
Do you allow your relationship with God impact your life? Does it impact what you say, think or do on a day to day basis? Does it impact who you spend time with? What your goals, hopes and dreams are? Does it make you question your priorities?
How genuine are your relationships if you only want to acknowledge them in private?
10. Is your relationship with Him all touchy-feely? Are you addicted to the “Jesus high”?
Do you just go to church for all the “feels” – namely, the uplifting music, the great preaching, the gifts of the Spirit (speaking in tongues, being “slain”, healings, laughter, tears, etc)?
Do you ever say, “I don’t want to go to church because I don’t get anything out of it”?
This one is strangely reminiscent of a door-to-door salesperson, who only wants to be nice so that you will buy something from him, but, as soon as you don’t, all but spits in your face for “wasting their time”.
If your only motivation for doing something is to get something, how genuine can the relationship be?
So, how do you know if your relationship with God is genuine?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then your relationship with God could use a little TLC.
But don’t worry. There are plenty of wonderful resources to help you build, grow and improve a genuine relationship with God. For starters, check out the ParticularlyCALLED Freebie Library and get access to the growing collection of E-courses, Challenges, Printables, and Worksheets.
#ParticularlyCALLED #Togetherinthetrenches #IamCALLED