“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14
Now that you’ve examined some of the past experiences and influences that have brought you to this point, it’s time to take the first steps toward building a real relationship with God.
You may be thinking: Building relationships with people that you can see and talk to can be difficult enough! How do I build a relationship with an all-powerful God that I can’t see?
Relationships are built on the foundation of communication. If there was no way to communicate with God then we could never have a relationship with him. But God has not only made communication possible – he’s given us all that we need to know him and be known by him through the practices of bible study and prayer.
Most people are naturally more comfortable with either reading the bible or praying to God, but a real relationship with God features both. Imagine a marriage where only one person talks and never listens. Weird right? That’s what it’s like if we pray but never read – we talk to God but never listen to his word. In the same way, only reading might make you smarter for a bible trivia contest but it won’t build a relationship!
John tells us in the passage above that the Word (notice the capital W – it’s Jesus!) became flesh. That means we can truly get to know God through the word.
Relationships are messy. Our relationship with God is bound to be messy at times too. If following God was just about obeying the rules, the bible would just be a list of commandments. But it’s about relationship, so we should expect to read things that we have to struggle to understand or put into practice. We are encouraged to talk to God, even yell at God, when we don’t understand. “Israel” literally means “wrestles with God.” (Genesis 32:28) God expects and welcomes a real, hard fought, satisfying, challenging relationship – and it all starts with with the foundational practice of reading the bible and praying daily.