What do you believe needs to change about yourself or your circumstances in order for your relationship with God to be better, stronger, or healthier?
It’s so easy to think we need something about ourselves to be different in order for our relationship with God to be better ~ that our behavior should improve, that we should be more disciplined, that our marriage should be stronger, our finances in order, or that we need to deal with our emotional issues.
Then, when all the conditions are just right, when every box has been checked, our relationship with God will finally be good.
But God wants to be with us right where we are.
An intimate, connected relationship with Him grows and develops over time as we do life with Him.
In the life we currently have.
This week I’m beginning a new series called Enjoying the Journey of Relationship with Jesus.
A few years ago, this picture captured my attention the moment I saw it. As I studied it for a few seconds, I began to sense God speaking to me that this artwork was an illustration of what a relationship with Him looks like. It’s a winding, narrow path that is lovely and inviting. Even though we cannot see what lies ahead, just around the corner, it is filled with light.
My first sense was that I was walking this trail alone. But He quickly corrected me; I am not alone. He is with me on the path. Leading and guiding me deeper into His presence.
Our destination is always more of His presence.
We think the destination is “The Good Life” ~ a life without hardship or pain. But no one continually experiences The Good life.
We can, however, choose “The Redemptive Life” ~ a life of courageously facing our disappointments, allowing God to transform every ounce of pain into purpose. The Redemptive Life happens as we walk the path with Jesus, in the life we currently have.
Psalm 84:5-7 Blessed are those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their hearts and minds on pilgrimage. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, they make it a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe them with blessings. They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Zion.
There are 3 things we can learn from this passage about how to enjoy the journey of relationship with Jesus:
- Set your heart on pilgrimage. Pilgrimage is a long journey, particularly a journey to someplace sacred. Scripture often describes the life of a believer as a pilgrimage. Our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20); we are to live our lives as strangers and aliens on this earth (1 Peter 1:17; 2:11), with our minds set on things above (Colossians 3:1-2). We’ve been delivered from the kingdom of darkness and transferred to the Kingdom of heaven (Colossians 1:13). We are on our way to a home we have never known, on a path we have never taken in a world where we don’t belong. THIS is what the journey of a relationship with God looks like! We are on a pilgrimage. This world is not our home.
- Choose to grow stronger in the struggle. “When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, they make it a place of refreshing springs”. CHOOSE the redemptive life. Don’t be surprised when the struggles come; because they will come. And when they do, choose to walk through them with Jesus, knowing He will grow you and strengthen you in ways you cannot fathom.
- Remember your destination. The presence of Jesus in the midst of our current circumstances is always the destination. Walking WITH Him, through whatever comes our way. We never walk the path alone! Jesus walks with us, He delights in being with us, and He wants us to enjoy the journey of relationship with Him.
If your heart is set on pilgrimage, and your destination is His presence, how will your experience of the journey be transformed?
Tell me in the comments, or simply hit “Reply” to this email and let me know!
I have created a FREE mini bible study to accompany this message you can download by clicking this link: Class 1