I think I always believed in God, but even after my husband and I got married, I thought God was just “up there somewhere.” I figured He was watching what was going on down here on earth, and figured He had some way that I didn’t understand to keep track of everyone and the things they did right, and wrong.
He had to have some sort of line drawn in His mind that you just did not cross as far as bad deeds go. When people crossed that line He’d send them to hell instead of heaven.
For me, I believed I was okay and going to heaven. Yes, I certainly had done a lot of bad things in my life, but I was still basically a good person. After all, I hadn’t murdered anyone!
When we were in our 30’s, we started thinking about having children. It was then that my husband decided we needed to attend church together. Eventually we found a wonderful church not far from where we lived.
It was there that I started learning that eveything I had believed about God was wrong.
I began learning that Father God desired a personal relationship with us – His human creations.
I totally admit I fought long and hard against this new information. How could I have been wrong for so many years? Stubbornness, unfortunately, is a virtue I’m quite strong in.
Yet Father God kept pursuing me. He kept knocking on the door of my heart (Revelation 3:20), until the day I finally surrendered to Jesus Christ. Unfortunately that was also the day that we lost our 2 year-old son.
However since that sad day, the love for my Father God has grown and grown. I desire more and more of His knowledge and wisdom. I love studying the Bible – to hear and learn of His power and immense love for us all.
But I’ve learned that Father God desires more from us than just “head knowledge.” He desires a close, living relationship with us – He desires to converse with us. He wants us to always know He’s right by our side, directing our steps.
That’s one reason why He sent His son Jesus to die on the cross. Jesus, who walked the earth with humans such as ourselves. He was tempted, hurt and neglected while on earth, just like we are often. Father God sent Jesus so that we can know that whatever we go through, He understands.
In John 14, Jesus is with His disciples, reaffirming the importance of trusting and believing all that He had taught them during the time He was with them (v. 1-4). He reminds them that it’s not enough to simply believe in God like I did growing up – instead you must believe in Jesus Himself in order to be heavenbound when you die (v. 6, 19-20).
And here’s a part I really love – but had a hard time understanding for many years. Jesus says for those who trust and believe in Him, Father God sends the Holy Spirit to live with us always (v 16-17); who guides and directs us as we go about our daily lives (v. 26).
But how often do we really take the time to sit and listen to Him? He’s with us all the time, and sees absolutely everything we do every day. When we start to wander off, He’s right there telling us to get back to where we need to be.
Through the years I’ve learned that it certainly isn’t enough to just read and know the Bible. I need to be opening my ears and mind to the Spirit’s voice on a daily basis – moment to moment!
And I rejoice that never, ever, EVER am I all alone. My Father God is always with me.