This past weekend was full of amazing celebrations of Christ’s agonizing death and miraculous resurrection. At KABC we had a fabulous turnout for our first ever Good Friday service and a packed house for Resurrection Sunday! It was so great to celebrate with all of you and so many new faces from our community. But we cannot allow these celebrations to become merely annual commemorations. We must keep them as alive as Christ is.
Christ’s resurrection should imbue life, freedom, and hope into every day. His life, death, and life-after-death should be the guideposts that govern every moment of our lives. But understand that following God this way requires action on our part. Christianity is not a spectator sport. We must be involved and engaged in a true and abiding relationship with God Almighty.
Conceptually we can all determine what a relationship with God means. We are relational beings, and whether it’s with our spouses, children, co-workers, neighbors, or friends we interact and relate with people every day. We maintain varying degrees of intimacy based on our willingness to be vulnerable and exposed with whomever we are interacting with. While the relationships themselves can be confusing in their own right, the fact that we are in fact interacting with another physical person can make the maintenance of these relationships easier to understand than a relationship with God.
Jesus Himself acknowledged this difficulty when talking to Thomas after He resurrected. He commended those who do not see Him yet still believe and pursue Him. This is where we find ourselves. We don’t physically see Christ but are called to be in relationship with Him. To have a thriving relationship with the Lord, therefore, we must realize that it is executed on very similar planes as our interpersonal relationships.
First, we are called verbally communicate with the Lord through prayer and worship with our voice.

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
  • Luke 19:40: I tell you, if these [Christ’s followers] become silent, the stones will cry out!

Verbally approaching the Lord in prayer and worshiping Him aloud facilitates a connection with Him in our hearts that reaches into the heavens. The Bible tells us that when we call on His name He will hear us.

  • Psalm 3:4: I was crying to the Lord with my voice, and He answered me from His holy mountain.
  • Psalm 17:6: I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God. Incline your ear to me, hear my speech.

We can rest confidently in the knowledge that the Lord hears us, but without His physical presence with us, how do we hear Him? This is why we have the Holy Spirit. In our prayers and quiet/quality time with God, we must seek His face and ask that He speak to us through His Spirit.

  • John 10:27: My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
  • John 14:26: But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

The natural next question is how do we know that what we hear is actually God’s voice? Notice that Jesus said the Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance all He (Jesus) has said to us. That means we must spend time in His word in order to recognize God’s voice and direction.

  • Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
  • 2 Timothy 3:16: All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Now, I will be the first to acknowledge that all of this is far easier written and read than it is done. I challenge you, though, to not just take me at my word – but take the Lord at His. Ultimately, a relationship with the Lord requires one thing more than anything else and that is faith – faith that believes He is real and that He will respond to our pursuit of Him.

  • Hebrews 11:6: And without faith, it is impossible to please Him for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

You must believe that as you pursue God in the ways noted above that He will answer you; He won’t abandon you; He won’t leave you hanging, waiting on an answer. Jesus told His disciples that He would not leave them as orphans, and that same promise is true for us today. I encourage you to walk in it as you engage Him in real relationship.
This Sunday we conclude our RISEN series by discussing Peter’s relationship with Christ, his denial of Him, and his ultimate restoration. It is a beautiful story of grace and complete forgiveness that I trust will be an encouragement to all. I look forward to seeing you there!
In His Service,
John McRae