For many years my relationship with God was like my relationship with health and fitness. I would be doing great for 3 or 4 weeks and then one day I would fall off. Falling off in my spiritual walk meant: not praying for weeks sometimes months, not seeking God at all much less on Sunday and filing my daily life with reckless debauchery. I would live like this for months. Then I would go to church and have a spiritual meltdown and try to be good all over again. Just like failing continually on a diet, my spiritual life was exhausting. Guilt was my best friend. The only time I really talked to God was when I needed a clear conscious before a plane ride, driving in bad road conditions or when I really did something unsavory. For a few years I was outright running away from God. As soon as I heard a gospel song I would turn it off or if a minister would come on TV I would switch the channel immediately. It’s like when someone puts a really healthy salad on a plate filled with Macaroni and Cheese, biscuits and crispy fried chicken; you are not thinking about that salad!
My continual health failures mirrored the mounting guilt I had toward God. I was trying so hard to be good but it just wasn’t working. God has a way of putting the breaks on us in due time. This moment happened to me when everything in my life crumbled. I had no job, no home, no relationship and no money. I could have let this moment pass me by like all the other crisis moments in my life but I was tired of the running, the guilt and the frustration; and so I surrendered.
However, surrendering is sometimes the easy part. It is easy after not being able to fit into any of your clothes and devouring a whole pizza to realize something needs to change, it is the steps that you take afterward that change your life. I didn’t realize it then but I took my first steps toward building a consistent relationship with God that was unlike anything I had done before. For this to work I had to do things I enjoyed (just like working out). I found a ministry that taught the word the way I needed to hear it, I found a Bible that I could actually comprehend (no words like: thou, shalt, lo and thee), I started to volunteer with the less fortunate and I began to pray as if I was having conversation with a friend. The awesome thing about God is that once I did my part he more than did his. All the things I once struggled with just melted away; no guilt, no trying to be good I just LIVED.
The point is that I struggled so much before because I was trying to change myself; instead of letting God and the power of Christ change me. The only way you can see the change is by taking the steps to build the relationship daily. Not once a week on Sunday mornings but every day; praying, reading, fasting and seeking. Just how our bodies will reflect hard work and clean eating; our life will reflect the closeness of our relationship with God.
If you want that life than pray this prayer, pick up the word and start. There is no right or wrong way to have a relationship with God. Sometimes I just sit and think, I write to him in my journal, I sing to him while I am running, I sit and study for hours or I go on a juice fast. It is through relationship that brings about the change.
Do you feel like you are letting God down? Have you been struggling for years to have a spiritual walk? Are you running from God? Do you constantly feel guilty? Share your thoughts and comments.