How important is a personal relationship with God? If you just go to church and are amongst the community that should be sufficient shouldn’t it? There is a lot to say regarding this matter found in the Bible and many do get confused with this particular area. Does one have to have a personal relationship in order to enter the kingdom of God? As a church we are to build one another up, but individually we should lean upon the Lord the most and not the Christian community.
“Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” (1 Corinthians 12:27). We are all part of the body of Christ, but at the same time we are all individual temples wherein the Holy Spirit dwells. Many Christians today have been becoming too reliant on the community and not enough of God Himself. Many Christians have many friends and support groups within the church which is great, but at the same time keep in mind that you do not make your friends and church the only place you go to rather God should be your first resort above all. “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” (Psalms 50:15). It’s great to have great friends and church, but do not allow them to replace God. Knowing God individually is the most important things in life and should be a part of our everyday life.
“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:22,23). No matter what position you hold in your church or what mission trip you have done, nothing replaces a personal walk with God. Here Jesus is stating this exact thing that works are great, but a relationship is first needed in order to do the works. Every day you should wake up and start your day with the Lord, asking Him to speak into your heart whatever He wills to speak to you for the day. Continue with prayer throughout the day whether you are working, driving, or eating, you can still pray within your heart. Prayer does not have to be out loud or with the head bowed, but rather within the heart as God hears your heart and sees the secrets of your heart. “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6). What if you had no church surrounding you, but lived in a foreign country where there is no church? How did men like Abraham who were before the church and the Bible itself still live right before the Lord and know Him abundantly more than most of us today?
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.’” (Genesis 17:1,2). One of the best examples of having a personal relationship has to be Abraham. A man with no Bible, no church, and surrounded by idol worshipers still walked with God while pleasing Him and living right before Him. Put yourself in this frame of mind, living as though there is no church, but only you and God. Take time to still yourself before Him and listen to His voice as He speaks wisdom, truth and knowledge into your heart. We all need church and other believers to help build one another up and to all worship God together, but always remember that the most important thing is to have your own personal walk and relationship with God. We all walk with God together and all individually.
Having a personal relationship is the most important part of life and is key to entering the kingdom of
God. Going to church is essential, but won’t usher you into the kingdom of God. Take examples such as Abraham, Enoch, and Noah who all lived with no Word, no church, and no godly people, but still had an amazing personal relationship with God and pleased Him above all. Keep going to church, growing and worshiping the Lord with others, but also keep growing in God as an individual while listening for His voice daily. “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” (Psalms 145:18).