Originally Posted by bahamagreengal
Wow, this is the first forum that I've joined that even discusses God so freely and without judgmental comments and criticism of other people's belief. I'm impressed.
I agree with simply_michelle and FG, many people's version of who God is has been grossly warped. Knowing God truly and fully is a relationship thing. Has nothing to do with religion. Remember, when Jesus taught on the Sermon of the Mount (Matthew 5), he reminded His disciples and the crowd who came to hear Him (and those that were healed...and of course the curious) that He came to "put away" or "do away with" (quotes are mine) religion/tradition/Old Testament rites and rituals. Some of the Christians you see now is NOWHERE NEAR the Christ that died for mankind.
This God under the New Covenant is the God who wants to be personally known on a deeper spiritual level than just mere religion. The Jesus that came to die for our sins has nothing to do with the Jesus that most religions paint. To truly KNOW God, fully and without preconceived notions, it's as simple as recognizing that in our human carnal state, we can not reach God. We have to recognize that there is something within us that needs a reconciliation with the One that created us. Once we recognize that the need for us to be connected with God is the most important life changing decision we can make; then God imparts His Holy Spirit to lead us into truth and knowing Jesus Christ on a deeper spiritual level.
1. Repent of your sins
2. Ask Jesus to come into your heart/ believe (in) Jesus Christ
3. Eat the Word, daily (aka "Read Your Bible")
4. Pray, consistently (taking to God...yes talking)
5. Prepare your heart for the Holy Spirit to take up residence (steps 1 to 4)
6. Share your faith
8. Spending some quality time in a quiet place seeking God's will
9. Praying/ Interceding for others (both saved and unsaved)
10. Daily repentance (this is keeping your heart clean from the daily humanness...the bad thoughts, the bad deeds, etc. etc.)
11. Recognizing we are flesh and we can't do it by ourselves
12. Fellowship with God-minded persons (true, real persons of integrity)
This isn't a complete to-do list, but it's a starting point for those who want to know the difference between true relationship and religion. If you seriously want to know who God is, it's up to the INDIVIDUAL to go seeking. Once you seek in truth for the answer, God will assist you in finding Him. He looks daily for those hearts that look for Him, so He's not too far away if you want to truly know Him. And I'm happy to say God isn't exclusively for pastors, priests, rabbis, etc. - anyone who wants God can have access to Him. If you're relying on one single man or woman to lead you there, or one single denomination or sect, then you'll fall into religion (vs. relationship.)
God's blessings on all!
I so agree with this. I believe that there is a spirit inside of us that we need to learn how to connect with, the reason why some of us can't is because of all of the addictions and other problems in our life that we make so much bigger then building up a relationship with God personally. Yes, there are a ton of people who go to church every week on Sunday but that doesn't mean they have a personal relationship and connection with the one within.
When I think about the fact that God sent us a helper, I know that he is always with me but sometimes we are not always present with him, we are to busy living our lives to pay attention.
I am honestly tired of organized religion especially those where people are not told about the importance of connecting with God on a personal level. When I go to church the first thing I hear is a scripture on tithing but rarely do I ever hear anyone encouraging the members to seek God on there own. This may just be where I come from. Now I know all churches are not like that but a lot of them are and to many put the pastor on the pedestal. I put a pastor on the pedestal once and boy I learned that you never ever put people up that high.
We each are so very important in this world, not one person is better then another no matter how many people make it seem that way, we are given the same ability to find that inner peace and love, it is just waiting for us to call upon it.
I've come to a place where I am comfortable not being apart of organized religion. I believe that staying connected within is something I look forward to on a daily basis, not just Sunday. I believe that everyone I connect with on a daily basis is just as good as going to Church on Sunday.
With all of that said, I don't mind going to church, but I don't want to be locked down there, I want to meet different people and help others I can't do that in one building alone.