Many a times in my view, Christians take this relationship that God has given us through His Son, Jesus Christ for granted. Christians not only fail to develop this relationship with God, I take this precious gift and mold it into my own terms. I expect God to give me what I want, whenever I want. And when I begin to see our lives dissipate into the harsh realities of life, I blame God for my problems, believing He was never there for me in the first place.
I became a Christian only in 2009. I was brought up as a Roman Catholic and had struggled in my life for a long time, always searching for a God that could be personal to me. When I was introduced to Jesus Christ in 2008, it took me a year of hard questioning and thorough self-reflections and examinations before I accepted Christ as my Lord. With great courage and the absolute grace of God, I reaffirmed my faith in 2009. As I begun this new relationship with God, like everything new, there is a development phase until one reaches maturity. As Paul says in 1 Peter 2:2-3,
"As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious."
My take on yearning for a new beginning with Christ
As newborns, we need milk for sustenance, and not just for sustenance, but we yearn for it to be in our system, to enrich us, to develop us. And like the word of God, as a new Christian, I wanted to yearn for the word of God, for it to be in my system, to enrich me and develop me spiritually. For it is through His word, that I learn more about God, leading me into a relationship with Himself. Paul says if, if indeed, we have seen the power of the grace of God working in our lives, we will yearn strongly for a relationship with Christ and God. Because once we have tasted something as precious as the grace of God, we could never go back to our previous life, filled with hurt, anger, resentment, boredom, sin and mediocrity.
Building a relationship with God through Jesus Christ
As Jesus said in John 15 verse 1 and 4, "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine dresser. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me"
How can we abide in Christ and have a relationship with God?
1. Have hope; hope is the foundation of our faith. If we struggle with hope, we struggle with our faith.
2. Receive this hope and live in love. Paul says to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4 verse 32). In love, we abide in Christ and Christ in us.
3. Receive the truth that is His word, in the Gospels. For Jesus says: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14 verse 6)
4 Finally, have this new relationship with God, as Paul says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Corinthians 5 verse 17).
In Christ, we have become new, firmly believing that He who began a good work in us, will complete it until the day of Christ (Philippians 1 verse 6). In faith, we look beyond what is temporary and hope in our eternal life in Heaven. In faith we allow God to mold us into His glory.
In faith we ask in prayer that God may come into our lives and begin His wonderful relationship with us. And through this, may we see how truly precious the grace of God is, and that should bring us the greatest joy that we can possibly imagine or desire for ourselves.
Clarissa Goh is from Singapore but moved to live in Perth, Western Australia in 2008. She is currently working as a Research Assistant at the University of Western Australia, and hopes to pursue her Doctorate in Molecular Neurobiology in 2013.