The very basis of Christianity is relationship. Jesus did not come to establish a new religion when He came to earth rather, He came to reveal/ remind us of God’s original plan. In fact, the first place the word “Christian” was used was in Antioch. A group of people saw that the Apostles had a Christ-like behavior and decided to call them Christians (Acts 11:26). Not because Christ said that people who follow Him should be called that but because those people could see a link, a relationship, a binding factor between the Apostles and Jesus Christ. So, if you ask me, I’d say relationship over religion…and by this, I mean an intimate bonding with God is far better than merely sticking to the protocols. In this post, wherever you see “relationship with God” know that I’m talking of an intimate type not just a regular relationship.
One of the first things that took place when Jesus died was that the veil dividing the Holy of Holies was torn…from top to bottom (Matthew 27:50-51). That is, the first blessing we received even before salvation and eternal life (these were given to us after Christ’s resurrection) was access to God. That veil was torn to grant us access to The Father not for any reason but for the privilege of building a relationship with Him. Now, we don’t need a Priest to have a relationship with God on our behalf, we can have a personal relationship with Him! Imagine how awkward it may feel if someone who you have nothing to do with walked up to you and started asking for your assistance or intervention in a situation they were facing. By Godly standards you’d say you’d assist that person but you would not help but wonder why the person couldn’t seek help from their family or friends or someone else they have a relationship with. Likewise, building that intimate relationship with God is part of what makes you confident to approach Him.
God doesn’t want you to worship Him from a distance or be a Sunday-to-Sunday Christian, matter of fact, you cannot survive that way. The Holy Spirit in us is an evidence of how intimate God desires our relationship with Him to be. That’s why Christianity stands out. Of all the religions of the world, Christianity is the only one where its followers call God “Father”. Why? It’s because Christianity was built to be more of a relationship than a religion. Jesus Christ came not to gather new followers and break away from Judaism but to reconcile us who had once gone astray, with God (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21) …that people started following Him and it was then established as a religion on its own is only an aftermath. Romans 8:15 says “…we have received the Spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry “Abba Father”” (abba is a term used to show familiarity with one’s father…its use emphasizes the intimacy of the relationship with God).
You are not yet in God’s will if you are yet to build an intimate relationship with Him. God desires that you spend quality time with Him. Tell Him about your struggles as you would to your best friend, cherish His advice as you would with that of your parents or mentors. He wants more than rendering of services in church, good deeds and righteous living, He wants an intimate relationship with you. That you get to know Him the way He knows you…there is great benefit in that, check with Apostle Paul (Philippians 3:10 AMP).
Here’s the thing, you would function better in things of the Spirit and ultimately, things of the physical when you build that intimate relationship with God. You cannot have God as your mentor and still fail, you can’t have Him as your Father and lack any thing good, neither can you keep Him close and still miss the mark!