Knowing How to Properly Relate to God
If you know anything at all about the Bible, you know that it is the story of God';s interaction with humankind — of the creation of humanity in an environment of perfection, of the fall of humanity into sin, of the consequences of that sin, and of God';s plan to redeem and save us all. But perhaps even more important is the fact that the Bible is also a collection of stories of how God related to and interacted with men and women as individuals. That makes the Bible more than a collection of stories about people who somehow figured out what it took to relate to God; it';s also a collection of stories that show us through example how to do it for ourselves.
There are many examples in the Bible of men and women who had an understanding of how to relate to God and who acted on that understanding. People like Abraham, Moses, Joshua, and King David stood out as people who, despite their own personal and spiritual flaws and warts, lived the lives and spoke the words that demonstrated their love for God.
The psalmist who wrote Psalm 119 underscored the importance of the Bible in helping people properly relate to God when he wrote, “I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word. You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees” (Psalm 119:67, 68).
If you want to read good examples of lives of devotion to God, read more about the people listed above. They were men whose love for and obedience to God guided them in their daily lives and whose love for God always brought them back around to Him when they failed.
But when you want to read of perfect devotion to God in every word and deed, read of the life, the deeds, and the words of Jesus Christ as they are recorded in the four Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Most of the Bible is devoted to telling us how to properly relate to our Creator, but the life and words of Jesus were devoted to showing us how. And while we will never in this life attain perfection, we have his life as the perfect example of how to properly relate to God.
There are three parts to properly relating to God, and Jesus demonstrated them all perfectly. They are as follows:
love for God (Exodus 20:6, Deuteronomy 6:5, Joshua 22:5, John 16:27, Romans 8:28, 1 Corinthians 8:3)
believe and trust in God (Genesis 15:6, 2 Kings 18:5, Psalm 31:14, Daniel 6:23, John 14:1, Romans 15:13, 1 John 4:16)
obedience to God (Genesis 26:5, Joshua 1:7, Job 36:11, Psalm 25:10, Luke 6:49, John 3:36, Philippians 2:12)
If you';ve taken the time to look up the above verses — which are just a few of the many verses and passages containing the messages of love, trust, and obedience to God — you';ll see very clearly that we as believers are to love, trust, and obey God. But the question remains: How do we do those things? What actions should we take and words should we speak to show our love, faith, and obedience to God?
That is where personal Bible reading and study come in. It is only through reading God';s Word — and especially looking to the example of Jesus Christ — that you';ll learn to love Him, trust Him, and obey Him in the way that is due Him. It is only through reading the Bible that you';ll find the specifics of what loving God, believing God, and obeying God entails.