Being a Christian, it is often said, is about relationship, not religion. It’s not about what we do for God, but what He has done for us. Of course, living with God means living for God and we end up ‘doing’ plenty as a result of the faith we have. But the essence of the change is surely that the actions and habits are not the measure of our God connection; they are an outworking of it. So what does it means for a Christian to know God in practical terms?
Jesus said that His disciples weren’t just baptised as believers, but that they had to learn to obey everything He commanded. Being a Christian means more than going to church and properly understanding the commands of Jesus is about more than just listening to sermons, too. Christ-centred living means hearing from God as He speaks to us about our life and what we are facing. This happens through reflecting on the Bible through which God primarily speaks. See my page ‘Hearing God Daily’ on how to do this and to download a daily Bible reading program.
Every prompting from Heaven ultimately needs to align to the Bible. To be led by the Spirit is to hear God break through the distractions and noises of life but this happens as we read the Bible and ask Him to speak to us about life through its pages. When we are attuned in this way, He then tends to speak more clearly as we are going about our business throughout the day, too. It is as if we have become ‘tuned in’.
Of course, this is all based on first accepting that Christ died for our sins. Any shortcoming, weakness or imperfection falls short of God’s standards. A perfect God must surely judge sin perfectly. We are all found wanting, which is why Jesus became the perfect substitutionary sacrifice. We deserve to die but He did not. Therefore, He could qualify to take the punishment in Himself for our sin. Because He rose to conquer death’s power, we can identify with Him by accepting His sacrifice for us personally. Our identity is then in Him. He is therefore not only Saviour, but Lord, and ‘calls the shots’ in our life. It is a life lived in obedience to Him. But we do this only as He actually speaks to us.