How going to church is like visiting a father in prison

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People often ask “Do you go to church?” I think the question should be “Do you have a relationship with God?” The difference is this: Going to church once a week only is like visiting your father in prison once a week. You get to see him but you share him with your brothers and sisters. You get to see him but with time limits. There are restrictions because it’s not just you and him, you are being watched from all angles. You can’t really be free with him.

Having a relationship with God on the other hand is spending time with Him daily the way you would in a relationship with a loved one. Wouldn’t you want to see them daily? Wouldn’t they be the first thing you think of when you wake up and the last thing you think of before going to bed? Wouldn’t you want to grow closer as you get to know each other better?

Wouldn’t you want to know all you can about them? You’d probably Google them to find out all you can about them. Well with God the Bible is that Google for you. You’ll find everything you can there. And it won’t be gossip or things people think but it will be like reading interviews He gave personally. That’s because everything in the Bible is God breathed, which means everything in it got His seal of approval.

A relationship with God means you find out all you can about Him. Ask Him questions to get to know Him better. Even questions about your life and guidance when making decisions.  You might be wondering how you will know it’s God when He answers you. The closer you are to God the better it will be to hear Him.  He might answer you through a scripture, through something you read in a book, through someone saying something to you or He will say it to you in your heart. As you get closer to Him, you’ll find it easier and easier to hear God.

Let me give you examples from my life. I wrote a vision letter (a letter forecasting where I see myself and what I see myself doing in the future) and included in it exactly where I want to live. After that two people on separate occasions, in passing told me they saw me living there. I hadn’t told anyone about it. I took it to mean God was confirming what He had put in my heart.

In another situation I was writing down things I saw myself doing in the next few years. I then turned to watch a Joel Osteen Sermon and in it he said “You are going to…” and went on to list things that I had just written about. The things were so specific as though he’d read what I’d just written. My mind was blown away. It wasn’t days or weeks later but minutes after what I’d just written. I saw that as God talking to me and telling me I’m on the right path.

What I’m trying to show you by giving you these examples is that God is forever talking to us. We just sometimes miss it or call it coincidence or something like that. When you need an answer to something, ask God and He will answer you. Be open to see and hear the answer.

I’m not saying don’t go to church. Go to church to fellowship with others but don’t think that means you have a relationship with God. Learn from different preachers and read books on things you want to learn more about. At the end of the day though, you need a relationship with God if you’re going to be able to truly believe in Him and trust in Him and feel His never ending love.

That love is always there. God loves you and will always love you no matter what. Yes even though you did that thing. Yes even that. You might not feel it sometimes but the closer you are to God the more you’ll feel that love. Put Him first in your life and you will not only find rest and peace but you will also FEEL His unconditional love.

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