You don’t have to look far to find God, in the Bible in the book of Joshua it says “God is with you wherever you will go”. I want to tell my personal story of finding God, let you what you can expect out of God, what He expects out of you, and what it’s like being a follower of Christ.
When I was a child I was bullied a lot at school, and due to that I tended to take it out on other people when the chance presented itself. One night the youth group I had joined (only to hang out with my friends outside of school) went to a special service. Me, being the punk kid that I was, and my friend was not paying any attention to the sermon and was poking fun at someone across from us. Right in the middle of the service God caught my attention and revealed himself to me and showed me the person I was becoming. I burst into tears, it was as if they were flowing from my soul. I buried my face into my hands and asked God for forgiveness and to save me from the path I was on. I gave my life to Christ that night.
Since that night I have had an on and off again relationship with God because I am only human and as humans do, I backslid a lot . No matter how many times I screwed up God was always waiting on me with arms wide open with love and forgiveness. Even when I strayed away God continued to love me so much that he protected me against whatever I was going through.
My relationship with God now is tighter than it has ever been. Over the years I have really matured and have opened my eyes to how faithful and loving God really is. I’m finally at the point in life where I realize that I was put on this earth with a purpose given directly to me by God himself. This life isn’t about me and my happiness, it’s about glorifying him and carrying out his works.
What Can You Expect From God?
No matter what bad things you have done in this life God will forgive you if you come to him in repentance. In Hebrews it says “I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more”. Even if you feel ashamed, never withhold asking God for forgiveness, He loves you unconditionally and there is nothing you can do to change his everlasting love for you.
You are going to go through hard times in this life but you must learn to recognize what comes from God and what comes from the Devil. God never said he would keep you from going through hurtful times but he does promise to be by your side and help you through them. This world we live in was taken over by sin back in the days of Adam and Eve, therefore this world is Satan’s playground.
People often question “why would God let this happen?”, I don’t have the answers for everything but what I do know is that many of the bad things that go on in this world is do to sinful nature. Could God prevent it? Yes, but he has given us all free will. He has a perfect plan for each of us, and no matter what we go through he will be by our side, and if we turn to him he will strengthen us and help us. Sometimes God shows us protection through peace of mind, strength, ending of suffering, etcetera. Even though we may not understand his decisions, he chooses what is ultimately best for us because he loves us. Sometimes that may hurt, especially when it comes to the loss of a loved one, but if that person had God in their hearts they are no longer suffering. We may miss them terribly but if we hold tight to God’s promises he will heal the pain and we will be reunited with them in the Kingdom of heaven.
What people must realize is that many of the bad things going on in this world is due to sin and greed. These things are not of God. In the book of Jeremiah it says “for I know the plans I have for you, plans for you to prosper, not to harm you”.
What God Expects Out Of You
God created us as his children. We were put here on this earth to carry out his works. Some people see God as an arrogant being but that is so far from the truth. He knew before the first sin was committed that it was going to happen because we are human and the only perfect thing in this universe is God himself. He placed each of us here with a purpose and to shine his light in order to help others.
God wants us to have a happy and prosperous life, he doesn’t ask for much in return. I want to simplify what God expects out of you:
• Believe in God and put him before anything of this world.
• Recognize that God sent his only son to die on the cross to save you from your sins.
• Follow the 10 commandments.
• Try your best to be a good person and to be Christlike towards others.
You can find more long in depth rules that God wishes for you to abide by but I wanted to keep it simple because in all reality, what God expects from us is simple. Put God first, follow his rules which all result in putting him first and being a good person, give your life to Christ, and shine his light. Sounds easy right? It is, BUT here is where the hard part comes in.
When the devil sees that you are following Christ and doing his works he gets extremely jealous and angry. This is going to result in him trying to blindside you and tear you away from God. When you get close to God hold on tight because the devil is going to put up a fight and try to win you back over with worldly things. Satan knows your weaknesses and he will play on them. Have you ever noticed that when you get close to God something bad always seems to happen? It’s because the devil is jealous and he’s trying to drag you back to him while you’re in a vulnerable state. You have to fight for God, don’t give into the temptation of the devil.
Once you realize the difference of things that are coming from God vs things coming from Satan it will become much more easier for you to resist sin. In 1st Corinthians it says “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” That being said, when Satan try’s to attack you, call out to God and pray for him to shield you from the devils antics.
This life here on earth is not going to be easy. This world is filled with hate, anger, jealousy, greed, and selfishness. However, if you hold tight to God and his promises you will overcome this world because when it’s all said and done you will be in Heaven with God never to hurt again.
Sometimes people have a hard time believing in things they can’t physically see. Even though God is probably not going to walk into the room and be like “Hey guys! Here I am!”, there are other ways you can see God. Some people have the ability to feel God’s presence in their heart. If that isn’t something you’re feeling then all you have to do is look around, God reveals himself in so many different ways. Sometimes God reveals himself with his blessings, sending you loving people in your circle, protecting you from sickness and harm during dangerous situations, providing you with necessities that you need, etcetera. This all comes down to having faith, like in the book of Hebrews where it says “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see”. I would rather chance dying believing in something that might possibly not be true (even though I know it is) vs dying an unbeliever, it being true and going to hell.
I’m not going to ask you to get up and go to church every time the doors are open and to quit doing this or that. However I do want to ask that you consider making a few simple changes in your life and just see how it goes. Thanks to smartphones we now have access to an app called the “Bible” app (ironic huh? lol), I highly recommend downloading the one from YouVersion. If you don’t want to dive right in then take baby steps. Start by reading the “bible verse of the day”- they are literally just a verse, it won’t take you but a minute to read it. Try giving prayer a shot, I know if you’ve never done it before it may seem uncomfortable at first. Look at it as like you’re talking to your best friend (at the time he might not be yours but I promise you are his!). Go over the 10 commandments, I personally read the “New Living Translation” aka NLT because it’s easy to understand. Try applying some of those guidelines to your life little by little and see how your life begins to change.