God requires a protocol to approach Him. The trick is how to follow that protocol without it becoming rote or religious. To maintain a freshness in our relationship with God without becoming flippant and casual is a challenge to the church and gatherings of believers everywhere.
Balance is needed, always balance between Awe of the transcendent God, and Joy of intimate connection with the Father through the resurrected Christ. This is God Almighty, the Creator of all, and the one who went to the utter end to rescue and then live within us. We need to consider frequently His enormity and otherness, and at the same time walk in everlasting gratefulness of His drawing near. This brings us to a place of relaxed confidence and trust.
Relaxed confidence. That is a position unrealized by far too many in the Body of Christ. If we are relaxed, it means we are not up tight about our position in relation to God, worried that we are standing on the edge of a steep sliding board, at risk any moment of plunging down and away. Striving to attain good standing in His sight is past; we have come to know we are securely in His care and keeping.
But how do those who know come to that place of confidence? The knee-jerk answer is they have faith. For the not-yet-convinced, or unbeliever, that just sounds like religious talk which has no reality in their lives. They respond with human arguments and atheistic beliefs heard in the past. Faith? Isn’t that just believing something you have heard because you want it to be so? A hope so, maybe so thought? A belief drummed up by the weak and needy?
Well, no, it is much more than that, completely different, yet difficult to describe in worldly, earthly terms because it is a spiritual reality which connects earth with heaven, bringing heaven to earth. Believing what you have heard about God’s rescue plan in Christ is the beginning step, but is not faith. Responding by personalizing it for yourself is the reaching out which instantly becomes faith, opening a whole spiritual world to you and giving substance to something that was not real to you just moments before. As the scripture says, “Faith is the substance of things not seen.”
With faith now in operation, you know that God is true, His word is true, and you can rest in confidence of His eternal care for you.
This then brings a response of awe and gratitude for the unspeakable gift that He is and has given to us. No room for flippancy here, just a natural outflow of praise and thanksgiving.