Have you ever had someone ask you a question and you either didn’t want to answer or didn’t really know how to answer because it was so personal? Sometimes the answer may make you feel embarrassed or exposed; other times the answer can be so tightly tied to a feeling or emotion that you just don’t know which words to use to explain it.
There have been times that I’ve been at a loss for words when it comes to my relationship with God. I try to be an open book and can share my testimony with anyone who asks, even sometimes when someone hasn’t asked! I think it’s important for believers to know how to articulate their faith – what we believe and why. It takes thought and practice and it gets easier the more you do it. But when it comes to explaining how I can completely rest in God’s care during a crisis or even just day to day, I sometimes stumble over the words. The best I can come up with is, it’s personal.
Our relationship with the Lord is a personal thing, just between you and God. The challenges I face are different from the ones you are facing. My personality and life experiences give me a different filter for seeing the world than you, just like your personality and life experiences filter your view.
I’ve always prayed for my kids and grandchildren to have the same deep relationship with the Lord that I enjoy. I pray for them to have discernment to be able to differentiate the noise of the world versus the sweet whisper of God. I’m thankful they all have given their hearts to Jesus. But when it comes to the deep details, their relationship with God is personal for them, just between God and them.
It’s the same with friends and people we know. I have a friend I’ve been praying for to come to know Jesus for years. They know who God is, they just haven’t fully embraced Him as their Heavenly Father. And I may never know whether they ever will. When it comes to others, we can witness to them, be Jesus to them, but the relationship they have with the Almighty Living God has nothing to do with us; it’s personal.
We can desire for them to walk with Jesus, we can pray for their salvation and that they have wisdom and discernment for the will of God, but ultimately it’s not up to us. God is the one who desires a close relationship. His Holy Spirit is constantly at work, drawing people to Him. He’s looking for a truly personal relationship with His children. He has a plan and deep love and affection for each one of us, right where we’re at. For God, it’s personal. And His relationship with each one of us is filtered by His never-ending love and compassion, His grace and His mercy and His total and complete understanding of who we are, down to our very core.
No one loves you more completely than He does. No one else would go to the ends of the earth to prove their love. And no one demonstrated such perfect love as Jesus did by taking on my sins and your sins and allowing Himself to be the substitute for what rightfully should have been our punishment.
So what about you? Is your relationship with Jesus so deeply entwined with who you are as a person that it is sometimes challenging to put it into words? Is there no way to tell where you stop and Jesus starts? If so, you have been blessed with the kind of rich relationship that you can truly say when asked, it’s personal!
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. – John 15:13