In their book, Being Christian, Exploring Where You, God, and Life Connect, authors Stephen Arterburn and John Shore address four things every Christian will have at some point in life: answers, guidance, confirmation, and inspiration. They address a question that has laid heavy on the heart of many believers: Does God Have a Plan for Me?
He certainly does. God’s plan is for you to accept the fact that He loves you, has always loved you, and will always love you. God’s plan for you is to trust in the truth of who He is, and in what He has done for you. It’s for you to open yourself up to the wondrous powers of the Holy Spirit within you.
One of Satan’s most insidious strategies to attack and influence the children of God has been to keep them too involved with challenging relationships to care about a relationship with the One who cares the most—Jesus Christ.
Clearly, God wants us to be in loving relationships, starting with Himself. Yet relationships are being destroyed, hearts broken, and families fractured as good Christian men and women forget what God has said about the most important priorities in life—to love Him first and to love our neighbors. This is the very essence of the gospel message.
Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. Matthew 22:37-40.
Step One: Love the Lord Your God
It starts by acknowledging Jesus Christ as our Savior—our Lord.
Ryan Northcutt is the pastor of a small (but rapidly growing) community church in Haltom City, Texas. Pastor Ryan talked passionately about a personal God who understands what it’s like to live in this world—to be involved with people, challenges, troubles, and trials. He said:
We can’t do it on our own. When we trust in ourselves it’s too hard. If we rely on only ourselves we will be left wanting. When we are separated from God we feel it—we may not know what is missing from our life—but we know something is. When that something becomes a relationship with the Lord, it’s impossible to live the same way. When our relationship with the Lord grows—we grow.
It’s not about what we have to do to get to God, for by grace we are all saved. It’s about what Jesus did for us to get to us.
Adapted from Setting Boundaries with Difficult People, Six Steps to SANITY for Challenging Relationships by Allison Bottke © 2011. Harvest House Publishers. All rights reserved.
Visit the Setting Boundaries Books website today for more information.