I received your name and email address from a friend. Evidently, you responded through a website called “Life’s Greatest Question.” I have been asked to respond to your questions.
You asked, “How can I have God in my life? How can I take my first step towards Him? I used to pray to God but I had a feeling in me that my prayers are not complete. Please tell me how I should move towards Him.”
Please know that God desires to have fellowship with us. In the Bible I Corinthians 1:9 says, “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
But before we go further, we have to understand the nature of God. For our prayers to be complete, we must know who it is that we are praying to. We must answer the questions, “Who is God?” and “How has He revealed Himself to us?” Who is this God who desires fellowship with us?
God is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe and everyone in it. In the Bible, He has revealed Himself to us as one God in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We say that God is Triune. I do not fully understand the Trinity. But I believe that God is Triune because He has revealed Himself as Triune in the Bible.
"Trinity" is a term that is not found in the Bible but a word used to describe what is apparent about God in the Scriptures. The Bible clearly speaks of God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit...and also clearly presents that there is only one God. Thus the term: "Tri" meaning three, and "Unity" meaning one, Tri + Unity = Trinity.
God the Son (Jesus) is fully, completely God. God the Father is fully, completely God. And God the Holy Spirit is fully, completely God. Yet there is only one God. In our world, with our limited human experience, it is difficult to understand the Trinity. But from the beginning we see God this way in Scripture.
Some Bible verses that shows God is one in Trinity are Deuteronomy 6:4, "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!" (One God) and Matthew 3:16-17, “After being baptized, Jesus [God the Son] went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God [God the Spirit] descending as a dove, and coming upon Him, and behold, a voice [God the Father] out of the heavens, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.'"
This Triune God longs to enter into a love relationship with us. But we are separated from God because of our sin. In the Bible Romans 3:13 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We’ve all done things, said things, and thought things that hurt other people and displease the Lord. This is sin and it separates us from God. In the Bible Isaiah 59:2 says, “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”
We must recognize that our sin has separated us from God and that God is a holy Judge who must punish sin. In the Bible Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death.” What we deserve for all our sinning is eternal death and separation from God forever.
But God has done something for us to overcome our separation from Him. In the Bible Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God the Father sent Jesus, God the Son, to this earth to live a perfect life and to die on a cross. Jesus took the punishment we deserve for our sins in our place when He died on the cross almost 2000 years ago. Since Jesus died for our sins in our place, God’s demand for justice against us as sinners has been met. We can now have access to God through Jesus.
It’s important to realize that Jesus is no longer dead. He rose from the dead. In the Bible I Corinthians 15:3-4 says, “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day.” He’s alive and He is Lord of all. He can make a difference in our lives today.
We cannot earn our way into a relationship with God. We cannot atone for our own sins. We can’t do enough works to make us right with God. A relationship with God comes to us by God’s grace and through God’s initiative. In the Bible, Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Now, God is willing to forgive anyone who will repent (turn from their sins) and trust Jesus to be Savior (Forgiver) and Lord (Leader) of his or her life. In the Bible John 1:12 says, “But to all who did receive [Jesus], who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”
We can receive Jesus through prayer. You could pray a prayer like this: “Dear Jesus, I believe that I am a sinner and separated from God. But I want to have fellowship with God. I believe that You died on a cross to pay for my sins. I believe that You rose again. Right now, I turn away from my sins. I want You to change my life. I ask You, Jesus, to come into my life – to be my Savior and Lord. I want to follow You for the rest of my life. Please change me and make me a new person.”
When we receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, the God, the Holy Spirit, actually comes to live in our lives. He empowers us to live lives that are pleasing to God.
I encourage you to read the Bible to get a clearer understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Do you have a copy of the Bible? Here some the sections I suggest you read: Matthew 13, Luke 9:23-26, Luke 14 and 15, and the book of John. You can use the table of contents to find these passages in the Bible. God will lead you to other sections to read. When you sit down to read, ask God to reveal Himself to you. He will. Having God in your life means that you begin to understand more and more who Jesus is and you fall so much in love with Him that the things of this world don’t mean nearly as much to you as they once did. It’s refusing to trust in any of our human goodness to earn our way into heaven and trusting only in God’s grace.
I can honestly say that I have never heard of anyone who has experienced this kind of a transformation who eventually said, “I regret inviting Jesus into my life.” No, the reverse is true. People say, “I have made many sacrifices to serve Jesus Christ. But I can honestly say that I would do it all over again. Following Jesus is challenging, but it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.”
I hope you will seek God with all your heart. In the Bible Jeremiah 29:13 quotes God saying, “When you seek Me with all your heart, you will find me.”
Please email me if you have more questions. I would imagine that you might have many.