In order for someone to consider asking for directions, they must first recognize that they are uncertain of the way. For a person to allow themselves to be open to instruction it is essential for them to acknowledge that they don’t have all the answers. If one does seek true guidance and expects to receive trustworthy instruction—he should choose a reliable source. For instance, in determining the best route for vacation travel a person would not consult a cookbook, but would most likely study a road map or atlas to consider the best route and means by which to get there. Yet, when people are seeking spiritual guidance they often look in the wrong places.
For instance, in seeking information concerning spiritual matters one can find many answers based on human philosophy. However, because humans are imperfect, human philosophies will also be imperfect, making these sources untrustworthy. Because the Bible is not from man (2 Peter 1:20-21) and has God as its source, it is flawless, perfect, eternal, and powerful; the highest authority and the only trustworthy guide. By using God’s Word, the Bible, one can discover the key to a relationship with Almighty God, which is the reason for our existence. God’s Word is our map to knowing Him: Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to God the Father except through Him (John 14:6).
How can we have a relationship with God? Through the study of the Bible we learn that God is holy and mankind in sinful. This issue of sin must be dealt with to enter into a relationship with God. Since sin is any attitude, word, or action that offends holy God, we are all sinners (Romans 3:20-26). In the same way God’s nature is love, He is also just and set the penalty for sin which is death or separation from Him. Yet, through His amazing gift of grace God made a way for us to be forgiven of sin and guilt through His son, Jesus Christ. Nothing else could accomplish this: no work, good deeds or intentions, formula or religion (Ephesians 2:8-9). To satisfy God’s holy standard, Jesus died on the cross for our sins, becoming the perfect sacrifice for sinful man (Romans 5:6-8). We enter into a relationship with God by accepting His sacrifice, His gift of grace.
How does this work? After agreeing with God that we are sinners, repentance is the next step toward being reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 7:10). Repentance results from sorrow over wrongdoing that leads to change in thinking, behavior, and direction. In repenting, we ask God’s forgiveness and commit to change our behavior to what is pleasing to Him (1 John 1:9). Since this is not something we can do on our own, God has provided His Spirit to help us (John 14:15-17). At the moment we admit that we can do nothing to rescue ourselves and then embrace Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as payment for our sins, we are eternally saved. At that time, God’s Spirit takes up permanent residence in us and begins teaching us truth and helping us make choices that honor our heavenly Father (John 14:26).
If you recognize your personal sin, see your need for a Savior, and are ready to make Jesus the supreme authority in your life, stop now and talk to God. Tell Him that you are a sinner in need of forgiveness, that you believe Jesus’ death on the cross is the only way of saving you from sin, and that you want Jesus to be Lord of your life. Upon doing this, you will become a child of God, eternally belonging to His family (Romans 10:9-10).
So where do you go from here? First, trust that God has saved you and will never leave you (John 10:27-29). Next, tell someone what God has done for you (Matthew 10:32). Then, ask the Lord to lead you in knowing Him better and learning His Word. Find a church where you worship and grow in your faith—a place which clearly proclaims Jesus and teaches His Word without compromise. While you may not initially feel any different, your new relationship with God will be confirmed by your increasing desire to please Jesus and know His Word.