I received an email from a young woman who was feeling distant from God. She said she wanted a relationship with Jesus like the one described in the song “More Like Falling in Love” by Jason Gray. Basically, she had identified that she wanted a relationship not religion, but wasn’t sure how to get there.
I think she’s right. We’ll never get to a place of real communion with Jesus by following a system of rules and rituals. Yes, church is important for fellowship and hopefully, provides us an opportunity to learn more about God and spend some time worshiping Him. But, too many people falsely believe that going through the motions of church every week will lead to a relationship with Christ. I don't think that works...it's never worked for me.
In my experience, the times I have felt closest to Jesus are when I am serving others. There is something about giving everything you have to people who could never pay you back that opens the door for Jesus to really take hold of your heart. I love the scripture in James 1:27--"Pure and undefiled religion before the Lord is this, to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unpolluted from the world".
In addition to serving others and avoiding the pitfalls of sin, I also think it’s important to spend time with God each day by reading the Bible and praying. This is how God communicates with us. We can ask God where He is calling us to serve. We should also ask Him to give us the strength to help us avoid temptation and stay pure and unpolluted by the world. That's hard, I know. But, we have His strength and His Holy Spirit to help us. And, when we mess up, we have His grace to cover us...we can pray for forgiveness and move on.
I don’t have all the answers, but I think these are the things (seeking Him, serving others, and staying pure) that make our relationship with Jesus more like falling in love.