God Wants Your Adoration, Not Obligation
God on an "as needed" basis
I’ve gone to church my entire life. So I grew up always knowing that God was out there and that He cared about me and my circumstances. However if I’m being honest, my relationship with God started off purely on an “as needed” basis. Let me explain, growing up in church I was constantly told that I should turn to God when challenges arose. I found that when I would, I genuinely felt God helping me overcome the struggles that I faced. It was in those seasons in which I felt close to God because I was spending so much of my time reading the Bible, praying and looking for ways to commune with Him. It didn’t seem hard to be intentional about devoting time to my relationship with God because it was something that I relied on to get me through whatever challenge I was dealing with at the time. And though it’s great that I turned to God in those seasons, I started to realize a toxic pattern within the inconsistencies in my relationship with God.
When I would reflect on the seasons in which I felt closest to God I noticed that it was always in periods of my life in which I was going through something difficult. As I reflected further I noticed that it seemed to be really easy and natural for me to be intentional in seeking Him when I was going through struggle, but I was not so intentional with seeking Him when things seemed to be going well for me. I noticed that the times in my life where I felt disconnected and furthest from God was in season of life that seemed to be going really well for me. It was then that I found it difficult to be consistent in reading the Bible, praying and spending time with God. It was like I carried this mentality that knew God was always going to be there for me, but because I didn’t need Him I also didn’t want to put in the work to be intimate with Him. It’s embarrassing to admit but I would carry that mentality up until something hard hit me again to spark the intentionality to have intimacy with God again.
God is not a commodity
When I noticed this in my life I realized the shallowness of my relationship with God. I realized that I saw God as my commodity-- someone that could give me something that I wanted when I wanted it. I saw Him for what I could get from Him and chose to forget about what I could give to Him. I was doing was only looking to take from God when I felt I needed Him and giving nothing that required my effort or devotion when I thought that I didn't. While God is always looking to give to us, a relationship with Him requires intentionality and devotion on our part. Purely approaching God on an "as needed" basis is proof of a shallow and ingenue relationship. It points to the truth that maybe you just care about what the relationship has to offer rather than the relationship itself. If you’re someone that needs a crisis to turn to Christ then you might find yourself in a lot of crisis. God loves you too much to gamble with your eternity. He wants to draw you to a place where you realize your need for intimacy with Him.
Giving to God
While God will always give of Himself to us no matter what we do, we can’t forget that it takes two to make a healthy relationship. I’ve realized that of the greatest parts about being in a right-standing relationship with God is being able to give what I can give to Him. I can give Him my sorrow and He will comfort me. I can give Him my time and He will make it fruitful. I can give Him my joy and He will multiply it. I can give Him my efforts and He will bless it. I can give Him my wants and He will reveal to me my needs. I recognize that every time I give Him something, He replaces it with something better in return. Though God is constantly giving I see now after spending so much time taking, I missed out on some of the most amazing aspects of being in true, genuine relationship with Him-- Giving out of my adoration and not my obligation.
"God doesn’t want you to approach Him out of obligation, He wants you to approach Him out of adoration."
Remember, God has already given you everything in His relationship with you, and the beautiful thing is that He will continue to give of Himself to you no matter what you do. He is a gentleman that will never make you do something against your will, because His love isn’t controlling. God doesn’t want you to approach Him out of obligation, He wants you to approach Him out of adoration.