Mekenna Eisenga | Staff Writer
Stop and Consider:
“My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You’ve received Christ Jesus, the Master, now live Him.” (Colossians 2:6)
Having a friend can be such a blessing in times of both happiness and sadness. I want to know the Lord like I know a friend. In order for me to have that genuine relationship with Him, I need to lay down all my religion because I want to know Him more and religion can get in the way of that.
Isn’t that a testament for how most of us feel? We can easily get so wrapped up in the religious actions of our faith, instead of the relationship. When we put our focus on the regulations of God’s law, guidelines of sin, and having the “perfect” stature as a Christian, we are only fooling ourselves. It is so easy to compare our level of faith with one another, and even try to be the best Christian there is. How exhausting is it to live like this? There is so much energy spent on the “how“ and “why” of the faith, when we could make the choice to simply be in the faith.
Think of a friend you have that is very dear to your heart. Someone that you know what their strengths and weakness are, their favorite hobby and foods, what annoys them to no end, AND probably their most embarrassing moment. This person is most likely a best friend, right? Once you know who it is, try and remember the time that you met. On that day you met, did you automatically begin investigating them, researching them, and studying their identity? Did you get wrapped up into knowing every detail of their life? Of course you didn’t, because that is completely crazy!
Over the years, you have learned more about your friend simply from the time you spent together. There may have been some conflict too, but even through that uncomfortable time, you learned what ticked each other off. That is what relationships are, learning about each other and growing together! To this day, I continue to learn new things about people, even those closest to me in my family.
Now, think of your relationship with God. If it seems strange and unusual to study a new friend in order for you to know everything about them, then why would you do that to God? There is a sense of happiness and pureness in having an authentic friendship that develops naturally. Of course, most of us need to take into account that sometimes we treat God poorly, and end up not experiencing true love in our relationship with Him. The Message version says it perfectly in Colossians 2:7, “School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it!” The gospel is that simple, so let’s rejoice in it. Seek simplicity in this chaotic world! The gospel is as simple as being friends with Jesus. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
“Having Him as a friend allows us to run straight into His arms unafraid, because we’re met with His love and His presence. We can even lift our hands to Heaven full of faith, because every time we worship we see His face” (United Pursuit). Lay down your religion and just live in His presence. A relationship with God doesn’t get any more simple than that.
Remember: To be friends with God, you do not need a telescope, microscope, or horoscope to realize the simplicity of faith. When you come to Him, that fullness of who He is comes together for you. When this happens we realize that being friends with the Lord is the most natural relationship we can have. His love and simplicity extends over everything!