Tag Archive for personal relationship with God


Earth has nothing I desire besides you (Psalm 73:25, NIV).

Look at your shelves and closets. Think back, and be honest. How many of your purchases were driven by a vague restlessness, by an indefinable discontentment? How often were you reaching for something new to stimulate your life? Without even realizing it, were you searching for some spark that might make life just a little better, a little more fulfilling?

Purchasing is only one expression of that restlessness. How many of your desires – both the small, daily ones and those that are deeper and more long-term – are driven by that same searching? We reach for personal achievement or recognition; for personal pleasure, from eating to immorality; perhaps for travel or a new job. The possibilities are as endless as the varied facets of our personalities. I can’t discern your motivations, but I have seen it in myself: a wanting, a searching, an aspiring and dreaming. The desire usually enters unrecognized. I scratch without even realizing it itches.

As I look back, I see that I satisfy old desires only for new ones to take their place. Seldom do I gain any happiness – a bit of comfort sometimes, but not happiness. Such a pattern can stretch into a lifetime of chasing our tails. Our blind attempts at satisfying ourselves only make our lives more complex through addictions and cumbersome habits. We accumulate “conveniences” to repair and worry about, spending ourselves on “treasures” that just sit on the shelf and mock our weakness. We are only buying new dissatisfactions.

I’m not condemning all these things. I’m only sharing a bit of self-understanding that might help you as well. And I’m sharing a discovery: God does not fit this pattern. I have come to know Him as a real Being, an intriguing Person who is continually with me and lives within me. The more I turn to Him, the more He proves Himself fulfilling, on both deep and practical levels – beyond what I ever could have imagined. The more I know Him, the more I want to know Him and interact with Him.

I can’t tell you how to lose that restlessness, that itch that expresses itself in so many ways. But you can do what I’m doing: every time you recognize that restlessness, turn it on God. Look to Him instead of to anything else. The more you carry your needs and desires to Him, the more you’ll discover that He is your joy. He is that stimulation and inner spark. And He will be as satisfying and personal to you as you allow Him to be.

Loving Christ – truly loving Him – can simplify life. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: The Only Good Is Jesus
Printed Music & Lyrics

Living a Relationship

I want to know Christ. (Philippians 3:10, NIV)

Being a Christian is not living a set of rules.
It is living a relationship.

It’s like a marriage.
What God wants most from us is to
love the Lord your God with all your heart . . .
soul . . .
mind and . . .
strength (Mark 12:30).

I’ve learned that when my wife wants something –
when she’s irritable or withdrawn –
what she usually wants is me.
She wants to share with me.
She wants us to truly be together for a while.

Jesus is the same.
When He wants something from me,
He wants me.
Not some great work of service –
He wants me to turn to Him.
He wants to live that moment,
every moment,
in relationship with me.

He wants us to walk together

Listen and sing:
Hymn: It’s So Good to Be with You
Printed Music & Lyrics

God Finds Joy in You

Let us rejoice in our Maker . . . For the Lord takes delight in His people.
(Psalm 149:2, 4, para.)

Imagine for just a minute: get a mental image of human beings in their most primitive condition, without all the trappings of education, hygiene, and culture. I picture cavemen. You may think of a friend or relative. But envision the human creature completely natural and unadorned, in its rawest form.

Now realize that God seeks union with that creature. Cleanliness may be next to godliness, but remember that many people who were strangers to deodorant have enjoyed intimate fellowship with Him. People with no education have known the Unknowable and shared His wisdom. Human creatures that seem so rough and repulsive at times can fully please a holy God. His Spirit can fill and fellowship with our spirit — that spirit within us that is deeper and more basic than our thin layer of cultural training.

Imagine that a caveman, by simply trusting His Creator, can be fully like Jesus Christ.

Pondering that makes me realize how little we understand the kind of beings we are — how we were originally made and how God sees us from His perspective.

It also makes me realize how deeply He understands us and loves us.

The Lord takes delight in His people (Psalm 149:4, para.).

The Lord takes delight in you.

Yes, we can be so unbeautiful. It’s easy to feel that the constant flow of our failures and inconsistencies surely washes away any good standing we might have with God. But our relationship is much more basic and stable than that. His love embraces us at a deeper level.

Put yourself in this picture: 

The Lord your God is with you . . . He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17, NIV).

As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you (Isaiah 62:5, NIV).

God enjoys just being with you. He takes pleasure in your company, the way a bridegroom enjoys being near his bride.

Pray that way. Talk to Him as One who is delighted to hear from you, who longs to share your thoughts, who deeply loves the most basic “you.”

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Ephesians 1
Printed Music & Lyrics

For Creative Communicators

Whatever your creative bent, whatever your area or outlet, if you are a believer, prepare to serve. God’s love is forever reaching out, drawing people to Himself. He wants to reach out through you. He wants to draw people to Himself through you.

For your part, the more you know Him, the more you will love Him, and the more you will long to show everyone just how wonderful He is. 

As we are called and driven by God’s love, we become creative communicators of the gospel. Individually and together, we use our God-given personalities, abilities, experiences, inclinations, and opportunities to glorify Jesus Christ and draw other people to Him. 

As a creative communicator, remember this key fact: the only thing you will ever have to communicate is what you personally know of Jesus Christ. Biblical knowledge is important, but personal knowledge is central. People don’t just want cold information. They want to know if what you are saying is real…or at least if it is real to you. People can smell what is stiff, canned, or artificial. They can hear it in your voice and in your words. People want reality. They want truth, honestly, clearly, sincerely communicated.

There is a place for language that is objective, intellectual, and detached, but it’s not in personal communication. The truth about Jesus Christ is the most intimate, wondrous, meaningful, and personal thing in all of life. Don’t relegate it to coldly factual language. Speak from experience. Speak from your heart.

As a hymnwriter and as a child of God, it is my goal to be fully responsive to the truth about Jesus. That includes being fully responsive emotionally. No, I don’t have to be emotionally effusive. Many of us are not. But whether we are speaking or writing or acting out our faith, our love for Jesus Christ and our joy and delight in Him need to shine through.

To be fully responsive to the truth about Jesus, nurture your personal relationship with Him. As a communicator, it’s easy to turn into Indiana Jones. When we come into God’s presence, we look around for something to sell, something to write or teach. Instead, focus on Him. Want Him. Need Him. Worship Him.

Focus your life, not on your ministry, but on Jesus Christ and living every moment in Him.