I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
(Psalm 73:23-25, NIV)
The most moving, eye-opening, transforming point in my life came when I realized this one simple truth: God is a real Being. He is not a mythical figure, an impersonal force, or the creation of our minds. He is a real “person,” a living Being. I can interact with Him. In fact, He delights to interact with me.
What’s more, He loves me–He deeply loves me. He provides for me and works in my life. He patiently teaches me and changes me from the heart. He forgives me when I do wrong.
And He is with me. He is personally, constantly, intimately, actually right here with me, all the time.
For me, the real attraction of the Christian life is not the lifestyle, although I’ve found that it’s the best, wisest, and most natural. What’s compelling about being a Christian is Jesus Christ himself.
I find it so sad: when people hear the term “Christian,” they too often think of stuffy religion or perhaps a certain political persuasion or cultural flavor. They think of living by lots of rules. Or saddest of all, they think of people who sometimes seem self-righteous, narrow-minded, and condemning.
Being a Christian is none of those things. Believe me, it isn’t. Christianity is simply this: knowing Jesus Christ as a real person, face-to-face.
Christianity is the simplicity and warmth of a personal relationship. It is knowing the One who created you. It is knowing the One who loved you from the moment He conceived you, long before you were born. It is knowing the One who suffered and died to remove the evil from within you. It is trusting an intimate Friend who is always loving, always wise, and always with you.
Walking with Him, step-by-step, is making my life more wonderful than I ever dreamed life could be. I can talk to Him anytime throughout the day and know that He hears me and is pleased that I’m talking to Him. When I’m concerned, I can turn to Him, talk with Him, and lean on Him. When I’m happy, I can thank Him. When I’m wrong, I can ask forgiveness, knowing He gives it gladly and completely.
In myself, I’m no more perfect than anyone else. But because He is with me and in me always, He is making me more loving. He is helping me love others at home and wherever I go.
He brings wonderful gifts to my life–genuine love, deep peace, a sense of security, a joy that isn’t dependent on circumstances. But none of His gifts are as wonderful as He is. He is peace. He is beauty. He is life itself.
I have been reunited with the One who made me, and the reunion is marvelous.