Religion is Personal

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Every spiritual seeker must consider the existence of God. And then, once assured of God’s existence, they must embark on a journey of spiritual growth. This journey will likely involve Scripture, community, and prayer, with the ultimate goal being an understanding of how to please God through the way we live out our faith life.

Some people follow the religion of their parents, and there is danger in this because one’s faith must be genuine. A relationship with God is not inherited, it’s something each person must pursue individually. That’s why the title of this article is as it is.

I have been concerned recently about the fact that in my own spiritual journey I find appeal in the teaching and person of Jesus, but at the same time I have a deep love of the Qur’an and of the teaching contained therein. The gravity of having to choose one or the other religion (Christianity or Islam) is incredibly frightening to me, because I fear God and believe He has the power to send people to hell. Having beliefs that are pleasing to God is critical.

What I’d like to suggest in this article is that we shouldn’t be concerned with affiliations so much as seeking the will of God for our life individually. I think it’s very unlikely that God will choose to save people on the grounds that they are a Baptist, or a Methodist, or even a self-proclaimed Christian, Muslim, or Jew: what’s more important is our individual relationship with God, how we have lived, and what’s in our heart.

When it comes to spiritual matters, there’s really only one relationship that matters: our relationship with God. This relationship must come above every other relationship, including family relationships and friendships. This is the case because on judgement day, God will judge us all individually. We will not be allowed to have the excuse “my friend gave me a false teaching” or suchlike — it is our personal responsibility to earnestly seek God’s will for our individual life.

Fortunately, God is open to hearing from us. We can take our questions and concerns and petitions to the Lord in prayer. If we do so with a humble heart, we will find He is most forgiving and most merciful.

So may I urge you: set aside some time for prayer. Begin with repentance and ask God to guide your steps. If you have any doubts about how God feels about your life, your character, and your actions, ask Him to mould and shape you into the godly person He wants you to be. He is just a prayer away.