Eliminating Barriers

A relationship with God promises a better, more joyful, and more abundant life. Who doesn’t want that? But the act of putting God in charge – a necessary part of your relationship with him – may seem scary. It’s human nature for us to want to be in control. What’s more, many of us have felt pretty out of control in our lives, so we try to manage the things happening around us.

Unfortunately, our “life management” included trying to control our partners, sometimes physically. That strategy usually doesn’t work well for anyone. If you’re reading this website, it’s something you’ve committed to changing.

Here are some questions that, when left unanswered, can keep people from accepting this life-giving relationship with God. If you have some of these same questions, we hope our answers put you at ease:

Does God really exist?

This is a really big question. It’s ok to have doubts. Some of the ways in which you might come across him include

  • experiencing God in nature
  • feeling his presence as a sense of calm or peacefulness at an unexpected time
  • seeing his involvement in miracles
  • having novel thoughts that turn out to be really good guidance or answers to prayers

None of this is absolute proof – that’s why it’s called faith. Don’t check your brain at the door, but do check God out.

Does he really want a relationship with me?

Yes. Like a father who wants a child, he created you because he loves you and wants a relationship with you. To love God and be loved by him is your purpose.

If God knew all of the things I’ve done, will he still want a relationship with me?

Some of us are reluctant to confess all that we’ve done because we don’t want God to judge us. This worry is unnecessary because God already knows about everything we’ve done, good and bad.The good news is that he wants a relationship with us anyway. The Bible is full of stories of people who did terrible, hurtful, wrong, immoral things, but were redeemed by God for confessing, asking forgiveness, and inviting him into their lives. The story of Saul and Ananias is a great example. There is nothing that you’ve done, or could ever do, that would cause God to not want a relationship with you.

If I put God in charge, ​will I walk around possessed and out of control?

No. That is not how God works. We still have control of ourselves and the free will to act and make decisions. Like making a new friend, we get to determine how much influence we let that new person have. As our creator, however, he knows how we are made and he wants good things for us. So God does want to influence us to live and act in ways that will be good for us.

Will I become a religious freak that no one wants to be around?

It will be up to you, but please don’t. You are not expected to preach to people or convert them. You should not point out people’s flaws. On the contrary, being a Christian should mean that you listen better, are more helpful and supportive, and become an all-around better friend. Others like being around people like that.

Will I need to drop my non-Christian friends?

No. As a matter of fact, it would be great if you’d keep your Christian and non-Christian friends.

Will my life change?

​Yes, but for the better. You’ll feel good about yourself as you become a loving, kind, and compassionate person who cares for others and works to make their lives better. You’ll feel joy on tough days, rather than crushed like before.

What will others think?

One of the really freeing things about a relationship with God is we begin to care a lot less what others think about us, especially opinions about how we look or our material possessions. Instead, we care about the qualities we know God appreciates, like how we treat others or whether we are using the talents he gives us to do good in this world. However, others will notice that you’ve become more patient, joyful, generous, and that you show better self-control during stressful situations. When they ask where this is coming from, it’s fine to point them to your power source.

If I have a relationship with God, will he do what I want when I ask?

If you are looking for a god that you can call up like a genie to give you ultimate power or fulfill your every wish, it won’t happen. This is not how God works. Like any good parent, he cares about your needs and loves to hear what you want. However, he won’t necessarily give you everything you desire because he knows that saying “No” or “Not now” is sometimes better for you.

Does he really show up in people’s lives and make a difference?

Millions of believers would testify yes. How exactly this works we don’t know. There are mysteries about God we don’t understand on this side of heaven, but that does not make him false.

If God wants a relationship with me, why do I have to do anything?

God will not force us to have a relationship with him. He’s politely waiting for us to invite him into our lives. This is also a good model for us in our relationships. We cannot force someone to have a relationship with us. Only when they want to have one with us is it a true relationship. There’s another reason why God wants us to seek him first: he wants us to show humility, so we are open to his direction rather than insisting on doing it our way.

There are hundreds of other questions you might have. We encourage you to ask the tough questions and continue seeking answers. God is worth getting to know. Here are some websites that might cover other questions:

The Power to Change
Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry
Christianity Q&A