A right relationship with God today is based upon a person’s personal desire. That’s why Hebrews 8:10-12 says, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
God’s people follow Him because they have learned about Him. That’s why Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.” (John 6:44,45) A relationship with God through the New Covenant is not an inherited one in that a person is “born into it” before they learn of God’s will. They learn of God’s will and then they are born-again by it (John 1:12-13, 3:3-7; 1 Peter 1:23). This is why the conversion recorded in Acts 18:8 says, “Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.” Crispus along with the Corinthians learned of God’s will and then they entered into a personal relationship with Him.
A right relationship with God also takes personal responsibility. Peter told the Pentecost crowd to be baptized for their own sins, not Adam and Eve’s (Acts 2:37-38). When we understand and believe that God loves us and that His Son was sent to die for the sins of the world, including our own, and we’re willing to repent of the ones that we’re involved in then, and only then, we are ready to enter into a relationship (a personal relationship) with God through His Son, Jesus (Galatians 3:26-27).
We must be willing to follow Jesus individually despite what those closest to us think about our decision. That’s why Jesus said:
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)
A right relationship with God is something that we must be personally determined to make. And although the decision to follow Jesus will not always be easy, if we’re willing to make it whatever the cost then we will be given a personal reward from the One who knows us better than anyone else (2 Timothy 4:8). EA
“Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 9:23-24)