Without a relationship, there is NO WAY for you get to know God! You may have a facade of a relationship with Him, but you have never really invested any time in getting to know Him personally. You are only interested in what you can get out of Him. You are looking to impress other people or to satisfy a spouse. Maybe you are just looking for fire insurance or how He is going to help you get what you want. Hoping that He's going to grade you on a curve, that your "good deeds" outweigh your "bad deeds," and because of that He HAS to let you in.
Let me give you this example I heard in Church recently from my pastor. Let’s say you are 51% good and 49% bad. That is, you are “mostly” good. Your “good” deeds out-weigh your “bad” deeds. You think you’ve been “good enough” so God should just accept you. I know this sounds good. However, let’s apply this logic to an Apple Pie. Would you eat an apple pie that was 51% good apple pie ingredients and 49% horse manure? If you wouldn’t do this, then why would you expect God to do this?
God will not let “dirty people” into His clean Kingdom. He cleans everyone who enters. Or more accurately, He cleans everyone who “chooses” to be cleaned.
If you are relying on God to let you into heaven since your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, then you are in trouble of hearing Jesus say to you, "I never knew you." God forbid!!!
Jesus also mentions that "only the one who does the will of my Father" will enter His Kingdom. What do you think the "will" of the Father is?
The Bible says: And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. ’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31)
Notice that both commands are "relational." Relational to God and then relational to others. This “relational” picture kind of forms the shape of a cross, first upwards to God then outwards to others.
The first and most important relationship God wants you to have is with Him, through His Son Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit. He wants you to invest in that relationship. If you do not have this, then you're missing what's essential. Also, if you do not have a close, personal, loving, intimate relationship with God, you can't have a very good relationship with others. You will not be empowered to complete His second command for you.
Now before you jump in and say this sounds like “works,” it is work in the same way that all relationships are work. They do not come easy. You can't sit back and do nothing and still have a relationship. Relationships require action on both sides to be relationships. It is not working to "earn" your salvation. That "work" was all done by God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit on the cross. However, it is the work of investing in your relationship with God. Spending the time, it takes to get to know all about Him!
Understand that a relationship with God means you desire to get to know Him and who He is. You want to honor Him in everything you do, say and think.
Perspective #40: Understand that a relationship with God means you desire to get to know Him and who He is. You want to honor Him in everything you do, say and think.
You want to be obedient to Him and His commands even if you do not agree with them. A relationship with God is choosing to fall in love with Him. It is choosing to be grateful for Him and what He's done for you.
Perspective #41: A relationship with God is choosing to fall in love with Him. It is choosing to be grateful for Him and what He’s done for you!
Let's face it, a relationship, any relationship is work. Your relationship with God will not be any different. It will require you to work at it, require you to want it, require you to invest in it, require you to get to know Him personally. The more you know Him, the better you can understand Him and what He does or allows to happen in your life. He may even test you to see if you want this "relationship" with Him by giving you two very precious boys with special needs. He may do this to see if you will trust Him even when you can't see or know what is going on.
This "work" is no different than your relationship with your spouse, your family, your friends, or your co-workers. Every relationship requires work on both parts to be a valid relationship. There is no such thing as a one-sided relationship; both sides must work at it. If they do not, then it ceases to be a relationship. However, your relationship with God is at an entirely different level than any other relationship in your life. First, you need to understand that you have the EXACT relationship with God that YOU want!
Perspective #42: You have the EXACT relationship with God that YOU want!
What this means is you are the one controlling your relationship with God. Your level of intimacy with God. Your level of friendship with God. Your level of partnership and cooperation with God. Your level of love for God! Is under your power and control!
Perspective #43: Your level of intimacy with God. Your level of friendship with God. Your level of partnership and cooperation with God. Your level of love for God! Is under your power and control!
To make things more difficult, to make the "work" seem harder, you have an enemy who hates you almost as much as he hates God. This enemy will do everything he can to interfere and distract you from your relationship with God. I think he does this because he can’t affect God directly so he will do everything he can to hurt God indirectly through you. Which requires you to be focused, to be diligent and for you to persevere through challenges, trials, and difficulties that may come your way, even when you do not understand the WHY. And the only way for you to do this is to invest the time it takes to know the One who loves you so much, who gave everything to redeem you, to make way for you to enter into this relationship with Him.
You see, God has already done His part to prove to you that He loves you and that He desires a relationship with you by taking care of your biggest problem, sin. You need to do your part by first believing that Jesus died for your sins and then by faith, putting that belief into action by desiring a relationship with God as well, and then investing in that relationship with Him. Investing in getting to know Him personally.
Understanding this, my next question for you is, if you can have as much of God as you want, how much of God will you take?
Perspective #44: If you can have as much of God as you want, how much of God will you take?
What if I were to put one trillion dollars (that is 999,999,999,999 dollars + one dollar) in front of you and said, "you can have as much of this money as you want," how much would you take? Would you take $5 million? After all, you do not want to be greedy. With $5 million you could retire with an income of $250,000 a year for 20 years. That is almost five times the average annual U.S. household income of $55,775, which means you could retire for 20 years with nearly five times the average U.S. income. Maybe $5 million is not enough? Maybe you would take $5 billion. That should keep you happy for a couple of years, right?
Why not take all of it? Why not take one trillion dollars? Why not want ALL of it?
Your relationship with God is like the example above. However, God is far more valuable, far more precious. Therefore, why not take ALL of Him you can handle? Why not desire ALL of Him you can have? Why not invest all you can in your relationship with Him? I guarantee it will take you ALL of eternity just to get to know and love and appreciate all of who He is. He is one investment you won't be sorry you made!
In Matthew Chapter 13, Jesus tells a couple of parables that illustrate this fact:
The Bible says: The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:44-46 emphasis added)
Jesus wants us to be just like this man and this merchant. When we recognize the treasure that is in Him, we run off and sell everything we have and invest it in Him and His Kingdom.
That means we own nothing else but Him; we've sold EVERYTHING to possess Him. There is nothing we own that is hindering our relationship with Him. We are free of all encumbrances!
Notice how Jesus wants us to get rid of all the other distractions, all of the other things in our lives that interfere with our relationship with Him!
Perspective #45: Jesus wants us to get rid of all the other distractions, all of the other things in our lives that interfere with our relationship with Him!
Now He may or may not ask you to sell all your possessions to follow Him. However, He will put His finger on the ones that He feels interfere with your relationship with Him, which is what we want Him to do. We want Him to remove anything and everything from our lives that interfere with us getting to know Him better and investing entirely in our relationship with Him. And this is what it means to be in a relationship with God.
Your ability to have the correct "perspective" depends on you being able to humble yourself before God and say, "I am sorry, I repent, I surrender, God, I do want a relationship with You."
If you do want to develop a close, personal, relationship with God the Father, the Creator of the Universe, that is an awesome thing! However, if this is something you think you cannot do, let me ask you to make a promise to yourself right now. Make a pledge that says, "I will keep an open mind as I read through this series and see if what this Walker guy says makes sense." If it does, then you can choose for yourself later whether you want this relationship with God or not.
Let me know what you think by leaving your comments below.
 Paraphrased from a message given by Pastor Ron Woods, The Well Church, Yucaipa, CA
 Or the Lord our God is one Lord
 Deut. 6:4-5 - Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
 Lev. 19:18 - You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.