Someone recently asked me this question: “As your relationship with God has deepened, has it become easier or harder?” My response was, “Yes … and it has been completely worth it!”
My relationship with God deepened dramatically since I started tithing the first hour of my day to Him in March 2013. Since then, my walk with God has become both much easier and much harder, and I would not trade the last 4.5 years for anything!
A closer relationship with God is much harder from the perspective of the flesh. Submitting an area of my life to God involves starving the flesh and feeding the spirit, requiring my flesh to “die.” That’s not a fun process. It’s uncomfortable. It requires me to do things differently than how I have always done them. I must make different choices, denying myself things that I have previously allowed. Sometimes this choice affects other people, who don’t understand why I used to be OK with doing something and am now making different choices. I have lost relationships over this. I have experienced much loss as my relationship with God has deepened.
However, a closer relationship with God is much easier from the perspective of the spirit because it awakens me to who God created me to be. As I put to death an area of my life that I used to submit to the flesh, I experience life as God intended, which leads to much joy and peace. I release baggage that I did not even realize I was carrying around. My spirit feels “lighter,” and my walk becomes easier. I marvel that I ever valued what has been lost because what I have gained is of far more value.
My life has also become simpler as my relationship with God has deepened. When I was living my life by my sinful nature, I had an infinite number of choices. With God, there is only one: “Follow Me.” I have no agenda other than doing God’s will, so I no longer invest time into weighing out the pros and cons of my many options. God is the master, and I am the servant. Nothing is more simple than doing the one thing God tells me to do … it’s just not easy.
I’ll share some specific examples of ways that my deeper walk with God is both easier and harder. I have been doing this for 4.5 years, and I would not trade my walk with God for anything this world has to offer:
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” ~ Phil. 3:7-9
[Graphic: Cartoon of a head shot of Grace with a question mark. Courtesy Bitmoji.]