I have a friend who talks about having a personal relationship with God, but I don't know what that means. I believe in God, but I can't say I have a personal relationship with Him. Can you explain this concept?
One of the Bible’s greatest truths is that God not only wants us to believe in Him, but He also wants to have a personal relationship with us. And this can be true for us, because God has done everything possible to make it a reality.
Let me explain it this way. Suppose you were asked if you believed that a certain famous person exists—a celebrity, for example, or noted sports figure. You would say yes—because you see the evidence for their existence all the time. But if you were asked if you actually knew them and had a personal relationship with them, you’d probably have to answer no; you’ve never met them, nor do you talk with them or spend time with them.
The same is true with God. We can believe that He exists (and we should, because He has given us all the evidence we need to believe in Him). But we also can come to know Him personally—and when we do, we know He is with us all the time, and we can talk to Him in prayer and listen to Him speaking to us through His Word, the Bible.
How can you know God personally? Only one thing keeps us from Him, and that is our sin. But Christ came to erase our sins by His death on the cross, and as we open our hearts to Him, He comes to live within us. By faith ask Christ to take away your sins and come into your life today—and He will. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10:14).