He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. --2nd Corinthians 1:22 (NIV)
There is something deep within all of us that desires to connect with others in a meaningful way. This sense of longing is what pushes us to pursue relationships with new people, and engage in ways of deepening our relationships with parents, peers and spouses. Even when we are enjoying the best of such relationships, there remains a piece of us that years for even greater fulfillment. Greater fulfillment is impossible apart from a relationship with Christ.
Our soul is that piece of us that desires to connect on an intimate and meaningful level. God has given us a soul as a means of responding to Him. Because we are made in God's image, we have been given a mark that allows us to recognize when God calls us. In some ways, I suppose it can be thought of as a caller-ID device. However, not everyone wants to know God. Each of us has the opportunity to accept or reject God when He calls.
When I was 15, I had a deep sense that God was calling my name and wanted me to spend more time rooting my life in Him. All my life I had been aware of God and certainly believed in Him, but it wasn't until later that I began to understand that God is a personal God. When He called my name, I responded. My family affirmed that decision and celebrated it with me. They told me that my decision to begin a relationship with God was even more important that the decision about whom to marry!
When God calls and we answer, we begin to feel more peaceful and settled. The sense of completeness and wholeness that comes from a vibrant relationship with God impacts our earthly relationships as well. Because of my own walk with God, I have been blessed in tremendous ways. I have learned difficult lessons in times of trial, and I've learned what it really means to love as Christ loves. Every day I thank God that He called me by name and that He has filled the deepest longings of my heart and soul.
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"They told me that my decision to begin a relationship with God was even more important that the decision about whom to marry!" Your family told you rigthly. I know you have never regretted taking this advice. Thomas