Relationship NOT Religion

Allow me to introduce you to my guest blogger today: Mark Heidelberg – with House of Prayer Edmonton

Mark found out about ‘House’s of Prayer’ through a magazine article in 2011, and with a quick google search found House of Prayer Edmonton. Soon after that, he  began attending as many prayer sessions as he could, while he continued working as an electrician. Through those prayer times at H.O.P.E Mark said his eyes were opened to the beauty of Jesus, and that He was worthy of receiving worship more than just on a Sunday or in a church setting. Long story short, Mark ended up joining the H.O.P.E staff in the summer of 2014, and now happily gives his days praying for our city, and challenges  others to go deeper in relationship with the Lord.

I have been both challenged and inspired by Mark and his commitment to prayer, which is why I chose to feature him today. I wanted you to hear his heart and passion for Jesus, in hopes that you will be challenged and inspired as I have. 

It’s not religion but relationship. Sound familiar?

When it comes to relationship with Jesus there is a lot of talk on what that looks like, but somewhere along the way Jesus has gotten a bad name because of religion. So what does relationship with Jesus look like?

Relationship with Jesus, is simply about wanting Him close and inviting Him in your everyday. However, in our busy society how do we even begin to cultivate that relationship?

You need to find the time, not just because it’s a ritual you do out of obligation, but because you want to. Any human relationship is built and maintained by spending time together. It’s no different with Jesus. We need to sit with Him, open up the bible and ask Him questions about what we are reading. Ever have a bible verse impact you in a special way? That is Jesus coming close. Treasure those moments. 
Another primary way to know that Jesus desires relationship with us, is through people and creation.  When we desire to build relationship with someone, we might go for coffee or maybe help them out with something. Then, when that relationship grows and you care about them, you would usually say something nice to them – right? God does similar things for us, but operates at whole different level. While we can’t sit down for coffee with him, He is that close, and orchestrates everything in our lives beautifully. 
Sunsets declare his beauty. Music His emotions. The sciences, His mastermind. When you are all of a sudden aware that you were taken care of in a situation that you couldn’t explain, or you’ve seen something in a way you hadn’t seen before, that’s Jesus revealing himself to you. 
You don’t have to be in a church, or knelt by your bed to be close with Him. You can talk with Him when you’re driving to work, changing a diaper or admiring the beauty of His creation. The glorious reality, is that Jesus desires relationship with us. It’s not about how many times I made it to church this year, or it’s not even about all the “good deeds” we do, it’s simply about wanting to be with Him. As we develop this relationship, He becomes our resting place, and someone we can go to for help or just sit with when we need a friend. 
This relationship is available for each one of us, not just some special Christians. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,” (John 14:15–16, ESV) Did you notice He said “If you love me.” He didn’t say, if you are part of a religion, or attend a building every Sunday, He said, “If you love Me.”
Have you been “doing religion” yet find yourself longing for relationship? I challenge you to take some time today to talk with Jesus. I pray that you know Him has I do, my constant companion and closet friend. 
– Mark Heidelberg

Mark with his beautiful wife, Dominic. 

CLICK HERE to support Mark as an intercessory missionary and designate HR09.

The More I Seek You: Kari Jobe


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