What is our part in having a love relationship with God? We repent and believe (Mark 1:15).
To repent means turning 180° from trusting in self and living self-centeredly, to trusting God and following his way of love. It chooses trust and love over the fleeting pleasures of selfishness.
To believe or trust God looks like surrendering control (Proverbs 3:5-6). Do not think that we enter God's kingdom by being good enough. We are granted access as we personally submit to its leader. Matthew 7:21 says, “Not everyone who calls me Lord will enter God’s kingdom. The only people who will enter are those who do what my Father in heaven wants.”
How does God respond to our trust?
First, he forgives our sin, meaning that Jesus absorbs the relational cost of all our crimes against God and his kingdom. 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, God will forgive us… He will make us clean from all the wrong things we have done.” God removes all the barriers to being united with him as a son or daughter.
Then, he gives us his empowering Spirit so we can love God and others. Ezekiel 36:26-27 says it like this: “I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees.” As God's Spirit softens and fills our hearts, we joyfully follow his way of love. What are the benefits of trusting God to be our life leader?