From ritual to relationship with God
In a world of rules, rituals and man-made systems, a new book “My First Love: A Call From Ritual To Relationship With God” seeks to help people get back to the basics of Christianity.
C. Jillian Gray’s book is not about religion, but rather relationship. It is a call from ritual to relationship with Christ, and takes you on a journey from introduction to intimacy with God.
In her 10th year of Christianity, the author sought to produce a work that would cause Christians to look introspectively at their walk with God and move from a state of custom and sacrament to being an intimate friend of God.
“This book follows the progression of a regular relationship from introduction, to dating, to the covenant of marriage and even conflict within relationships. It parallels our human relationships relating and comparing it to how we interact with God. Like those who treat him like a business partner or a sugar daddy,” said Gray.
Jillian began the book in 2014 inspired to show the world that Christianity was not meant to be an organized institution but that at the very heart of the matter Christianity should be and is, people partnering and walking with the Creator.
Over the five years the 135-page book was written, Gray said she has observed discrepancies in theology that caused her to have a conflict with church, experienced heartache that caused a conflict with God, and has studied those considered to be friends of God in scripture in order to apply to her life the principles they portrayed. She considers this book a work of “heart”.
In the book she writes: “All relationships develop in stages. The highest level of relationship with God is when his heart becomes your heart. When you know him by heart and not just through the knowledge that you’ve acquired through the Word or through other people’s experience; similar to the Pharisees. In Jesus’ day the Pharisees and theologians knew him through scripture, yet in the flesh they could not recognize him. They read the experiences of Moses and knew scripture by heart. They knew the prophecy of the Messiah but didn’t realize the manifestation of the word. This is simply the result of a ritualistic relationship; and is one of the main reasons why I urge you to avoid it. Ritualistic relationships follow the rules without really attaching your heart to the why. A true relationship is what Peter and the other disciples had. They knew the law he taught, and they felt the love he gave. They were not just listening to him. They also lived with him daily. I challenge you to go deeper still and live with him. Not just in your moments of prayer or times of worship; but in letting your entire life be a walk with Jesus. Let his word dwell not just in your heads or even your hearts but let the words of Christ speak life to your soul and compel you to live like he did.”
Gray said her book is a journey from despair to joy, one of hope, passion and depth; a journey of reflection, refueling and reigniting; a journey back to your first love.
“My First Love: A Call From Ritual To Relationship With God” is available on Amazon.com for from cjilliangray.com and is priced at $15.