Chapter 6

Chapter 6 - Entering In

If we attempt to enter into a relationship with God, we may soon run into a dilemma. Instead of actually succeeding, we could easily wind up getting nowhere. Fortunately, there is certain information each of us knows deep down within ourselves that can help us to achieve success. I'll call this information "internal pointers", since it can help point us towards important things. Although we all have numerous internal pointers, I'll focus on two specific internal pointers that provide the useful information needed for us to successfully enter into a relationship with God.

The first internal pointer is very obvious – each of us has a desire for more happiness than we achieve. The second internal pointer is that each of us knows there is a certain level of behavior that would be good for us to attain, and yet if we are honest with ourselves, we will realize that we do not reach that level. If we were pole vaulters, we would realize the bar is up at some height. We may not know the exact height, but we do know it is up there somewhere. We also realize that we do not pole vault over that height.

What do we do with this internal pointer information? Do we ignore it? Do we try to convince ourselves that things are different or better than this information actually indicates? Do we try harder to achieve more happiness or to be better in our behavior? Is this information just part of a cruel joke – like a dangling carrot in front of us that we can never fully reach or eat? Or is there a greater purpose for it?


Have you attempted to do anything with this internal pointer information in your own life? If so, have you learned anything about yourself or life through it?

Attempts at Internal Pointer 1

Let's say that we take the approach of trying harder to be happier. Will we actually succeed? As hard as we try, can we ever be totally happy? The ironic thing to me is that although each of us has an internal desire for greater happiness, as hard as we try, we cannot attain it. We may see some improvement, but we will not actually get there. In many cases we may wind up further away from getting there. For example, Howard Hughes had a tremendous amount of money. So if happiness could be bought, he certainly had the means. But with all that buying power, he still wound up dying as a junkie with only short-term highs. As it says in the lyrics to one of Billy Joel’s songs, “It's either sadness or euphoria.”

Attempts at Internal Pointer 2

If we work harder at trying to reach the level of behavior that we know would be good for us to be at, will we actually get there? Can we even reach the bar height in the pole vault analogy, let alone get over the bar?

There is actually a very common approach that people use in an attempt to fulfill Internal Pointer 2. It is one of the ways religion gets formed. How it works is that some people know the high bar is up there somewhere, so they create rules that seem right to them. They then hope that if they follow these rules well enough that they will reach the high bar and in turn wind up getting right with God. Some people begin to formalize these rules and then state to others that these rules must be followed for them to also be acceptable to God. These rules then get passed on from generation to generation. This can cause some people to assume that there must be some extra validity to this approach, since it has been around for such a long time and has been tried by so many people. People can spend their entire lives trying this approach. Often, near the end of their lives they double their efforts to try to ensure success, since deep down they are unsure of how well they have done. Even with an increased effort, they still wonder if they are "making it".

The problem with this approach is that instead of enabling people to really enter into a relationship with God, it instead causes them to sacrifice their personhood, which was defined in Chapter 2 as:

      • Maintaining the ability to think for one’s self.

      • Remaining a unique individual.

      • Remaining true to one’s self.

So the rules themselves begin to define their lives. And over time, they wind up being religious, instead of truly having a relationship with God. The meeting of the 3-Criteria also does not occur in their lives, since it is based upon entering into a relationship with God.

“Religious” people not only hurt their own personhood, but also wind up trying to hurt the personhood of others. They often rationalize this behavior by overlooking their own negative actions that hide behind their attempted handshake with the rules. But to others, who have an outsider’s perspective, the negative effects of those actions are more easily seen – not only in what they do to the religious person’s personhood, but also in the damage done to the personhood of others.

Overall, this approach is often heralded as the way to go, and people are made to feel guilty for not following it, but in reality it kills personhood and eventually stops at a religious dead end.

There are a number of reasons why this approach does not work. For one thing, this approach views God as a taskmaster who wants us to conform to rules, but is not really that interested in us. So this is really a lower view of God. But if we instead start with God’s perfection qualities, we see that God is first interested in a relationship with us, and then secondly in the actions that come about as a result of that relationship. God is not looking for just an adherence to rules. This is similar to a husband who buys roses for his wife once a year, but does not really have a relationship with her. Roses are nice, but the relationship is the important thing. If the relationship is there, then roses can be like a little extra icing on the cake.

This approach also does not take into account the full perfection of God. If we actually saw God face-to-face, we would be absolutely amazed and awed at God’s perfection. This is like the life review that occurs in near-death experiences where people are amazed at how negative some of their actions were in light of God’s perfection. If we compare our actions to someone else’s, both of our actions may be similar in that we violate our own consciences to about the same degree. But if we compare our actions to God’s perfection, it would be like comparing our physical height to the height of Mount Everest – but even much more so. More than we can possibly fathom. If we saw God face-to-face, it would be very clear that we could never become good enough in our actions in order to earn God’s approval or favor. It would be obvious that we do not even get close to the pole vault bar height. Instead we would realize the need for some other approach.


It appears that as hard as we try, we still cannot achieve the greater level of happiness that we desire (Internal Pointer 1), and we also cannot reach the level of behavior that we know would be good for us to attain (Internal Pointer 2). So again, the big questions are:

      • Why are these two internal pointers even there?

      • Is there truly no way for these two internal pointers to be fulfilled?


Do you know why the internal pointer information is there? Do you know of any way to fulfill Internal Pointer 1 or Internal Pointer 2?

Why the internal pointer information is there

The actual reason the internal pointer information is there is to help us to think about and explore what could be more to life, but to not stop at a dead end – just like hamsters on a wheel going nowhere. Instead, these internal pointers are there to help us to look outside of ourselves and eventually to look up to God and ask, "Is there something more?", "Do You have any solutions?" God can then help to guide us and give us the needed understanding into His/Her solutions to these questions.

How the internal pointer information can be accomplished

The initial solutions to Internal Pointer 1 (our desire for more happiness) actually wind up being contingent upon the solution to Internal Pointer 2. Therefore, let’s first look at the solution to Internal Pointer 2. We can then build upon this and look at solutions for Internal Pointer 1 later in this chapter.

Internal Pointer 2 states:

“Each of us knows there is a certain level of behavior that would be good for us to attain, and yet if we are honest with ourselves, we will realize that we do not reach that level. If we were pole vaulters, we would realize the bar is up at some height. We may not know the exact height, but we do know it is up there somewhere. We also realize that we do not pole vault over that height.”

Let’s look at this internal pointer information a little more carefully. Basically, I need to get somewhere or to something that I cannot attain (i.e. I cannot pole vault over the bar). The key in this last sentence is "I cannot attain". So if you or I cannot attain it, can anyone attain it? And even more importantly, can someone else attain it for us? In other words, if I can't make it, can someone else make it and then give their "making it" to me? This is actually the secret that unlocks the puzzle. The key is for us to start with God's efforts instead of our own.

Two questions bring this into focus.

1. Can God “make it”?

2. Is God willing to give His/Her "making it" to us?

Fortunately, the answer to both of these questions is Yes.

Before looking at how God accomplished "making it", let’s take a look at the bigger picture of why God would want to do this for us. The details of how God accomplished "making it" will then hopefully make more sense in the context of this larger picture.

The big picture and the reason why

So what is the big picture? More than anything God wants our best, and that best is for us to have a relationship with God. God knows that good relationship is based on selfless love, personhood being respected, and freedom for each party to respond. So God provided a solution of His/Her "making it" that would first start with God's infinite love for us. In that love, it would respect our personhood by allowing us the freedom to respond to God's love. And lastly it would allow us to return God's love back to God, to ourselves, and to others. The bottom line reason why God would want to do this for us is because God highly loves and values us, and wants our best.

Now that we’ve looked at the larger context and the reason why God would want to "make it" for us, let’s now look at how God actually accomplished this for us in a very amazing way.

A strange solution?

At first glance it may seem a bit strange in both how God "made it" (i.e. pole vaulted over the bar), and how God gives His/Her "making it" to us. But I can't make it non-strange for you by trying to change it into something it is not, nor would I want to do so. Because, the more I learn and understand what God did for each of us, the more I appreciate the amazingness of it. It is like when I read poetry as a kid. I didn't really like poetry. Only as I grew a little in my understanding of poetry did I begin to appreciate certain things about poems – such as the elegance of some poems in their ability to communicate so much with so few words. So, God did things in a way that we would be thankful for and amazed at, even a million years from now. So, not only can God help us to know that S/He is there, that S/He selflessly loves us, etc., God can also help us to appreciate the things S/He has done for each of us if we are willing to ask Her/Him for insight. So once again, you may want to say something like, "God, please help me to understand these things and not get tripped up by what at first may seem a little odd."

How God "made it"

First of all, since God is not human, how could S/He reach a certain level of human behavior? Do you remember the fictitious story of Puss in Boots, where there was a cat that matched wits with an ogre and won? The cat slyly asked the ogre if the ogre could turn himself into a mouse. The ogre proceeded to do so, and the cat gained victory by eating the mouse. God is not egomaniacal like the ogre in Puss in Boots. S/He is also much bigger. But similar to the ogre changing into a much smaller form, God did an amazing thing at one point in history when S/He became a person. You may have already guessed that the name of this person is Jesus.

When God first appeared as a man, the people living during that time didn't realize at first that Jesus was actually God. They realized He was a pretty amazing person, but only as they hung out with Him for a while did they begin to realize that He was indeed the God of the universe.

It's an interesting combination being both fully human and fully God. As a human, Jesus dealt with the same things we do: hunger, thirst, fatigue, etc. But since Jesus was also fully God (packed unlimitedly with God), He didn't have the same character flaws that we have. Granted, some of His actions could be misunderstood and inaccurately interpreted as less than perfect. But since He was fully God, He had God’s perfection qualities without flaw. He was the first person to actually attain at all points Internal Pointer 2 by being relationally perfect in behavior. As such, Jesus was the only person to ever pole vault over the bar.

How God shares His/Her "making it" with us

So, God in His/Her love for us became a human so that S/He could "make it" and then give that "making it" to us. It is like a person owning an estate and then willing it to us. The transfer of the estate from them to us occurs upon their death. In the same way, when Jesus physically died, He gave His "making it" to us as a gift.

The details of how this actually works are:

1. Jesus maintained God's perfection qualities without flaw and also perfectly maintained His personhood.

2. Jesus began to draw quite a following. The institutionalized religious "leaders" of His day became jealous of Jesus' popularity. So they attempted to control Jesus by trying to force Him to both compromise His personhood and to conform to their religiousness.

3. Since Jesus would not compromise His personhood, the religious "leaders" decided to get Jesus killed. They did this by persuading the government of their day to give Jesus the death sentence. In those days, instead of using the electric chair or lethal injection, they used crucifixion. So they used large spikes to nail Jesus to a wooden cross and then waited for Him to die.

4. On the Cross, Jesus suffered the penalty of every violation of "making it" that all people of all times have done (people of the past, present, and future). He paid for all the things that would show up in the life review of a near-death experience – every crime, relational violation, violation of conscience, etc. And before dying on the Cross, Jesus said, “It is finished”, showing that He made it over the high bar for us and His payment for us was totally complete and acceptable to God on our behalf!

5. Jesus rose from the dead demonstrating that God is able to beat death, not only for Him/Herself, but also for all of us!

6. Jesus offers us His payment for us (i.e. His "making it" over the bar height) as a gift that is acceptable to God on our behalf!

This may seem a little “different”, but in the big picture it demonstrates the kind of selfless love that God has for each of us. It would be as if you were a street person, cold and without a coat, and I would give you my coat and be cold myself instead. Or if I was a street person, and you gave me the deed to your fully furnished house, moved to the street, and allowed me to move into the house. These are relatively minor examples of the kind of selfless love God showed for us on the Cross – an absolutely amazing display of His/Her love for each of us! We couldn't earn it, but God did it for us. If we ever wonder if God loves us, the Cross is a wonderful example of the kind of love God has for us all the time. It definitely confirms that each of us fully counts!

Automatically applied?

The gift of God's "making it" provides the means for us to enter into a relationship with God. And even though God is willing to share His/Her "making it" with us, does that mean it automatically gets applied to us?


There are two main reasons why. The first deals once again with the issue of our personhood. God selflessly loves us so much, and in that love has such a high regard for our personhood, that S/He will not force relationship or the gift of His/Her "making it" upon us. So instead of having God’s "making it" automatically applied to us, S/He gives us the choice to respond, and only gives it to us if we decide to receive it. It is like a wrapped gift. God provides the gift, but leaves it up to us to open it.

The second reason is that there are some prerequisites that we need to meet in order for us to open the gift. This is analogous to an orphan living on the streets. Some kind person offers to adopt them and provide them with food, shelter, family, and to care for their other needs. But the person says to the orphan, "You may accept my offer of adoption, but only on the following terms: You are willing to take my last name as your own, and you are willing to work with me towards us getting along well in a positive relationship." The gracious offer is there. The orphan can't earn it. But in order for them to make use of the offer, they have to be willing to become a full member of the household.

The following are the prerequisites we need to meet in order for us to enter into a relationship with God.

1. We have to decide that we would like to enter into a relationship with God.

2. We have to be willing to not try to earn/merit God's favor and gift of relationship by our own efforts. In the pole vaulting analogy, we would need to be willing to put down the pole and not attempt to jump.

3. We have to be willing to commit the rest of our lives to God and allow Her/Him to enable us to become all that S/He knows we can be – including the enhancement of our personhood. This means we have to be willing to give all the things of our lives to God and allow God, in His/Her infinite wisdom, to arrange them in the way that is best. This may mean some things are kept the same, some are removed, some are added, and some are modified. We also have to be willing to allow God to help us do those things that are for the good of our relationship with God, and to avoid those things that would hurt that relationship. All of this is for our best, and is needed if God is going to help to enhance our personhood and also help to meet the 3-Criteria in our lives.

This list of prerequisites may look challenging. But fortunately, God can help us if we are willing to ask Her/Him to do so.

A point of decision

When people consider getting married, they sometimes get cold feet as they weigh the pros and cons of entering into a marriage relationship with each other. In a similar way, it is a big decision whether or not you would like to enter into a relationship with God. It’s a personal decision between you and God, and will only work if you are willing to give your life fully to God. I decided a number of years ago that it was what I wanted to do. But I know you are not me, and you may have a number of issues or questions in your mind about it. So the following points are different issues that I and others have faced when contemplating entering into a relationship with God. I personally would want this for you – for your sake, since I think it is the best choice you could make. But I know that God respects your personhood and will not force relationship upon you. So it would be wrong for me or anyone else to not respect your personhood and attempt to manipulate you towards this decision. In light of this, I hope you will find some of the following points (all the way down to the next checkpoint) of use to you as you contemplate your decision.

If you enter into a relationship with God, does it mean you have to join a religious institution? No. It is important to meet with others who have also entered into a relationship with God. God will use this for the purpose of mutual encouragement and as part of our growing healthily in our relationship with God and our relationships with others. So, there are ways to meet with others that are not in institutional settings and are not only valid, but also usually work relationally much better as well – since they are much more conducive to good heart-to-heart mutually encouraging relationships. Part of the reason for this is because institutional settings usually use a 1-to-many pattern of one person (i.e. the 1) putting demands upon the other people (i.e. the many) by means of some type of sermon. This in turn can hinder those other people who are listening from being able to interact more relationally with others – since it usually shifts the focus from being mutual with everyone being able to participate in the sharing of their hearts, to instead reducing all of them to only quiet and passive spectators. And being in a spectator mode week after week often causes these people to be slightly tranquilized, sedated, and deadened from being able to better interact with others in more relational ways. Four in One explores this issue in much greater detail including looking at the historic shift that caused the 1-to-many pattern to upstage the original better relational models. Four in One is available as either a paperback or ebook. You can read more about it and find hyperlinks to websites where it is available at by using the following hyperlink.

What if you are not totally sure about the reality of these things, especially since they seem a bit “different”? I was unclear on a number of things, especially the resurrection of Jesus. Someone rising from the dead was quite foreign to my atheistic thinking of that time. I actually thought about this for a few months, and eventually it was like looking at a hard math problem that finally "clicked”. Thinking back on that time, I now realize that God must have been helping me with my thinking. So if you are finding a few things to be unclear, you may want to ask God for help since S/He can help to clear things up for each of us.

What if you feel like you do not deserve God's love and His/Her gracious offer for you? That's OK, since technically none of us deserves it. In Chapter 5, we looked at inherent value and how our value can be put on the map by God's infinite love for us. God actually enjoys loving each of us. When someone receives God's love and gift of "making it", it also pleases God, since God's love has another pathway to flow to and it is His/Her very best for them.

What if you feel as if you have too much pain in yourself to enter into another relationship? Fortunately, God will NEVER emotionally knife us, since S/He maintains a river of love towards us all the time. Others will emotionally knife us, but God will not. God can also help to bring healing to our wounded hearts.

What if you feel that looking to God for help is a crutch? In my own life I tried numerous philosophies and attempts at happiness, and yet as hard as I tried, my desires would still conflict with each other. I couldn't get my desires to mesh with each other towards a common goal. I was tired of trying over and over again, and still winding up empty. When I finally came to the decision point of entering into a relationship with God, I concluded that I had diligently tried myself for many years, and yet was still unsuccessful. So I decided to give my life to God to see what S/He could do with it, and to see if S/He would work out the things of my life. From one perspective this may seem like defeatism, since I'm saying that I couldn’t do it. But this is really not about proving oneself or compromising one's personhood. Instead, it is about being noble. If God truly knows what is best for me, then the noblest path I can go on is the one S/He has mapped out for me in advance. I sell myself short if I take a lesser path. Once again, the character of God comes into play. Are His/Her motives really above reproach? Is God actually for me? Does God care more for what is best in the things I want than I do? Does God best know how my personhood can be enhanced? If I decide to give my life to God for Her/Him to work things out, then will S/He actually work them out for my best? Once again, the best place to start is to first think about God's perfection qualities. If God infinitely loves us, wants our best, and is truly concerned about our heart's desires, then trusting Her/Him with the things of our lives makes a lot of sense.

What if you decide to enter into a relationship with God, will others approve? When my family found out that I had entered into a relationship with God, they weren't quite sure what to make of it. I think they were a little concerned, since it reminded them of "religious" stuff they had been burned by. But two years later, my dad was so impressed with some of the positive changes in my life (i.e. things God was enhancing in my life), that he actually shook my hand to congratulate me. Some people aren't so fortunate and wind up facing lots of ridicule for their decision. Some have actually been put to death! Since I do not know your situation, I don't know what the immediate cost will be for you. At the same time, if I had faced higher stakes, I hope I would have still chosen the same decision that I did.

What if you are afraid of what God might have you do? Any change can appear scary, especially since we don’t know exactly what will happen. Fortunately, God is infinitely smarter than each of us and wants our best even more than we do. This provides a solid basis for us to trust that any changes will only be for our best. In my own life, different fears have troubled me from time to time. Most of these fears have never come to pass. And yet, totally ruling out fear seems like a difficult thing to do. The most effective way I have found to deal with my fears is to take them to God and ask Her/Him for help. I’m glad God is willing to help us with our fears – even with fears of what S/He might have us do.

What happens if you decide to not enter into a relationship with God? I personally think this is the wrong question. I think the reason we should enter into a relationship with God is because it is the best and most noble thing for us to do, not because of what might happen if we don't.

What if you still have unresolved questions? I faced a few questions that kept going through my scientific atheistic mind. Questions like:

      • How could someone actually rise from the dead?

      • How could Jesus be infinitely packed with God?

      • What if someone hasn't heard about what Jesus did on the Cross for them?

I kept working on these questions and eventually decided that I might not be able to figure them out exactly, since some of the details seemed bigger than my brain could figure out. At the same time, I was reasonably sure that Jesus had indeed paid for me on the Cross and that God was inviting me into a relationship with Him/Herself. So I finally decided that I would shelve a few of the questions, go with what I knew, and accepted the invitation. Years later I did find answers to some of these questions. I also found some of the questions to still be bigger than my brain.

What else might you experience? There is a state we eventually are to get to… call it nirvana, heaven, or whatever. The name is not as important as the destination. It is the state of being face-to-face with God, where we will fully realize God's love and value for us and have total relational intimacy. Just being in such a state will be wonderful – especially with our personhood fully enhanced, and with us being fully loving and relational. The entryway, the gateway, the portal to getting there is through what Jesus did for us on the Cross. Deep down, it is what we are all looking for. No matter how we slice it, in this life we will experience varying degrees of suffering. If we enter into a relationship with God, we will still continue to suffer from time to time. We'll experience the normal things of life, such as injuries and people dying. People will continue to hurt us from time to time, and some of them may even treat us worse. For example, if we better maintain our personhood, then some people may get mad at us because their manipulations do not work as well on us. But whatever we face, we will be able to draw upon God's help. God's love can become an anchor for us to help us through all things. And God is able to even use the difficult things of life to help us to grow into the person S/He knows we can become… using even challenging things for our good. I personally would not want to be on any other path.

And if we enter into a relationship with God, then at that point in time a number of things occur.

      • We are completely forgiven for everything we have ever done wrong.

      • We enter into an eternal relationship with the God of the universe – such a close relationship that part of God Him/Herself (known as the Holy Spirit) will actually come inside of us.

      • God on the inside of us (i.e. the Holy Spirit) will then help us with His/Her love and enabling.

      • We are now on the path to being with God forever.

      • Internal Pointer 2 (attaining a higher level of behavior) has already been accomplished for us since God has credited Jesus' perfection to our accounts, so to speak. And even though we still won't pole vault over the bar height, God now considers us fully acceptable on the basis of His/Her clearing the bar height for us.

      • If we continue in our relationships with God, then the 3-Criteria and Internal Pointer 1 (our desire for more happiness) will start to be met in our lives on earth. And they will then be completely met once our bodies die… where we will then be in a state of nirvana/heaven, but still as unique individuals.


If you decide that you would like to enter into a relationship with God, I'll list the specific steps you can take after this checkpoint. But before listing those steps, I'd first like to acknowledge that you may have decided, for whatever reason, that you do not want to take this step at this time. If this is the case, you may want to stop reading this book for a while, reread and think about this chapter (Chapter 6), or even reread this book from the beginning. Since you are a unique individual, I don't know what issues/thoughts may be in your mind. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you well.

Actual steps you can take

If you are willing to meet the prerequisites listed earlier, then you can take the following steps to successfully enter into a relationship with God. Technically, there could be some variation in exactly what to say, but this should at least give you a general idea of what steps are needed. One thing to first note is that God knows every one of your thoughts and desires. So it would probably be easiest for you to talk out loud to God, but if you would prefer to silently talk to God in your mind/heart, that will also work. When I entered into a relationship with God, I said to Her/Him something like:

      • Hello God, I think I am ready to enter into a relationship with You.

      • I give my life to You so that You can help me to be the very best me possible.

      • I realize that I cannot earn Your favor.

      • I realize that You died on the Cross for me as a payment for everything I have ever done wrong, and also offer Your perfection (i.e. Your "making it") to me as a gift.

      • According to what You have done for me on the Cross, I ask that You would completely forgive me of everything I have ever done wrong, credit Your perfection to me as a gift, and that You would come inside of me in a great measure of Yourself.

      • Thanks!

If you have taken the above steps, then I say a big CONGRATULATIONS to you! I took the same steps many years ago. And although my life with God has not been easy, it is by far the best decision I have ever made! My relationship with God is my most treasured possession! When I took the above steps, it was not a thunder and lightning type of experience. For some who have taken these steps, it was a very emotional, awesome experience. But for others, it was a quiet experience like the one I had. Fortunately, being forgiven, having God come inside of us, etc. does not rely on how emotional or awesome the experience was. Instead, it relies on God's character, love for us, and His/Her willingness to count what S/He did for us on the Cross as acceptable on our behalf – as we took the above steps. If you have taken these steps, then I am very happy for you! I’m also glad that all the things listed at the point of making this decision are all yours! Here is that list again, but stated in terms of what you now have!

      • You are now completely forgiven for everything you have ever done wrong!

      • You are now in an eternal relationship with the God of the universe – such a close relationship that part of God Him/Herself (known as the Holy Spirit) is now inside of you!

      • God on the inside of you (i.e. the Holy Spirit) will now help you with His/Her love and enabling!

      • You are now on the path to being with God forever!

      • Internal Pointer 2 (attaining a higher level of behavior) has already been accomplished for you since God has credited Jesus' perfection to your account, so to speak! And even though you still won't pole vault over the bar height, God now considers you fully acceptable on the basis of His/Her clearing the bar height for you!

      • If you continue in your relationship with God, then the 3-Criteria and Internal Pointer 1 (your desire for more happiness) will start to be met in your life on earth! And they will then be completely met once your body dies… where you will then be in a state of nirvana/heaven, but still as a unique individual!

Next Steps

I did a little poll out of curiosity, figuring that the information I gathered from it would probably fit into this book somewhere. I asked a number of people, "If you lived to be ninety-seven years old and looked back on your life, then what to you would be winning at life?" I received a wide variety of answers. It was interesting for me to compare these answers to the 3-Criteria and also to Internal Pointer 1 (our desire for more happiness) and Internal Pointer 2 (knowing it would be good for us to attain a higher level of behavior). Some of the answers attempted to work at these things, but they all came up short – especially in light of Criterion 3's test of time and Internal Pointer 2's "making it”. In the context of this chapter, I would summarize the key to "winning at life" as "entering into and growing in a relationship with God”, since life with God will mean that we will grow in those relational things of highest value and also wind up getting to be with God forever.

But how exactly do you grow in those things that God best has for you? Are there any steps you can take?


Do you have any thoughts on what you can do?

The journey you just embarked on can be very challenging. It will require due diligence on your part to seek first what God best has for you as the top priority for your life. If you do this by God’s help, you will be sure to grow in confidence in your relationship and standing with God, and in all the good things S/He best has for you. Even though this is not an easy path to walk, it definitely is the most excellent – especially as God grows you in having His/Her love for God, yourself, and others, and as this increased love greatly helps you towards having deeper friendships with God and others.

In addition to this, my wife, Bonna, and I specifically wrote the book Four in One to help you (and others too) to do well on your journey with God. It is very respectful of your personhood and contains many, many practical and helpful concepts, such as:

      • How you can actually learn from God.

      • How you can grow in your relationship with God.

      • How God can be of help to you as S/He works through your having mutually encouraging fellowship with others who have also entered into a relationship with Her/Him.

Four in One also continues the theme of the preservation of personhood and further explores the gift of God’s purposes for our lives. Four in One is available as either a paperback or ebook. You can read more about it and find hyperlinks to websites where it is available at by using the following hyperlink.

I would also recommend reading The Starting Point and Four in One more than once. In fact, even though it may seem like a lot, I would recommend reading The Starting Point and Four in One at least 4 times, and then after that, rereading them occasionally every couple of years. The reason I say this is because each time you read both books, God can make different things stand out to you that are unique to His/Her best for your life. And through this, God can tailor the material in both books uniquely to your life so as to establish a very strong foundation for your relationship with Her/Him. This will enable your relationship with God to become very solid, which in turn will positively affect your other relationships as well. A number of people can attest to this approach working very well for them in establishing a great foundation for their doing very well in their lives with God. And my desire is that God would use this approach to do the same for you.