Those who know your name but their trust in you, for you,O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.(Psalm 9:10)
God is not a concept or a doctrine. He is a person who seeks a close one-on-one relationship with you and me. God does not want us to merely believe in Him, He wants to relate to us on a personal level. God’s plan is not to abandon Christians once we are born again, leaving us to build the best life we can. He does not intend that we simply use our wits to get by, to bravely survive, until we are finally ushered into heaven. God wants to be actively involved in our lives each day.
God knows what your life can become. Only he understands your full potential as His child. He does not want you to miss out on anything He has for you. I believe that within the heart of every Christian is an innate desire to know God and to do His will.
When you became a Christian, you were immediately adopted as a child of the heavenly King. The King’s business became your business. And now, as your Savior and Lord, Christ wants to bring your life into the middle of His activity, which offers salvation to every person on earth. God himself will give you the desire to serve and obey him. The Holy Spirit will create within you a longing to know the Father‘s will and to become involved in what God is doing around you.
Yet God has for more in store for your life then merely giving you an assignment to accomplish for him. He wants you to have an intimate love relationship with him that is real and personal. Jesus said: “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God and the one you have sent Jesus Christ.(John17:3)
Henry and Richard shares the preceding in their book, Experiencing God.
Isolation brings to light many things. One of those is relationships, both with other humans and with God. Being cooped up together either places a strain on our relationships or it deepens them.
The place we are as a society, I believe is a defining moment. We are being challenged and tested in almost every aspect of our life. For many, not being to do “normal” church and engage in familiar rites and rituals strains their walk with God. For others who express their faith through acts of service, the inability to do so can strain their faith. Like most relationships there is the element of serving and there are patterns of expressing our feelings, but when we enter into relationship with God, we must know that there isn’t anything we can give Him that He doesn’t already have. What do you give to a being that uses gold as pavement and jewels as gates. What do you do for one who simply speaks and things happen? What work can you do for God that He can’t do Himself? What happens to the relationship if there isn’t any opportunity to engage in ritual? This is why we must question every aspect in our relationship with God. For those who live with a sense of somehow earning God’s love and grace, we must recognize that it’s neither necessary nor can it be done. How could we ever repay God for the gift of Christ? For those who believe that participation in certain rituals is necessary to please God, we need to recognize that rituals have no meaning without feeling. We may give gifts to others at Christmas every year but that in no way expresses our feelings. I’m sure we’ve given gifts to those we don’t even like because custom required it. In the same way, when we participate in cold ritual without relationship, the act is at the end of the day futile. God has never wanted a ritualistic relationship with us. There were no rituals in the Garden. There was only God and his beloved created humans walking and talking together as friends. May God give us grace to become His friend.
Dr. John Thompson