I loved this entire week in Experiencing God! There were so many points it’s hard to sum it up with just a few. This week was on God’s desire to have a PERSONAL and CLOSE relationship with Him.
#1, God PURSUES us. It isn’t a matter of us being good enough, or perfect, a good person who does and says all the right things….that has nothing to do with it (I’ll talk about that later though), God desires US. That’s you….and me….and you and you and you…if you are reading this (even if you’re not, it still applies, but you won’t be able to read my witty commentary on it ;) ), than He is desiring to have a close relationship for you.
#2, God is not anything like our birth fathers. I’m going to use Mike an example (and I hope he doesn’t care…but he doesn’t read this anyway, so he’ll never know….shhhh…don’t tell): Mike’s dad was an alcoholic, abusive man. In some aspects, I think you can call him a cruel man, emotionally damaging to everyone around him. It was hard for Mike to have a good relationship with his dad because a relationship is between 2 people, if one was not willing or able, totally renders it void. So for Mike to understand that God was a LOVING FATHER who loves him and wants only what is best for him, was a foreign concept to him. Mike fully respected God, feared Him, obeyed Him, but to have that LOVE RELATIONSHIP with Him, was hard to fathom…..until this week. (Thank you, Henry Blackaby, for explaining it in such a way, he fully understood it.) It did not mean he was unsaved, it meant he couldn’t register what a loving Father was like. I want you to fully understand that God is very much the Perfect Father who loves you. He is not abusive, He is not absent, He is not cruel, and He does not leave. Ever. Period. Bank it and collect interest.
#3….I don’t know why I’m numbering them…We do not have to DO anything to be loved by God. For real. Honest. I am a do-er. I feel the need to be doing something in order to be liked or approved of. I was always the one coming early and setting up, and staying late and cleaning. I cannot tell you how many times I found myself in kitchens alone, washing countless dishes after an event. (Now, I’m older and wiser and frankly don’t care so much what people think about me. And I’m tired. No more dish washing for me……ok that was a lie, but I’m getting better)
The point is, I do not have to DO anything for God for Him to like me. He just does. I am to focus FIRST on the relationship, and then I will do. Totally backwards to my way of thinking….but God is so different than anything our human brains can understand. I am completely fulfilled with God alone.
(WHAT IS THAT MUSIC??? Some kind of 1940s style French lady singing….don’t leave the XM radio playing while you are in the office. That freaked me out.) Anyway…
Building that relationship with God meant that I sacrificed some things. I did not have to give them up in order for God to love me. I desired to be closer to God, so I willingly gave them up. I loved Henry Blackaby’s comparison to a relationship between a man and a woman: if we are dating, why do we spend time with someone? Learn about them, but the most important is because we ENJOY being with them. I LOVE spending time with Mike! I desire to be with him. Same goes for my relationship with Christ, I desire to be closer to Him.
For me, I gave up a lot of things I wasted time doing when I could spend time with Christ instead. I gave up some of my tv watching in order to read my Bible or study my Experiencing God lesson. I gave up some worthless message boards with people who are very unChrist-like in actions and behavior (not all of them were, mind you, some were great with encouraging and uplifting ladies!). I see things differently, I react to things differently, and I feel differently. Every day, I read my Bible, spending time in God’s word. Everyday, I read through my Bible lessons (Experiencing God), and everyday I spend time in prayer with God. If He is loving me, I want to be ALL OVER that….I want to be close enough to see it, touch it, experience it…..
And, lastly, if God is pursuing us, if He is trying to build a relationship with us, why don’t we feel it? I haven’t always felt it, and I’ll be the first to admit that. Was God not there? No, I was not there. I skipped out on dinner and left Him with the check. Others just never show up at all, choosing instead to ignore Him. They can’t feel Him or His love if they reject Him. Sad thought.
I had to remove the distractions that took my focus off of Christ in order to build the relationship. And I had to make an effort to focus on Him. It wasn’t automatic, but it was there. Just a knowing, just a feeling….He was there and I was feeling Him, and hearing from Him, and loving every second of it.
From Experiencing God:
He had something in mind when He called you. He began to work in your life. You experienced a love relationship with God when He took the initiative. He opened your understanding. He drew you to Himself.
Don’t waste it. Don’t throw it away. Don’t reject Him.
He’s worth it.