August 14, 2020, 06:45:07 pm

Relationship

Started by Foadle, April 14, 2020, 06:05:33 am

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Foadle

I have been studying relationship with God of late.  For a long time I have been frustrated because I felt I knew about God but did not know God in much the same way as I know about Queen Elizabeth, but I don't know her.  For years I have tried to get to know God but seemed to meet with failure at every turn.

Recently God asked me to allow Him to take me on the journey rather than trying to do it myself (Oh wow...what a concept :o :banghead: ).  He said I needed to start with where every relationship with every person must start, and I was so quick off the mark, I couldn't even think what He was talking about :doh: .  Thankfully He is loving and merciful.

He took me to Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

He has shown (and challenged) me so much in just this one verse that I thought I would share.

Firstly, the first step to relationship with Him is believing in His existence (we "must believe that He is").  Well, at least I had that much!
He even showed me that this was faith and in and of itself was pleasing to Him.  This in itself brought up self-examination (with the aid of the Holy Spirit) to consider how much I have tried to please Him aside from faith: with what I knew, what I did ... and I guess everybody has to face this.

Now obviously He doesn't want our faith to stop there but it must start there.

Secondly we must believe that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him...hmmm, suddenly I realised how little I trust, be it Him or anyone.  Did I really believe that He would reward me?  I struggled with that.  There were some deep hurts of unanswered prayers and that led me to realise that I was trying to set the agenda on what His rewards should be.  Further, was I seeking God, or the rewards I thought I should get from Him?  In which case I am not seeking God and not meeting the prerequisite of said rewards anyway.

So then came the question: If we are to diligently seek Him to receive the rewards, how is this not works?
Simple: Works is seeking Him to obtain the rewards, and this, as stated above is not seeking Him but the rewards.  But if we are seeking Him, we have a peace of knowing that He will reward our diligence in seeking Him because relationship with Him causes us to understand His nature.  It becomes an anticipation and expectation borne out of relationship with Him, not because we are seeking it, but because we know what He is like.

Finally He showed me that part of diligently seeking Him was coming to Him.  Coming to Him is the outworking of our faith (because we show our faith by what we do - James 2:18). It shows that we believe in His existence, and it shows that we believe relationship with Him is beneficial.

How hard I have made it over the years.  How much I am beginning to realise that for me relationship with God has been about me and not Him, and such a relationship (as it would be with anyone) was doomed to fail.  Learning to live God focused and not self-focused is what I had always thought I was doing...but was I really?

Praise God for His love and grace and mercy.

JohnDB

So...
Quick pop quiz. (I hated those in school until I seen that so long as I was awake in class I was fine)

What is God's most defining characteristic?

The answer is very simple and basic. Don't over think this...
I wanna die like grandpa, peacefully and in his sleep. Not like the passengers in his car...they were all screaming and panicking.

Foadle

Funny you should ask that.  God has had me sitting in 1 John for quite some time now.  Started a few years ago.  And I will stop for a season, and I am brought back to it.  And in this book is states God's most defining characteristic (and by default what ours should be).

LOVE

God is love (1 John 4:8, 16).

Again and again this chapter talks of God's love and how that love is expressed.  It also shows how we cannot be in God unless we are in love.  Love is everything...There is no fear in love (1 John 4:17)

We love him, because he first loved us (1 John 4:19)

This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments (1 John 5:3)

And this is his commandment, that we should love one another (1 John 3:11)

And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as he gave us commandment (1 John 3:20)

I could keep going but you get the point.  If we are not in love we are not in God, - that simple because God is love

JohnDB

Quote from: Foadle on July 03, 2020, 11:58:48 pmFunny you should ask that.  God has had me sitting in 1 John for quite some time now.  Started a few years ago.  And I will stop for a season, and I am brought back to it.  And in this book is states God's most defining characteristic (and by default what ours should be).

LOVE

God is love (1 John 4:8, 16).

Again and again this chapter talks of God's love and how that love is expressed.  It also shows how we cannot be in God unless we are in love.  Love is everything...There is no fear in love (1 John 4:17)

We love him, because he first loved us (1 John 4:19)

This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments (1 John 5:3)

And this is his commandment, that we should love one another (1 John 3:11)

And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as he gave us commandment (1 John 3:20)

I could keep going but you get the point.  If we are not in love we are not in God, - that simple because God is love

And where you are not wrong...God is most definitely love...

But love is a portion of God's most defining characteristic...

Good

God is so good that He is holy...and not just holy but the holy of the holiest of the holy. A distillation of goodness that surpasses all understanding.

And John is trying to explain this without using such terms to a gentile audience that doesn't understand holiness.

God is good...God is so good that He is holy. Of course holiness demands that He loves us. Because when we know the God who is versus the God of our own making...that's the overriding truth that blows us away.
And the question we always come away with is how can God love a sinner such as myself? I am nothing like God...I have always wanted to be good but I'm nowhere near close. Like Job talks about despising himself with dust and ashes...
I wanna die like grandpa, peacefully and in his sleep. Not like the passengers in his car...they were all screaming and panicking.

Foadle

I would say that this could be argued both ways.  You are saying that love comes out of God's goodness, but just as accurately you could say that God's goodness comes out of His love.  Pure love (or pure goodness) is by default pure holiness - just my take on it.