Does the Bible say God wants to have a relationship with me?
I’m afraid that many people view God as distant and out of touch with humanity. Some prefer it this way. If God is far away, then it doesn’t matter how they live their lives because he doesn’t care what they do. Others look at their lives and think that if God is real, then he enjoys making us miserable. Sometimes this is a convenient view that absolves them of the consequences from the decisions they make. And then there are those who live with the true tragedies in life. Where is God when the unthinkable happens with no apparent reason? Is he there? Does he care? Does God see me?
A little while ago, Bette Midler sang a popular song written by Julie Gold called “From a Distance”, in which Gold portrays God as watching us “from a distance”. It is a beautiful song which shows God as a God who is far away and out of touch with his creation. Could this be true? I think this is how many people view God today. They don’t believe that he knows them and cares about them. They don’t think he sees what’s going on in the world or can do anything about it. Is this the picture the Bible gives of God?
A few years later, Joan Osborne sang a song called “One of Us” which brought God a little closer, picturing him as “a stranger on the bus”, lonely with “nobody calling on the phone”. She asks a very good question. Would we want to see his face if it meant we would have to believe Jesus and the Prophets? What do you think? Would you want to know that God was real if it meant you had to change your whole viewpoint, your life style?
The Bible claims to be the Word of God to us, the words he wants us to know about life, love, truth, and who he is. This should be the best place to find out if God wants to have a relationship with us and what he thinks of us.
In Athens, Paul preached “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” Acts 17:24 – 28
Again in Psalm 145:18, David assures us “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”
Through the prophet Jeremiah, God promises a nation in captivity… “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12 & 13
The poet king David writes “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
We see that God is near, and in my hub “Does the Bible say God loves me?” we learned that God does indeed love us, so the next question is “what kind of relationship does God want to have with me?”
I believe the Bible indicates that God does want to have a relationship with us. But he wants us to desire it too. He is a gentleman and will not force us to love him, but will wait for us to look for him. He knows our hearts and will answer those who truly want him to be a part of their lives. Over and over God asks us to search for him. He says he is close to us, waiting for us to call out to him. Here are just a few verses that attest to this:
Psalm 68:5 describes God as “a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”
The prophet Isaiah says “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
God encourages us to call him “father” in the example Jesus gave us on how to pray. Matthew 6:9 – “This, then is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name.”
One thing I have learned from being a parent is that I can only protect my children if they listen to me. It breaks my heart when they chose to disobey me and do something that I know will cause them pain in the end. The older they get and the more freedom I must give them to make their own decisions, the harder this becomes. I can hear this reflected in God’s words to his people in Jeremiah 3:19&20.
“I myself said, “How gladly would I treat you like sons and give you a desirable land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation. I thought you would call me Father and not turn away from following me. But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you have been unfaithful to me, O house of Israel.” declares the LORD.”
I believe this shows that God wants to be our loving Father. It is important to clarify “loving” because there are many people in the world today who don’t know what a loving father is. They may have grown up without a dad, or with a father who ignored them or worse, was abusive. They may not know that a loving father cares for his children. He wants what’s best for them. A loving father doesn’t shelter and spoil his children. He walks with them through the trials of life, teaching them how to get through and come out a better person. Perhaps the song “When God Ran” by Benny Hester is a better view of God and his desire to be a part of our lives.