Today I read that God does NOT want a personal relationship with us. Oh how my heart ached... how painful it must be to believe that God is not interested in every minute detail in our lives. How painful it must be to believe that He is a cold and distant father, demanding absolute obedience and if we don't...His love will be withheld from us. I hope and pray that was not the intent when those words were spoken.
However, it has driven me to want to address this issue as I fear there are many who perceive God in this manner. I do not believe that for a moment! Why?
Not because someone told me but because I have experienced the love of God for over 41 years.
Many years ago, God saw a little girl crying in the night who had been injured while trying to protect a friend from four teenage boys. He heard her cry out in the night, "Jesus, I hurt really bad!" As she sobbed in pain, He reached down and touched her. She saw it with her own eyes and never, ever has forgotten it!
He held the hand of a heartbroken 16 year old girl who was watching her father waste away to nothing as his internal organs began to fall apart completely as he lost his battle against cancer and infection raced through his body. In the midst of all of that, she listened to her father give praise and glory to God...nothing could stop his song! She learned that God is bigger.
As she sobbed alone out on the street the day her father died, the Father gently reminder her that she was not left alone to wander in this world...for He was and always would be her Father.
Over the years, He provided everything for this girl. EVERYTHING. He would put food on her table when there was none. He would make provisions to pay her bills when it seemed the money would not stretch any further. He brought a man who follows Him into her life and they have walked together faithfully for nearly 28 years. God has used him so much to teach her about unconditional love!
He has given her brother-friends and sister-friends who hold up her arms when they are tired and who show her how much God loves her as they are the hands, feet and voice in this world. I cannot help but think if my husband and friends love me this much, how much more so must the Father!
When she was told she had breast cancer, she could feel the presence of God beside her every step of the way. He guided the surgeon's hands. She later told me, she thought she needed to go one direction to get the tumor (it was a spiculating mass with tendrils) but something stopped her. She didn't know what but felt impressed suddenly that despite everything she was seeing, she needed to change course...and the tumor came out clean. "If I had gone the other way..."
God walked with this girl through chemotherapy. Although the path was very dark and she was very, very ill, God turned her darkness into light. She could see His light and...all around her were little bobbing lights. The lights of her brothers and sisters in Christ who had chosen to walk with her!
He protected her during radiation. Terrible burns appeared and they thought they would have to stop but... there was no pain and the tissue beneath seemed unharmed. The radiation oncologist kept looking at her and then would shake his head in disbelief and tell her treatment could continue.
I could say much more but I think that is sufficient. When Jesus taught the disciples how to pray He said, "Our Father". There is a reason for that...it is because He is and what sort of father does not want to be in a relationship with their child. What sort of father does not love their child? Earthly fathers may fail at this but our Heavenly Father? I do not believe it for a moment.
This is the sort of relationship I have with the Father? Do you? If not, the good news is that the Father does love you and He does want to be in relationship with every single one of us....John 3:16.
Your testimony of God's abiding personal love and concern for you is a testimony of God's nature for He is love. God has protected, guided, helped and taken care of you for so many years that the notion of God not being a personal God is absurd.
Abraham knew God personally as evidence by this pleading with God to withhold judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah. Moses knew God personally so much so that he was able to convince God to show him the hind parts of His glory. David knew God personally and that is absolutely evident in the Psalms which are intensely personal in nature many times. Jesus Christ knew God personally (and not for the obvious reasons) as evidenced by His prayers to Him especially in John 17.
God, who created the heavens and the earth still loves each one of us as a personal Father who is vitally concerned about every aspect of our lives. I too am genuinely sorry that others do not know this aspect of God but only the disciple side. Without a personal relationship with God all that is left of Christianity is religion, and God knows we already have enough religions in the world today.
Thank you for sharing your story and pouring out your heart regarding the love of God.
God is always there for us. His desire is a true, personal relationship with us, gooey emotions and all! You are such an encouragement to me K!
we need to pray for the poor soul that wrote what broke your heart k... and pass the tissues...
I am writing this after I have put away my tissue. Thank you sister for your outpouring!
It is sad when Christians persist to see God as an impersonal God who does not deeply desire a relationship with us personally. We forget that the first hint of God's relationship with us in Genesis after He created Adam and Eve (Gen 1:27-27), gave them dominion over all things (Gen 1:28-31) and commanded them regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:15-17): God came to the Garden of Eden and Adam heard him walking in the cool of the day (Gen 3:8) and God asked "Where are you?"(Gen 3:9). But because Adam and Eve sinned they hid from God. (Gen 31:8). Except for the one command regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God's singular intent was to bless man and to have a relationship with him. My heart breaks when I think of what was lost, walking with the Lord in the cool of the day in the Garden. Ever since then God's plan has been to reconcile that relationship!! A personal relationship!! I really do not know how much clearer that can be.
Instead, we focus on a God of Law forgetting that it is to the restoration of that relationship that Our God is dedicated. Laws and ordinances only came about much later because of our fallen nature. Judgment is the result of our fall. Relationship ... a personal relationship is the central message of the Bible. The law, requirements of sacrifice, ordinances, all came about because man sinned.
Enoch was bodily taken to heaven because he "Walked with God" (Gen 5:21-24) and Abraham was counted righteous before God because He believed on Him (Rom 4:2-4). The amazing thing is that the right translation of "righteous" in the context of Abraham is that Abraham was "in right relationship" with God.
What then of the Law? Paul tells us that Christ came to abolish the law and that we are no longer under the law but under grace (Rom 6:14). He goes on to say, "What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid." (Rom 6:15) and that "the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good" (Rom 7:12). He says that God's law is made complete by grace explaining it thus:"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Rom 8:3-5)
I have come to view the Word of God very differently these days. God desires a relationship with us. A personal love relationship. He has given His Word to us telling us how He would want us to live. What pleases Him and What grieves Him. For me, the Word is His love letter to me. It is as though He is saying I love you and if you love me, live according to my precepts, here they are. Ever since I have come to this realization, I have come to realize the liberty of which Paul speaks and the joy which He promises.
When Jesus taught us to pray, His opening words were "Our Father". Admittedly, I struggle with an inaccurate picture of how fathers are supposed to interact with their children, I know that fathers want a relationship with their children.
And our perfect Father in heaven is even more desirous of having a relationship than our imperfect earthly fathers.
well. i just read this, than all the comments that follow and all i can do is second what everyone has written.
I take comfort in knowing that our Heavenly Father desires a personal relationship with His children and that He likes too be up close and personal in our lives.
Names in the Bible are of great significance and God reveals Himself to us as "Father", we are His children; Jesus calls us "friend" and lays down his life in an act of the greatest love for us ...and we we could go on. God's names are His credentials and they reveal not only His character but also the nature of His relationship with us. Sixty-six books affirm that we are to have a personal loving relationship with God - and love is personal. If we say otherwise, it would be to show that we just don't get what love is (which is sad) and it would also be slander of God's character.
How can we call Him Father in prayer and not realize how personal it is to be His child? Anyone who fails to recognise this fundamental truth is deeply wounded and unable to relate to the Fatherly relationship and love from God. Sadly this truth is as you point out, misunderstood by many. I'll be joining blackrose in prayer for all such lost souls...
Thank you for sharing your life my friend. Thank you for standing firm in the love of God. Thank you for the witness you have been in my own life and for sharing the journey with me.
I am puzzled...If one doesn't want a personal relationship with God...nah...I'm not even gonna go there.