Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"As Well As We Want"

The relationship between God and the born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is never coerced or manipulated.

Certainly we cannot twist the arm, or in any way deceive our Heavenly Father into actions toward us unworthy of the union into which He has drawn us through Christ. He is God, and we are "His people, the sheep of His pasture" (Psalm 100:3). God knows us through and through, making our manipulation of Him impossible. He is also guided by His character and nature as He lovingly works in our lives, meaning that personal sentiment will never cause Him to act toward us in manner contrary to the eternal purpose in Christ that is the ultimate good of all His trusting children (Ephesians 3:9-11). We therefore cannot pressure or manipulate Him to do for us that which His perfect knowledge deems unwise.

It is also true that God does not coerce or manipulate us as we relate to Him in faith, devotion, and submission. He has made relationship possible through the Lord Jesus, of course, and He works in us "both to will and do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). He has also given the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Bible, and the fellowship of other believers to encourage, enable, and challenge us to vital communion with Him. However, at the end of the day, whether we respond to and avail ourselves of such possibility is our own privileged responsibility to determine. A.W. Tozer once wrote, "We shall know God about as well as we want to know Him." This is true, and every book, page, chapter, verse, word, and letter of Scripture cries to us that our Creator desires true and personal relationship with us, as opposed to mere programming of automatons.

"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price" (Isaiah 55:1).

The door to living relationship with the almighty but immanent God has been flung open and ripped off its hinges for believers through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus on the cross, and heavenly ministry of intercession made possible by His resurrection and ascension. The Holy Spirit is calling and drawing us to access the gift. The Bible is blessedly available in our generation more than it has ever been. And devoted saints of the ages and of the present reveal to us that God can be known, and must be known, better than anyone else in our lives. Yes, the door is open, the veil is rent and gone, and a loving Father and wondrous Savior beckon us to come and to commune. It is the opportunity of a lifetime, and a particular way of knowing God that eternity will not allow. We shall not pass this way again. Let us not miss this most blessed gift as we travel the winding paths of our earthly sojourn. Our Lord has given Himself to us. The wonder of such grace can be known in true and living and free relationship, and nothing else can satisfy our hearts...

"When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek."
(Psalm 27:8)

"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God."
(Psalm 42:1)

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