(Friends: Most Saturdays for the duration of this year, I plan on sharing a message that relates to the character and nature of God, and our response thereunto. I hope you will find it helpful, and as always, thanks for allowing us to send the devotionals to you. Glen).
The Saturday Series - 37
"Dependent and Free"
God made us for total dependence on Himself - "He is thy life… Without Me, ye can do nothing" (Deuteronomy 30:20; John 15:5). He also made us with the capacity for exercising our dependency by faith - "The word is nigh thee, even in thy heart and in thy mouth, that is, the word of faith which we preach" (Romans 10:8). Thus, we must personally relate to Him in trust and submission if we are to experience the reality of both God and ourselves. We are not merely machines with no role in our relationship with God, but rather living persons who either respond or do not respond to His movings upon our hearts. "When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek" (Psalm 27:8).
This speaks much to the nature of our Creator. Anyone with a lesser character would never have made beings who might rebel against him. The risks are too high, the consequences too great, and the need for such creatures non-existent. Only the God who "is love" would have granted such freedom (I John 4:8). Indeed, love seeks relationship and real fellowship. "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love Him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him" (John 14:23). If God were not who He is, such "abode with him" would hold no interest for Him. He would have formed us as mere machines to do His bidding no less than the computer that automatically responded as I typed the words you are reading.
Consider the most vivid and poignant implication of freedom. "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain" (Acts 2:23). Our Heavenly Father well knew that creating us with the capacity to rebel would lead to our choice to do so, and far more, to the tortured agony and death of His beloved Son on the cross of Calvary. There God would smite the Lord Jesus with the full fury of His wrath against sin, and there He would utterly abandon Him to die alone: "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?!" (Matthew 27:46). How much does our loving fellowship with God mean to Him? Look to Calvary, where for our sakes the Savior cried out into the darkness for His Father and the Holy Spirit. He received no answer so that we might be freely received at the throne of grace, never to be ignored. As we exercise our God-formed capacity to come by faith in the Lord Jesus, we may approach the Throne with confidence and assurance our presence is welcomed, welcomed gladly. "We have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Romans 5:2).
We seek to trust our Heavenly Father completely - "with all thine heart" (Proverbs 3:5). Thereby we access the enabling to relate to Him in a manner that is authentic and free, but which is also empowered by the One to whom we relate. David declared it most succinctly - "I will love Thee, o Lord my strength!" (Psalm 18:1). We thus relate to God in real relationship, while attributing the glory for such freely exercised capacity to Him. Again, only the God of Scripture, the living and true God, would have made us for this Life of our lives, and this pleasure He finds in the loving fellowship of creatures such as ourselves.
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me."
Weekly Memory Verse
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.