Foundation of a good relationship with God
In a relationship, a good one at least, people will look to the desires of others. Julie and I have had a wonderful marriage; forty years and still going. God is the number one reason for our marriage bliss; reason number two is that we both understand the definition of love is to give yourself to someone or something else. God defined this in scripture in less than half a verse – the beginning of John 3:16, “For God so love the world, that he gave …”
With that said, this week’s column is not about marriage, but about the most important relationship, you will ever have – the relationship between you and God.
Thinking about what I said about marriage and love. Julie is continuously looking at how she can help fulfill my heart’s desires, and I am doing the same with her. Being human, we both have the occasional streak of selfishness, but when love is in full swing, our thoughts, and our heart’s desire is to please the other.
When the desires of the other are the goal of each person in a relationship, the relationship will grow and blossom. When one or both parties in a relationship have mindsets of “what can I get out of this relationship” the merger of two will eventually dissolve back into two separate parts.
Now, what about your relationship with God? Do you even know God’s heart desires? Do you think of God similar to a genie – I tell Him what I want, He answers my prayers, and I am happy? When you go to church are you looking for ways to serve Him, or are you only thinking of being fed with an emotional high that can get you through the next few days? Is the relationship you have with God all one-sided?
What are God’s heart desires?
First and foremost He desires our salvation. He sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sins and craves our acceptance of Jesus through a faith of contrition. Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Saving faith is not merely an acknowledgment of who God is and what He has done (He is God and sent His Son to die for the sins of the world). Satan and his demons acknowledge both of these (James 2:19). With saving faith God brings a new creature; hence the inclusion of repentance (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 2:15; Ephesians 4:24). God does not require good works for salvation, but a saving faith will produce a changed heart, which will, in turn, create good works (James 2:19-26).
Another thing God’s heart desires is that we have a heart that will love and respect Him. This type of heart inside of us will cause us to obey God and pass this respect for Him down to future generations. Deuteronomy 5:29; “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!”
God also desires that we understand and follow His will through our lives. Many Christians know the basics of God’s will – the list of dos and don’ts, but few have a grasp for what the specific intention of God has for their lives. Knowing God’s will for your life is accomplished by giving yourself to Him in a particular way – His way. Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
The price of God’s love toward us was huge; He gave His only Son to and for a world that, for the most part, has rejected Him. The price of our love toward God is also huge in giving our lives to Him. He gave His life for us; we give our lives to Him.
These things are only a small glimpse into God’s heart, but they are the foundation of a good relationship with God.
In a relationship, a good one at least, people will look to the desires of others.
Preacher Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Indiana. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Preacher Johnson is available for revivals, prophecy conferences and other speaking. Sermons and archived Preacher’s Point can be found at www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com.