Getting Close

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18 NLT

Relationships are built. Love too. But love takes a lifetime.

She worked one office over from me. Little did I know she was on the way out of a decade-long abusive relationship. When I discovered she would soon be available, I began planning how I would woo her. As it turned out, I didn’t have to do much wooing—she took care of it. She baked goodies for me—ones she was trying to sell to raise enough money for her down payment on a necessary surgery. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach—and she marched right in.

Less than two years later, we were married. That was almost twelve years ago, and I love her more today than I did then. She is my best friend, my supporter, and my greatest cheerleader. Where I go, she goes, and where she goes, I follow. We are still working on getting closer and building our love.

According to the psalmist, God is only a whisper away from those who call on Him. We must come by way of confession and repentance initially, but thereafter He wants to be involved in every detail of our lives. And will if we’ll ask.

Building a love relationship with God takes a lifetime—just as it does with my wife and any other important person in my life. If I take the relationship for granted, it will turn sour, lose its vibrancy, and eventually grow cold. As I nurture my relationship with my wife, so I must do the same with my connection to God.

Talking to God is essential. If I never talked to my wife, things would go south in short order. Pray without ceasing was the apostle Paul’s advice. God is with me all the time; I just need to be aware of His presence, ask His advice, and seek His direction.

Occasionally, I’ll write my wife a love poem. She loves them, and I always get a big hug and sloppy kiss. God also wrote a love letter He wants me to be intensely familiar with. Time in His Word is vital in building a love relationship with Him. His Word instructs, warns, encourages, and comforts. All things a love letter should accomplish.

God wants to get close to You; He’s merely waiting for the invitation.

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God’s Resume’

You placed the world on its foundation so it would never be moved. Psalm 104:5 NLT

Without one, getting a job is almost impossible.

Over time, my resume’ has grown from just a few sentences to several pages. Thanks to layoffs and better opportunities, my list of work experiences increased. So did my education. Also included were things I did that I wasn’t paid for. Important just the same. And of course, I have references who will verify my character and work history. My resume tells a lot about who I am, what I’ve done, and what my aspirations and skills are.

Reading it, however, wouldn’t tell you everything about me. Each employer or prospective employer asked me questions my resume’ didn’t answer. I’ve had to elaborate on what my duties were at previous places of employment, explain gaps in my work experience, and clarify why I left places of employment. My resume’ is a capsule of my life history.

God, too, has chosen to give humanity a resume’. I became familiar with it at a young age as I began to notice the world around me. As I got older, I considered that chance couldn’t explain everything I saw. The laws of nature functioned in an orderly manner—not haphazardly. I marveled at the expanse of the universe and the beauty of the nature around me.

And people. Gomer Pyle, from the Andy Griffith sitcom, said it best: “People sure are odd.” Myself included. But they are odd in a nice way. All different. All talented and gifted. Surely not mere fate that we happen to be who we are, living on a planet that is just far enough from the sun so we won’t burn up and just close enough so we don’t freeze.

If nature and people weren’t enough to point me to God, He decided to write His resume’ in what became known as the Bible. I saw and heard about that resume’ at an early age. I listened to Bible stories before I could read, and I read the Bible myself as soon as I could. His resume’ told me about His unconditional love, the sacrifice of His Son, and His offer to give salvation to any who would repent of their sins.

God’s resume’ is humbling and thought-provoking. If you haven’t read it, check it out. It will change your life.

Intimidated

As I was on the road, approaching Damascus about noon, a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down around me. Acts 22:6 NLT

“Intimidator.” He was once proud of the name—but not anymore.

Richard and his brothers had a reputation. Brawny and bad to the bone, they didn’t take anything off of anybody. Messing with them was bad news. They would gladly take you down—for little or no reason at all. Their violent words were matched by violent behavior. Fights were their business, and they went looking for them. Richard wore his nickname well and was more than willing to show anyone why he had it—until someone more intimidating than he was showed up.

Richard discovered God wasn’t scared of him and was more than willing to fight for his soul. He couldn’t bully God . . . couldn’t even touch Him. But God could fight him in ways he couldn’t defend himself against. He could hurt his conscience and his heart. He could bring out the soft side of him that he let no one else see.

Richard still speaks about his nickname—but in the past tense. That’s who he was, but it’s not who he is now. He saw the light.

Paul saw a light too. He was also big and bad—but in the religious field. This new “Way”—Christianity—had to be stamped out. So he busied himself arresting Christians and dragging them off to jail where many of them were killed—until he saw the light. The same light Richard saw thousands of years later. The light of a greater “Intimidator.” An intimidator who informed him he was traveling the wrong path.

God doesn’t intimidate with catcalls, fights, and threats. He intimidates with the truth about me. I’m a sinner in need of help, and He’s the only One who can assist me. I can’t work to be good enough for Him to accept. Someone better than me—someone perfect—had to suffer for my sins. And in His love, God allowed His Son to take my place on a rugged cross. All He asks for in return is my love and obedience.

Relationship was why God created us in the beginning and why He allowed His Son to die for us in the end. No matter how intimidating we may try to be, we cannot out intimidate God’s truth about who we are and what we need to do.

Feeling intimidated? Accept God’s truth, love the Great Lover, and experience life at its best.