Our Response to God

Jesus Christ taught his disciples in John 15:16(NLT), “You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.” We know that Jesus Christ loved his disciples, and he took them into himself as friends. As followers of him living today, as well as all believers living after his resurrection, we too are his friends. Even though at times we don’t behave like friends to Christ, he will always be a friend to us. There is nothing we can do to stop him from loving us. Romans 8:38(NLT) tells us, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” Heavenly Father is making it clear that His love is unlimited and unconditional, and the friendship we have with Him through Jesus Christ is a bond that will never be broken.

As with all friendships, our relationship with God through Jesus Christ is a two-way street. He showed us His great love through Christ, and as His children and followers of Christ, our great privilege is to respond to His love in the way He has told to in His Word. Romans 8:39(NLT) affirms, “No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Again, this is incredibly good news indeed! God’s love is made plain to us through the life, ministry, and sacrifice of His son. God put it all on the line for us, and we are to use our entire lives to respond to His generosity, because this is the very best thing we can possibly do. It’s a privilege to show God our gratitude, and He rewards us for doing it!

As believers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must be mindful that God established the boundaries of our relationships with Him from the very beginning. Everything that Adam could ever need, God provided. This is the precedent and pattern Heavenly Father set from the start, and it hasn’t changed. He established a relationship with Adam, the first created human, and it is the kind of relationship He desires with us. We should depend on God for everything, leaving nothing out. He is our sufficiency. He tells us in 2Corinthians 3:5 that we shouldn’t think that we’re in charge or that we can manage things on our own, because we can’t. This verse says that God is our Sufficiency. He is our Source, and He supplies our every need.

Trusting and understanding this truth is essential to responding to God in the way He desires. James 1:17 tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from above. They come down from our generous Heavenly Father who is the Father of light, and He never changes. Everything that you and I have in our possession today is made from something our Heavenly Father created. Humans cannot create, we can only produce. Only God creates.

In the Bible, God identifies Himself by different names, and these also teach us both about His nature and how to respond to Him. Genesis 17:1(NLT) tells us, “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.” There is no other like God. He is God all by Himself and His majesty endures forever. Anything that is glorious deserves glory. God is glorious beyond our comprehension. He alone deserves all the praise! If you and I attempt to approach Him without an intention to recognize His overwhelming power, authority, and love, we are woefully out of order. If we do this, we are dishonoring who He is, and we are dishonoring ourselves. Not only is it an offense to His throne to approach Him without appreciating who He is, but it is a confirmation that an individual has chosen darkness over light, fear over faith, and bondage over liberty in Christ.

Exodus 17:13-16 in the Old Testament is most certainly a demonstration of God as our Source and Sufficiency. It is a record of the Israelites first war during Old Testament times, and it is with the Amalekites. The Lord gave Moses and His people a great victory against the Amalekites. And to be sure that glory was given to the One in which glory was due, this passage tells us that Moses built an altar and named it “Jehovah Nissi”, which means “the Lord is my banner.”

We should think of a banner in their time much the way we think of the flag of a country in modern times. People of a country will rally behind a flag because of what it symbolizes. Most are very proud of their countries and will fly the flag on their homes, cars, and places of business, but how many will give God that same allegiance and adoration? He is worthy of infinitely more, yet many of us will pay more attention to a person in power or a flag than we do our Creator. Of course, we should honor the blessing of being born in a country we love, but it is very shameful to not honor our Creator more. It means that we don’t truly understand who God is and what it means to reverence, honor, and adore Him. Moses did not make that mistake. He responded in gratitude to our Great Jehovah’s power, authority, and presence, and honored God by naming an altar after Him.

Jehovah-Jireh means “the Lord will provide.” It is one of the most well-know names for God that is used in His Word. It was first used when Abraham was going to offer up his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice on the altar. Abraham desperately wanted a son and for years he and his wife, Sarah, had not be able to conceive. They were both way past the age of childbearing when God promised they would conceive a son, and He also promised to make Abraham the father of many nations. God did exactly as He had promised, and Abraham and Sarah had a son when Sarah was 90 years old. Abraham’s willingness to offer his Son, Isaac, was a test to prove that Abraham did not love Isaac more than he loved the Creator. Putting anyone or anything above the Lord should never be found in a friend of God. Jesus Christ commands us in Matthew 22:37 to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. We are to love God with all that we are.

God’s requirement is to continually respond to Him in faith. We should want to have faith in God more than in the blessing He gives us. We need to have a desire to trust the Father because He is worthy of it. God would not allow Abraham to kill his son as a sacrifice and called out to him from heaven. Genesis 22:12(NLT) tells us, “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.” There was a ram nearby, and verse 13-14 says, “So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named the place Yahweh-Jireh (which means “the LORD will provide”).

In our worship of God, some of us will say, “God, I just want more of You!” This sounds very sincere and lovely, but in truth, God has already given us all of Him. It is not a matter of Him giving us more but of us putting ON more of Him. God is Jehovah-Jireh! There are no deficiencies in His provision. He has provided all that we need through Jesus Christ. Our responsibility every day is to recognize what Heavenly Father requires and respond to it through the example of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:10-11(NLT) instructs, “Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.” We must love and honor Him in the highest. We must recognize that we’ve been called to imitate His nature and to respond to Him with a fully persuaded faith. This is what He requires, and it is the greatest privilege and blessing of our lives that we get to respond to our Almighty God as the children that He loves so much. ■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“Our Response to God”, written by JMack, 4theChristianMan.com© 2022. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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