God’s very essence is love. It is not only what He does, but who He is (see previous post).
Have you ever considered what other character traits describe God? What motivates Him in addition to love? These are important questions as you move toward a close, intimate relationship with Him. None of us can have a deep personal relationship with someone we do not know, nor can we fully trust in someone we don’t know.
A key to an ongoing, fulfilling relationship with the God of the Bible is knowing Him – who He is and what motivates Him. That being said, remember that we are limited in our understanding of Him because we have finite human minds. We cannot completely comprehend the magnificence of God, who is infinite. However, looking at the attributes of His character will help us to understand Him. The more we understand what He is like, the more we can trust Him. He is worthy of our trust and worship, even though we are limited in our ability to describe His grandness and goodness.
For me personally, I knew about God prior to knowing God. There is a significant difference. Knowing about God is important, but often “knowing about” can be a mixture of truth and error. Knowing “about” is also very impersonal. We can read about someone and know the facts about their lives without having a personal relationship with them. We come to truly know God through personal relationship with Him, and then we experience first-hand the reality of His character. It is the same concerning knowing a person. We can know “about” them, but it is far different from having a personal relationship with them and knowing and trusting their character.
In my early years of knowing about God, I knew He existed. I understood the truth of His bigness and His grandeur. However, my limited understanding was mixed with error. I thought God was very harsh and that I could never live up to His expectations. I also thought that God was a god of “don’ts”. “Don’t do this” and “don’t do that.” This image of God did not draw me to Him, nor encourage me to trust in His goodness and His love. In my misunderstanding of God, I pulled back from Him.
As I have come to know the truth of God’s character and His incredible love for me, I often simply sit quietly, enjoying His presence, assured of His love and acceptance of me. That allows me to find rest in Him.
That same loving relationship that I experience with Him is available to each and every one of you. As we begin to open ourselves to Him, life becomes a progressive journey of getting to know and experience Him. The more we open our hearts to Him, the more we experience His goodness and His presence. The more we experience Him, the more we grow in a trusting relationship with Him.
The decision point is – do you desire to know Him? Are you willing to open your heart and allow Him to know you?
The question, “are you willing to open your heart and allow Him to know you?” is simplified by the fact that He already does know you! He planned you before you were born (Jeremiah 1:5). He created you. He already knows everything about you including your thoughts (Psalm 139:2-4). And He wants a personal relationship with you. Because He already knows you, when you choose to enter into relationship with Him, you can share the deepest parts of your heart with Him. He already loves you and understands you.
God shares with us out of His desire for relationship with us. He speaks to us through His Word, the Bible. He also speaks in the quietness of our hearts. Yes, God does still speak to individuals today. Everything He says will be in line with the truth that He has already shared in His Word, the Bible.
The Word of God gives us insight to His character. The foundational motivation of God is His love; He is love (1 John 4:8). His love is never selfish or self-focused, but always knows and desires what is best for us. That is the basis for all His other attributes. All of His attributes are consistent with His character of love.
One of the greatest things about God is how absolutely BIG He is! His greatness is indescribable! Our human minds cannot possibly comprehend the fullness of who He is. We may be able to get a glimpse, but to fully understand is impossible.
Isaiah 61:1 tells us, “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.” God has created the heavens with its billions of galaxies of which the earth is only a tiny planet. That is mind boggling! How much bigger is the God who created it all? Yet, He is a personal God. He is with us and very near to us and He cares about the smallest things that concern us. He even knows how many hairs are on your head (Matthew 10:30).
Have you ever thought about the fact that God is perfect? He cannot make a mistake. Psalm 18:30 says, “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.” (NIV) He knows everything, loves you deeply and unconditionally, and always wants and knows what is best for you. We can truly trust Him.
Look at the last part of that verse in Psalm 18:30, “He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.” It reveals something else about God. He desires to be our Protector and He offers His protection to all who come to Him and “take refuge in Him.”
God is also all-powerful (Psalm 33:9) and He is all-knowing (Acts 15:18). Wow! Think about this for a moment. The God who is big enough to create the heaven and the earth, who loves you passionately, who knows everything, and is powerful enough to do anything, wants a very personal relationship with you. He is not an impersonal figment of someone’s imagination. He is very real. He is pursuing you with His love. His bigness and majesty are reasons why we can trust Him and believe Him. One of the reasons Jesus came to this earth was not only to lay down His life for us as a sacrifice for our sin, but to reveal God to us. He enables us to relate to God. Even though Jesus was the Son of God and He never sinned, He walked this earth as a man and faced temptation as we do (Hebrews 4:15-16). He understands what it is to be human, and He can relate to every temptation and struggle you and I have. He is able to help us in those situations (in all situations)! We can trust Him because of His incredible wisdom and power. He even promises to give us Godly wisdom for each situation (James 1:5-6).
Daniel 2:20 says, “Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he alone has all wisdom and power.” (NLT) God has all wisdom. Remember and focus on that truth when you face challenges and have questions. We do not have all the answers for the questions that life proposes, but God does. God is the one we can trust. Our own hearts and minds can deceive us. We can choose to trust God with our lives. He is the One who loves us most and who already has an answer for every situation we face. He truly has the answers, and He wants to share them with us.
Another thing that I love about God is that He does not change. His Word tells us in Malachi 3:6, “I the Lord do not change…” (NIV). We may be faced with changing and uncertain circumstances and we don’t know where to turn. But when people fail us, circumstances change and life seems in turmoil, you can find a refuge in God. He does not change. His character is constant. His love will not fail us.
God is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9). God will not abandon you when circumstances get tough. He is committed to you and to His Word. What He has promised, He will do.
God is completely motivated by love and compassion. Love and compassion must have an object, and you are the object of His love. His Word gives us many examples where God intervenes in people’s lives due to His great compassion. Scripture tell us that when He was moved with compassion, miracles occurred, lives were changed, sin was forgiven and hearts were healed. All of this flowed out of God’s loving compassion for people!
For every one of us, choosing God is the starting place. Because He loves us, He has given us the freedom of choice. He has not created us to be robots and be commanded. It is our choice. We must choose to have a relationship with Him. We must choose to get to know Him. We must choose to trust Him. Simply choosing to believe God is a choice made by putting our faith in Him. We make this choice not knowing the full impact it will have on our lives. When we first chose to follow Jesus, we have no idea how many blessings and amazing things God has in store for us. But as we grow in relationship with Him, we will look back and have stories of His faithfulness in our lives. Our lives will be full of testimonies of how God intervened and changed our lives, changed the circumstances, worked miracles and provided strength and wisdom when we needed it.
You may be wondering if He is all that I am telling you He is. Find out for yourself as you seek truth about Him, and open the door to relationship with Him personally.
Action Steps: Begin to read from the Bible which is called “God’s Word.” Look for descriptions of who God is. A good place to being is the book of John, the third book in the New Testament. The book of John is one of the books called “the Gospels” and is the testimony of John, the disciple who is described as “the one Jesus loved.”
As you read, look for descriptions of God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. Look for descriptive words such as “Life”, “Light of men” or “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” These give us insight as to who He is and to what He has done for us.
Also look for concepts that are shared and the stories that are recorded. For example, in John 4:3-42, Jesus spoke with a Samaritan woman which was not acceptable in the culture of that day. He broke the cultural barriers in order to speak and to share truth with her. This example demonstrates His character of compassion and love. It also shows that He is not prejudice – He loves men and women. It also reveals that He is all-knowing. The woman told Him she had no husband, but Jesus knew that she had previously had five husbands and was not married to the man she was presently living with. Even though Jesus knew all she had done, He did not condemn her. Instead, He offered her forgiveness and real, authentic life.
Scripture: Psalm 18:30 “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.” (NIV)
You may be asking yourself, “Do I want a relationship with Him?” “Can I trust Him?” or “Is this for real?” I encourage you today to open your heart and pray to Him. Tell Him about your doubts. Be honest with Him and just see what He will do in your life.
More than just knowing “about” You through someone else’s testimony, I want to know You personally. If You, God, truly want a personal relationship with me, I want to know for myself. I am opening my heart to You and to Your love.
Teach me the truth about You and Your character and show me where I have believed lies about You. I want to know the truth about You, God. Give me the faith I need to believe Your Word. Help me to trust You. I desire to experience You, the living God who gives eternal life. Reveal Yourself to me and help me to have a growing and ongoing relationship with You. Thank you Lord for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
(I encourage you to talk to Him in your own words. Share your heart with Him. He loves you and desires to hear what is in your heart and on your mind.)
Previous blogs on relationship with God: