Belonging to a church or group where those who gather together to worship each individually have chosen to seek relationship with God already, does not mean we have established such a one-on-one relationship with God for ourselves. God loves us each of us equally and seeks relationship with us, but we make the choice whether or not the relationship will come to pass individually, not corporately. Certainly God is glorified and honored when we function as His faithful in unity. In fact, Jesus calls us to it. However, the foundation of life in God and for God is an individual choice walked out without perfection day by day.
God encounters us as individuals first. This is most often as a direct result of us seeking Him. He waits to be sought. He is always there, always watching, always waiting in love for an individual to turn and look for Him – the Person of God.
As individuals we also determinte to what extent this relationship with God will grow because God is waiting at all times to pour more into us and deepen the relationship if we will let Him. He burns with love for us and has through all eternity, demonstrating this love (and His faithfulness to the promises which spring from this love) in a multiplicity of ways through the generations. His love is most profoundly manifested in the sacrificial life, death and resurrection of the Son Jesus Christ. Jesus poured Himself out for us without recognition from the generation in which He lived and before we ever knew Him. He loves us whether we choose to reciprocate. His love is.
Ongoing He calls out into the atmosphere. It is promised:
‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ (Jer 33:3 NIV)
…acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. (1 Chron 28:9 NIV)
…“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jer. 31:3 NIV)
His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. (Luke 1:50 NIV)
6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. 12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (Isa. 55:4-12 NIV)
Initially when we look, we find ourselves in a fallen life separated from the intimacy for which God created us, where the antithesis of God – the ruler of the air, accuser of the brethren and father of lies – has dominion because Adam and Eve believed his words and followed his lead over God’s. God set Adam and Eve in exile honoring their choice not to be under His leadership. We are their descendants.
However, we are not condemned to remain under the adversary’s leadership. God provivided the way back to intimacy with Him through Jesus Christ and so once again the choice is ours. In large part it is the same choice set before our ancestors in paradise. Individually will we choose Him to be God and Lord, electing to follow His lead (His instructions) by submitting willingly to His guidance? Or will we choose to be our own masters? (He has left us His Spirit to lead us in His way.)
Once again God loves us too much to control us. If we decide we want our independence, He will leave us on our own to go our own way – whatever that is. And there will be no intimacy with Him now or in the future for He has removed Himself, respecting our decision. Yet, He remains at just enough distance so that we can have our own way, but close enough that if we change our mind He is immediately there. The moment we turn, confess the wrongness of thinking we were God (acting as if we could manage without Him and deciding what was right and wrong for ourselves) and ask Him to forgive us, the barrier of sin between us is washed away. In the blink of an eye we find ourselves in His presence, like a child learning to hold His hand and being led by Him on a journey to union with God for as long as we continue to choose Him.
God is calling each of us individually and at all times to the close relationship with Him for which He created us. It is the only place we will find true inner joy, peace, purpose and fulfillment. If He is God – the most supernatural, all-powerful, all-good Being who created the universe and whose most basic, all-encompassing characteristic is unconditional, infinite love manifesting in mercy -will we choose to hear and respond to His call?
Selah! [Pause and calmly think of that!]
Christmas is coming. A few years ago, the Lord whispered to my heart that He wanted to be worshipped at Christmas and He showed me how many of the songs we sing beautifully tell the story of His birth and why He came, but very few actually worship Him during this festive season. So I asked Him what songs He wanted released. The result is CHRISTMAS WORSHIP, which includes 7 new, original Christmas worship songs, which the Lord had me compose specifically for this project. (Music clips can be heard at the CD Baby link. It is also available on itunes.)
May God receive the honor and worship He is due this Christmas season!
Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist. She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way.
For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.