relationship with God
Consider Israel’s miraculous deliverance from Egypt in the Bible. As God’s people crossed over on dry land, they saw the waves crash down on their enemy behind them. It was a glorious moment, and they held a mighty praise meeting with dancing, singing and thanksgiving. “We’re free! God has delivered us from the hand of oppression.”
When we approach the Lord in prayer, how do we make requests of him and are we possibly treating him like a megalomanic whom we must appease?
Kimberly Perlin is a licensed clinical social worker in Maryland. She had just set up her new website when one of her clients of many years abruptly called her up. He informed her that he wanted to terminate therapy. Naturally, she asked why. His reasoning was out of the ordinary, to say the least.
Consider the way God himself described his relationship with Abraham: “Abraham my friend” (Isaiah 41:8, NKJV). Likewise, the New Testament tells us, “Abraham believed God…and he was called the friend of God” (James 2:23).
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
“Which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do’” (Luke 17:7-10).
Paul tells us God adopted us simply because he loves us: “According to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:5-6).
You may say, “I know God’s Word says I’m accepted and I know Jesus gave me direct access to the throne of grace. But I’m too ashamed to draw near. I still struggle with powerful temptation and I still sin on occasion. The only prayer I can utter is, ‘God, help me.’”
After Peter and John ministered to a crippled beggar outside the temple gate and the man was healed, they began to boldly preach repentance and minister to the people. “Many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand” (Acts 4:4). As a result of their witness, Peter and John were brought before the high priest and elders. “And when they had set them in the midst, they asked them, ‘By what power or by what name have you done this?’” (4:7).
When Jesus was a young boy, a few people saw him in the temple; others met him in the carpentry shop where he toiled. But who could believe Jesus was God in flesh as he repaired their broken chairs? He was merely Joseph’s son, a fine young man who knew a lot about God.