And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:16
Possibly one of the most difficult questions for someone in crisis – who wants to please God, because they desperately want something from God – is,
“what should I do to get God’s attention?”
The answer is really pretty simple. Believe that God exists. Believe that God sent Jesus to the cross to bring you—you personally—into a relationship with his Heavenly Father. If you can simply believe that God is who he says he is, God will do what he says he will do, and you can have what God says you can have.
Once you’ve decided for certain, ‘I DO believe in God and I DO want to please Him, ‘ and you’ve told Him so in plain non-manipulative language, you can enter into a relationship with God. Once you’ve entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and through Him God the Father, all His promises are yours for the asking.
Let’s break that down into the simplest form.
Let’s pretend you know of a major corporation that offers its employees fantastic benefits, amazing perks and a world class retirement package. You’ve seen evidence of this in the lives of people you know who work for this corporation. You think to yourself, “Everything they have, I could have, too; if I worked for their corporation.” You know the CEO of the corporation has the final say in who gets hired, but you also know the chances of your meeting him face to face are pretty slim. But you belong to the same social network as the CEO’s son. You have access to the son and you feel fairly certain getting to know him won’t be too difficult. So…whatcha gonna do? Get the son to introduce you to his Dad, right? Then, once you’re introduced to Dad, the CEO, the BIG man… you’ll eventually work your way around to telling him who you are, what you want, what you need and if you’re a friend of his son, you stand a pretty good chance of getting what you want and need. We often begin our relationships with an eye toward what we will gain from them…it’s human nature to do so.
Often we try to begin a relationship with God, from a point of crisis…crying out to Him to get his attention. We’ll try bargaining with Him so He’ll pay attention to us…”give me what I’m asking for and I’ll do thus and so for you.” I gotta tell you honestly, that’s not the best way to approach the situation. There’s a pretty good chance you aren’t gonna meet the BIG man face to face anytime soon. And even if you could force yourself into His presence…God doesn’t need anything you can offer Him. He created it all in the first place!
Ok…so there you are, and you’re still in a crisis and people are telling you about all the wonderful benefits of knowing God, and you can’t get past security to meet Him!
Here’s the good news.
You belong to the same social network as His Son! Get to know Jesus. He’ll introduce you to His Father, and the Father will give you what you want, and what you need, and even more than you can ask or even think, just because you are friends with His Son.
So, let’s say you’re hired on as a junior executive with THE corporation. What’s next? Well, it’s a pretty good bet you won’t be promoted to VP-in-charge-of-everything your first week on the job, right. And even if, by some miracle you did land a really cushy job, there will still be a training period. I mean, come on, we may think we know it all…but truthfully, most of us don’t. That means we’ve got the job, and we’re going into the training period, and we’re gonna have to read the company manual.
Same goes for signing on with God. Before you can know what to expect you’re going to have to read the manual….it’s called the Bible. (An acronym for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth). It’s in the pages of God’s Word that you’re going to find out God is who he says he is, God will do what he says he will do, and you can have what God says you can have.
Following along with our analogy of reading the company manual…let’s just say what you’re really interested in learning about right now, is healing, and you don’t have time to read all 66 books of the manual cover to cover to find out what you want to know. Common sense and years of schooling tell you, if you want to know about a particular subject, you go to the index, look up that subject and find out all you can about it. Right? So…you rummage around in your space (on your desk, in your room, in the trunk of your car, whatever) and find that Bible somebody shoved into your hands awhile back, and check out the index (it’s usually in the back of the book). After you find the word you’re looking for, you do what you’ve always done when you were studying, you look up each reference, maybe make notes about it, memorize it, do whatever helps you learn all about the subject so you can pass the test.
And believe me – there will be a test – there always is.
And sometimes it’s a POP quiz.
Don’t you just hate those?
Now, when you get past the crisis – and with God on your side, you will – if you don’t pick up the company manual again until the next crisis comes along your only alternative is going to be another panic. Without knowledge of God’s Word every crisis that comes along means you panic and start bargaining with the BIG man for your job all over again. I gotta tell you here, if you’ll spend a little time reading the manual every day, checking out the subjects you need to know about as you think of them, your next job crisis is gonna be a whole lot easier to handle, because you’re gonna KNOW what God says you can have.