God’s desire is for us to be passionately in love with Him. After all, He is love! I love to search after the things of God, get to know Him and His Word better every day, and share revelation through writing and teaching to encourage people. I want to help people know God as their personal and living Lord and Savior. But because truth is so convicting, people often feel guilt ridden because they don’t “live up” up to the standard or the “secret” I might share. Or people apply truths but when their circumstances do not change and there is a lack of success, they question the truth. The purpose for revelation and conviction from the Word is to reveal God to us. This is important for us to understand. Truths are not meant to be inserted into a formula for success in our faith walk with Jesus. In other words, when we apply truths of God’s word in our lives in order to experience success or get what we want from God, we miss out on the real purpose, our relationship with God. The Word of God is not a “manual” wherein if we “do” everything the Word teaches, then our lives will be better. Perhaps you have heard the acronym used for the BIBLE: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. This is not an accurate way of viewing the Word of God because it is not an instruction manual, but rather a love letter from God to His children. Certainly it provides direction, but most importantly the Bible reveals God and His love to us.
John 14:15 says “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” We know His commandments by reading His Word, and we keep them because of our love for Him. In verse 23 Jesus answered a question Judas Iscariot asked of Him. Judas asked “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” You see – it is God’s ultimate priority to draw us near to Him and enjoy a love relationship with Him. James 4:8 reveals “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” He chooses to come near to us as we draw near to Him and in fact, His desire is to make His home WITH us. Changing our circumstances is not His top priority, relationship is! Revelation from the Word is meant to deepen our love for God, not simply fix all our problems.
This is not to say our circumstances will not change as a result of being in relationship with our God who has all authority in heaven and on earth. Of course we want to be obedient to His Word – Of course we want our circumstances to change – We learn how to take authority over those things which have had authority over us – We want to live healthy, whole, complete lives! However, when our desire for these “things” override and dominate our faith walk over an intimate relationship with our living, loving, and gracious God, we become self-centered, frustrated, and self-indulgent children of the King. When our focus is on ourselves and what we are doing to serve God and overcome the things of this world, we find ourselves angry or bitter with God for the unfairness in life when our experiences say otherwise. We find ourselves arguing with God because we are not experiencing joy in the midst of trial, comfort in pain, and peace which passes understanding. Most frustrating than all of this -when we cannot understand how we can be so faithful to God and still find ourselves in the midst of agony, defeat, and desperation much of the time. To combat this, one thing the Church has done in recent decades is put the focus more on fixing ourselves, bettering our lives, and being happy in life than on “knowing” Him and His will. When our goal is to “get it right” with God, to live a healthy and happy life, to be free from trials and pain, we find ourselves temporarily satisfied. When our goal is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, we find ourselves eternally satisfied.