Relationship with God

Various places in the Bible make it clear that God wants to be in relationship with us. It isn’t only we who reach for God and try to come closer to God. In fact, the common thinking is that we would not have the idea in the first place of getting close to God if God had not first reached out to us.

A short passage that has a lot to say about our relationship with God is Jeremiah 29:11-13. Most people are familiar with verse 29:11, which reads (NIV): “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” But if you carry on to the following verses, you find that God has more to say: “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” The context is God speaking to the people who were in exile in Babylon and reaffirming the promise to take them back home. Because elsewhere in the text the Bible claims that God is not a “respecter of persons,” the promises to one group are understood to be available to all.

Promises inherent in a relationship with God, according to this passage, include: 1) assurance that there is a Divine plan for your life and God isn’t forgetting about it, 2) the plan includes a way for you to succeed and be strong and healthy, 3) not only is there a future ahead of you, but it is a positive one in which you can feel hope, 4) your side of the relationship includes calling upon God and praying; God’s side includes listening to you, and 5) your side of the relationship includes seeking God with all your heart; God’s side includes being available for you to find Him.

The promise of relationship continues from there into verse 14: “I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

You may not be in Babylon, but you might, even so, be in one form of captivity or another. These promises are for you.

           

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