Informed Faith Pleases God
Many people think that God wants us to do what is right, and if we do He is pleased. In a way that is true but it is only a part of the story. God wants us to be much more than obedient servants; He is looking for friends (John 15:15). Faith, in its widest sense, is essential for every relationship. We need to be able to trust what we know of a person to want to know them better.
It is like that with God. The only information about Him, which we can rely on, is what He reveals to us. We see something of His creative power by looking around us (Psalm 19:1). We know most about God from His revealed Word and the historical record of His Son's earthly ministry (John 20:30-31). That is made accessible to us in the apostolic writings and interpreted to our hearts by the Holy Spirit. There is so much about God that cannot be revealed, but what has been revealed is for us to believe, and to encourage our children to believe, so that we can work with God in His world (Deuteronomy 29:29).
As we believe Him, a relationship starts to grow. It may start by observing creation, or noticing godly people or having a desire to read the Bible. God wants us to want Him. As in any relationship, He is pleased when we want to reach out to Him, to discover His character and learn how to relate with Him (Acts 17:27). Of course, the more we get to know about Him, the more we realise there is a gap between His holiness and our sinfulness. That is when we realise we need Jesus to bridge that gap (www.crosscheck.org.uk).
Isaiah 55:6-7 says, "Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 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." Once we know a little of God we should want to seek him with all our heart; when we do He will open the way to eternal relationship (Deuteronomy 4:19). The promise of Jeremiah 29:13 is still true: "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart". It is a gospel responsibility to encourage those who seek the Lord, and not deter them (Matthew 19:14); their earnest quest will be certainly rewarded by a relationship with the Living God.
© Dr Paul Adams