God’s desire is simpler than you might think.
Think you know how to be a Christian?
You go to church every Sunday. You read your Bible in the morning as you sip coffee before work. You pray every night before you sleep, tithe each week, and even talk to a stranger about your faith every now and then.
But even as you do these things, do you really know what God wants from you? Do you know the why behind your Christianity?
This question may have struck you as you lay awake in the night, a sudden and frightening realization that you really have no idea what your God truly wants. What is His purpose? What’s the overall plan? What could the omnipotent creator of an entire universe—a creator that can, literally, have anything He wants—possibly desire?
You’re not alone in asking this question. King David wondered the same thing in Psalm 8: 3-4, where he puzzles, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” If he can ask this eternal and important question, so can we.
While many pastors and faith leaders touch on these subjects, few explicitly answer the question of what God wants. It’s time to find out.
To sum up the complex matter of God’s desires, as we can understand them, we can look to one word: relationship. God didn’t need to create mankind. He wasn’t lonely before we arrived on the scene—He already had company in the Son and the Holy Spirit, as well as the angels. He didn’t have a craving for tributes or sacrifices or even worship. His life was perfect, as-is.
No—to find out what God wants, we can look at what He asks of us. In Mark 12:30-32, Jesus explains God’s two greatest commandments: “’And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
What God wants, when it comes to you, is simple. He just wants you. He wants a loving relationship with His earthly children, and He wants us to take that vertical love and make it horizontal, taking His cue and treating our fellow human beings with love and respect. In short, He wants us all to be one, big, happy family.
That’s it—love is absolutely the foundation of everything God does. 1 John 4:8 says it outright: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” He created you so that He might love you, and so that you might love Him. Everything in scripture points to this.
Consider your very ability to choose. In the beginning, God gave the first two humans the choice to be in relationship with Him or not. Ultimately—and unfortunately for us—we chose self-rule rather than remaining within God’s perfection. But the fact that we hold the ability to engage with God or reject Him shows that He desires a real relationship with us—He didn’t create humankind for slavish, forced love and worship.
And even when His wrath descends upon us, it is not abuse or petty vengeance—it is guidance that goes no further than necessary in order to keep us from harming ourselves in the long run. He gives us His good laws and commandments not to control us, but because He knows that following them will give us the best lives possible. This is why “love” doesn’t mean “permissiveness—sometimes God’s love looks like punishment.
But that doesn’t mean that God wants us to constantly cower in fear of His hand. The Bible mentions “fearing” the Lord, but the Hebrew word that translates to “fear,” doesn’t simply mean “to be afraid.” It also means “to stand in awe of,” and carries connotations of reverence, respect, and honor.
He doesn’t want our fear. He wants our love. This is the beating heart of Christianity.
It is vital to internalize this idea, to place it at the center of your worldview so that it affects everything you do, inside and outside of church. Have you ever heard people speak of that “something” that makes Christians stand out, that makes outsiders ask, “What is it that’s different about that person?”
That’s love they’re talking about, and it’s what draws those outside the church toward a relationship with God. Remember 1 John: 4-8? It doesn’t just say that God is love. It says that whoever does not know love, does not know God. This means that when we’re unkind to others for not being of our faith, we don’t know God. When we turn our backs on the suffering of others, we do not know God. When we take pleasure in the idea of someone going to hell, we do not know God.
Remember—God has an unlimited, omnipotent perspective that is not bound by time or space. He can see that giving John Doe a temporary illness will create a domino effect that will lead to the good of hundreds of thousands of people a century from now.
We don’t have that luxury when dealing with others, and that’s why it’s so important to know what God really wants. Love is more important than all the manmade doctrine and traditions and preconceptions beneath which we shroud the light of Christianity.
But it’s just as important to know how you can practically apply love in your life. If you’re wondering how to do this—how to be in a sincere, loving relationship with God and with one another—you can find no better example than that of Christ.
Paul, in Romans 8:29, teaches that God wants us to be like His Son, and for good reason. Jesus is our way of understanding an infinite and unknowable God, and so we must carefully consider not only what He did do in His life, but also what He didn’t do. He never mocked, scorned, or turned his back on sinners. Notice, though, to whom His harshest words were directed: the religious leaders of the day. The Pharisees had eschewed the love of God for empty pomp and meaningless ritual.
Sound familiar? Too often, we do the same today.
When it comes to us, God’s desires aren’t complicated. He just wants to love us, for us to love him, and for us to love one another.
He wants a family. Are you willing to allow yourself to join Him?
“ Knowing God begins by being born from above—a spiritual birth that brings you into relationship with your Creator .”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 2, 2021
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31, ESV
God gives good gifts to His children. Gifts that bring Him glory and gifts that bring His sons and daughters security in knowing they are loved and adored by their heavenly Father. The Lord’s gift of comfort brings peace to an anguished soul. His gift of joy He gives to those who praise and worship Him with hearts lifted upward. Here are three ways God wants His best for you:
For You To Know Him “ I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better” (Ephesians 1:17).
Knowing God begins by being born from above—a spiritual birth that brings you into relationship with your Creator. Similar to any loving and growing relationship, knowing your loving Father, knowing your forgiving Savior and knowing your wise Holy Spirit happens in an ongoing, vibrant, intimate community with the Trinity. Wisdom and revelation are the fruit of knowing God. His desire for you is to know Him, so He can show you His longings for your life. Know Him not just with head knowledge, but with eyes of your heart that transforms your being.
For You To Love Him “ God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them” (Hebrews 6:10).
You love Him when you help His people. Love for the Lord is a verb—active love for others in Jesus’ name. Not a one-time tip of sympathetic love, but an ongoing empathetic, persevering love that never gives up, especially when taken for granted. Pure love has a pure heart, unencumbered with accolades—serving an audience of One—Almighty God. Love waits on the Lord to energize his life with love so His genuine love goes to areas in need of compassion that human love is unable to discern. Pain and grief especially need to see your love and comfort. Your love of Jesus makes you an emissary of eternal love wrapped in the generous goodness of God.
For You To Obey Him “ Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did” (1 John 2:4-6).
Your obedience to God is the fruit of your love for God. Love wants to please the object of its affections, so when a life is captivated by the Lord the answer is “Yes, Lord”! Is your current career truly a calling from Christ, or merely a cash transaction? Make sure your current season of service aligns with what’s best for influence in God’s Kingdom and caring for your family. Work not done unto the Lord is counterproductive on earth and will burn up one day, but work for the Lord grows divine dividends. Invest your time in eternal matters—this matters most. Love expressed by obedience is not onerous, but an exercise in experiencing God’s pleasure.
“ Look, all of you are flawed in so many ways, yet in spite of all your faults, you know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to all who ask” (Luke 11:13, The Voice)!
Heavenly Father, thank you for being with me in knowing, loving and obeying you, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.
What evidence in my life points to my growing in knowing, loving and obeying God?
Charity Gayle: Thank You Jesus for the Blood
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How do you blossom into who God created you to be if you don’t know why you’re here or what He created you to do? You want to follow Jesus and listen for the Holy Spirit’s still small voice — and you definitely don’t want to fall asleep like the disciples did in Mark 14! — but you’re struggling.
Struggling, doubting, and wrestling with your faith is normal. It’s healthy and good, in fact. Your questions, concerns, doubts and fears can deepen your relationship with Jesus. If you keep walking, you’ll find yourself stronger, happier and more solidly connected to God than ever before.
In the meantime, how do you figure out “who God wants you to be”? I’ll share part of my story with you; you may find it helpful in your own understanding and walk with God.
Most people believe in God, or some sort of Higher Power or Universal Force. Some believers who follow Jesus Christ read the Bible, go to church, and pray regularly. But few of us Christians have achieved that ideal state of figuring out who God wants us to be, how He wants us to live in every moment, and why He created us.
Yesterday I came one step closer to becoming who God wants me to be. He’s been shaping and forming me for decades, and yesterday was a major growth spurt.
Who God Wants You to Be
This blog post is part of my She Blossoms Through the Bible project; I’m writing an article for every chapter in every book of Scripture. I started Exodus a couple weeks ago, beginning with 3 Easy Ways to Trust God With Your Future – Exodus 1.
Today is Exodus 21: the first of three “Books of the Covenant.” Normally I pull life lessons and practical tips from each chapter and apply them to our daily lives…but this article is different. Instead of pulling Scripture apart to learn more about God, I’m pulling me apart so you can learn more about you.
1. Picture yourself through God’s eyes
In Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back I describe a major turning point for me and God. A few years ago I participated in a Bible Study that transformed my heart. One activity in particular had an immediate, powerful effect on both my self-identity and my relationship with God. It was a fifteen-minute writing exercise that invited us to picture ourselves the way God sees us, and write ourselves a letter from His perspective. When I saw myself through God’s eyes, my heart melted. I was filled with compassion, love, and kindness for the little Laurie who experienced terrible troubles. I saw myself as a little girl with ribbons and curls, bouncy and joyful! Precious, lovable, and worthy of God’s attention. Naive and vulnerable, whole and free, loved by Jesus. His heart and sacrifice healed that little girl’s pain and shame. My experience with God freed me from pride and haughtiness. I saw myself though His eyes; my heart and self-image was slowly renewed.
Take 15 minutes to see yourself through Jesus’ eyes. How old are you, and what do you look like? Where are you, and who are you with? How do you feel about yourself? What is your self-identity based on? Who does God want you to be? Write yourself a letter from God’s perspective. You have a unique relationship with Jesus, so your experience will be different from mine. You may feel angry, sad, or lonely. Maybe you can’t picture how God sees you. Perhaps you’ll have more questions than answers, more confusion than clarity. That’s okay. Don’t judge or compare. Don’t expect God to show up in a specific way. Take a deep breath and close your eyes. Let God reveal Himself to you. Let Him reveal you to you.
2. Allow yourself to wander off path
As part of my “She Blossoms Through the Bible” project, this article is supposed to revolve around Exodus 21. I should be pulling life tips, practical lessons, or insights about God from the chapter and applying them to our lives. But Exodus 21 contains laws and ordinances that don’t make sense to my life today. I have no interest in describing why the Israelites owned slaves or how to deal with oxen who gore men or women to death. So I’m allowing myself to wander off path.
Figuring out who God wants you to be always involves straying, wandering, getting lost and getting found again. The Israelites in Exodus wandered in the desert for years. Moses and Jacob and Isaac and Abraham all strayed from Yahweh in big and little ways, eventually finding their way home. Sarah and Hagar weren’t born knowing who God created them to be. Adam and Eve definitely wandered off path in the Garden of Eden. Every story the Bible — from beginning to end — involves people who got lost, wandered off path and often found their way home again. Except Jesus.
3. Learn how to see God in action
The best way to figure out who God wants you to be is to learn who He is. Even though I didn’t study or pull tips from Exodus 21 (though I know there is valuable information about God this chapter), I did learn this: God give us information and insights, and He lets us carry them forward as we wish. In Exodus 21:1 God said, “These are the ordinances that you must set before them.” Then He gave Moses a detailed description of ways to handle life at the base of Mount Sinai. Notice that God simply told Moses to set the directives before the Israelites. Just give them the information, He said. He wanted them to see He who wanted them to be and how they should live. Then God set them free to think and be and live and feel and act and do.
How has God acted in your life? What insights and information has He given you? Listen to your life, and hear how He has spoken into your experiences, relationships, and decisions. Maybe you’re struggling to make a major life decision, or you’re grieving a sad loss. Maybe you’re saying goodbye to someone you love — or you’re still hoping you’ll meet someone who will love you. When God says no to the desires of your heart, you may feel like you’ll never be happy or whole again. But you know what? If you keep growing in your faith, you will come out the other side. You will learn who God wants you to be if you move forward in love, hope, freedom and confidence. You will blossom into the woman He created you to be if you learn what it means to pray without ceasing, to see His fingerprints all over your life, and to keep growing forward.
Editor’s Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of John Ortberg‘s recent book, The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God’s Best Version of You , (Zondervan, 2010).
What matters most to God isn’t what you do; it’s who you are. So pursuing certain accomplishments in life isn’t nearly as important as becoming the person God created you to be. Use your time and energy well. Focus on living up to your potential, growing into the person you really want to be – someone who’s free to live with love and joy.
Here’s how you can become the person you want to be:
Wake up. Important parts of you may be languishing if you’re not intentionally pursuing spiritual growth. Don’t let your best self lie dormant. Notice the glimpses of your potential that you sometimes see when you do something inspiring, such as being patient with a rambunctious young child or sacrificially giving to help someone in need. Realize that God wants to empower you to live at your full potential all the time.
Let go of the person that you don’t want to be. Stop chasing after the versions of yourself that will only interfere with you becoming the person God intends you to be. Let go of pretense, guilt, pleasing people rather than God alone, etc.
Go with the flow. No matter how hard you may try, you can’t become the person God wants you to be through your own efforts. The only way to do so is to live with God’s Spirit flowing through you like a river of living water that makes you and those you relate to flourish.
Discover how you grow best. Spiritual growth doesn’t happen on a “one-size-fits-all” basis. Disciples are handcrafted, not mass-produced. People learn differently, struggle with different sins, and relate to God in different ways. So take who you are into account when figuring out how you can best grow spiritually. Keep in mind what activities you most enjoy, your temperament, what ways naturally help you experience God’s presence (such as serving people or spending time in nature), your learning style (visual, auditory, tactile, imaginative, etc.), hat unique set of temptations and sins you wrestle with regularly, and what season of life you’re in now.
Make the most important decision of all. Decide to surrender every part of your life to God’s will every day, committing to follow where He leads you with each decision you face. Choosing to surrender your own agenda to God’s will is the only way you can become the person you were created to be.
Try softer instead of harder. Rather than trying harder to become a better person – which will be in vain, since you can’t achieve spiritual growth through your own efforts – try a softer approach to life. Relax and focus on God’s grace that’s always available to you.
Let your desires lead you to God. Growing spiritually doesn’t mean doing what you should do instead of what you want to do. Instead, it means coming to want to do what you should do. So allow what you naturally desire (from enjoying delicious food to a drive to achieve something meaningful through your work) to help you notice more about God’s goodness and draw you closer to Him in gratitude for His gifts.
Change your mind. If you improve the way you think, you’ll improve your whole life, since your thoughts lead to your attitudes and actions and shape who you are as a person. So evaluate your recurring thoughts, asking yourself what direction they’re leading you in – closer to God, or farther away from Him. Monitor your mind to catch unhealthy thoughts (selfishness, bitterness, anxiousness, etc.). When you notice them, pray for the Holy Spirit to renew your mind and guide you toward thoughts of what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Be careful of what messages you feed your mind. Give it a steady diet of life-giving Scripture and think critically about the messages that flow into it from sources like the media and other people in your life.
Overcome worry. You can’t become the person God created you to be unless you break free of worry. Realize that God won’t often give you comfortable circumstances, but He will always be present with you as you go through them, helping you grow in the process. Choose to trust God even when you feel afraid. As you move forward in trust, God’s perfect love will flow through you and cast out your fear. Pray about your concerns instead of worrying about them, and ask other people to support you in prayer.
Deal with sin wisely. Talk with God regularly about your problems and desires. Be honest about when you’re facing temptation, and ask God to help you overcome it. Make time to rest, relax, and enjoy life so you won’t be as vulnerable to temptation as you would be if you were dissatisfied. Recognize which types of sins are more appealing to you than others, and become aware of your particular sin patterns. Listen to the Holy Spirit when He convicts you of sin. Regularly confess your sins and repent of them so you can keep growing.
Deepen your relationship with God and others. Spend time alone with God in prayer regularly. It’s during prayer, when God’s Spirit touches your spirit, that you come closest to being fully yourself. Make life-giving relationships with other people a high priority. Take all the opportunities you have to give and receive love. Be real with yourself, other people, and God. Learn from your relationships with difficult people; let the challenges of relating to them help you grow.
View your work as service. Any kind of work you do is worthwhile, because your work is ultimately service to God. When you give your best effort to your work to honor God, He will use your work experiences to help you grow into a better person.
Deal with challenges well. God isn’t at work producing the circumstances you want; He’s at work in bad circumstances producing the person He wants you to become. Keep in mind that even your best circumstances are temporary, but the person you become will go on forever. Trust God to bring something good out of even the most challenging situations you go through. Use the greater sense of compassion that God will give you in the process to help make the world a better place.
Original publication date: February 22, 2010
How to Become What God Wants You to Be
God wants nothing in return for the love He gave to His people, other than becoming what He plans you to be. Some may this as fate. But in fact, it is actually God’s plan. He sets the path and destination for you. Each path and destination is varied. Yours may be a long trip and others may have shorts ones. God’s plan for each person is quite unique. God desires for us to make use of the potential He has given to His people— although some of you may not be sure what their destinations are as of the moment.
God planted you on Earth to play a huge role in a big picture. His plans for you will coincide with His plans for another. In essence, God has interconnected each of our lives together. And He wants you to discover who you should be to better play that role. To Him, what’s important is not what you do but who you are. Pursuing fortune, fame, and other accomplishments in life far from God’s desires for you to becoming the person He created you to be. It will always be a challenge to discover who you should be. Hence, this article will give you tips that will aid you to becoming what God wants you to be.
Examine Your Heart and Mind
Change is the only thing constant in the world we live in. It is also the hardest thing to do. It takes days, weeks, and months for you to change. Some of you may be in a state of quandary, a state in which you do not know the path set for you. Thus, take a close look at your heart and mind. Ask yourself these questions, “Are my desires aligned with God? Are my senses in line with God?” If you found that your answer is NO, then compel to change. Conversion is the best road to take to get closer to becoming what God wants for you. Once you changed, learn to love yourself. You will never know what God wants you to be when you don’t love yourself. Troy Louis’ take of self-love on Honor God With Your Body is that each person, no matter the gender, must come to terms to what God gave. When you don’t love what you have, you will not only bloom into your greatest potential, but also sidetrack you to achieving God’s plans.
Welcome God in Your Life
Remember the times where you reach out to your teacher to understand a particular topic? In this case, you don’t know who you should be and you must seek God to find the answers to your questions. As quoted in the book of Matthew, “ Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened.” Welcome God in your life. Pray if you must. It is during this undertaking that God will touch your spirit. When you have God, the journey to discovery will be easier. He will guide you every step of the way. You will be enlightened on particular aspects that you may have not noticed before. When God’s presence is felt, it propels you to becoming a better version of yourself. Therefore, a better version of yourself is the person whom God wanted you to be.
Embody the Scriptures
A God-like identity will help you become what God wants you to be. Most people who ahcieved their true identity embodies the traits written on the Scriptures. The Scriptures says that to be like God, live a life of patience, integrity, obedience, and honor. The aforementioned are the key to unlocking the door to becoming the person God want you to be. You will grow as a person as you embody these traits. Line up your behavior to what matters to God. Find out His plans and beliefs and make them your own. Allow the Scriptures to transform you. After which, you will become aware of the value of everything in each and every life.
Absorb God’s Plan
God has a plan for each living being in the world. However, God’s plan can be beyond comprehension. Therefore, instead of understanding the plan, absorb it. For you to find out who your should be, you must lose control. Submit yourself to the Lord and let Him guide you. Understand that everything that goes around you is all because of God’s plans. Have faith as this will bring greater understanding and blessings. The good and the bad that occured in your life are part of God’s big plan for you. This will build you up into the person who God wants you to be. Do not drown yourself in the sorrow. Think of it as a foundation to the greater things you do in the future.
Have you ever felt this vague feeling of being lost, or out of place?
Perhaps you have felt that the path you are on may not be headed in the right direction? That you are somehow missing the mark?
I have noticed for most of my life that there seems to be this ever-present, underlying experience with many people that they feel that they should be or perhaps could be, doing something different with their lives.
Perhaps doing something more meaningful?
Perhaps something better than what they’re doing now?
And this often leaves us wondering if what we’re currently doing…is wrong?
I have dealt with this feeling many times throughout my life, leading me to second-guess things like past relationships, jobs and important decisions in other areas of my life.
This past December 28 th was the third year anniversary of my mother’s stroke, which eventually took her life on August 4 th of the following year. After her stroke, her care became my full-time job. I had to give up my job, investing all of my time and efforts in her care and recovery.
I was left to live off my savings, which I was blessed to have — but nevertheless, after caring for her for three months post-stroke, I made the tough decision to place my mother into a nursing home.
I came up with many reasons for doing this, but basically, at the end of day … I wanted my old life back.
A life that was more comfortable and far less challenging.
A life that included less worry and a disposable income.
There was only one problem though. I was sacrificing what I truly believed, caused by an underlying feeling that I should be living a different life; that I deserved better.
When I had initially decided to care for my mother and not put her in a nursing home, I decided I was going to do it, not because it felt great, or because it would make me happy, but because it’s simply what was needed of me. It’s what God was calling me to do.
But in spite of that, even though it didn’t feel right in my heart, I finally did end up putting my mother into a nursing home.
And a week later, I drove back to that same nursing home and I brought her back home … this time, for good.
I realized during that week that I had made the wrong decision, a decision that was based on feelings and emotions – and fear, a decision that was based on an easy way out.
During the week she was in the nursing home, I thought I would experience a renewed sense of freedom, but in fact, I was never more miserable.
I realized that God had put me into the exact place, at the exact time that I needed to be.
And the answer wasn’t to run from that place.
The answer was to give my all to it.
And through God’s help and wisdom, I realized that the time I was spending caring for my mother, was provided to me by God. And when God gives us a moment, a time in our life to make a difference – it is enough.
Without any need for improvement.
Without the need for nights out with friends.
Without the need for a safe, comfy job, with a great title.
Without the pressure of expectations of the world (and the people) around me.
If you ever wonder if where you are in your life is where you are supposed to be, ask yourself: who am I living for? For myself? For others? For God?
There is a great acronym I once heard in a sermon: J.O.Y.
If you want perfect Joy, then set your priorities in this order:
- Jesus first
- Others Next
Remember, the more virtuous response to life is not offering to others only what we feel we are able to give, but instead, breaking past our comfort zones and giving what is needed of us.
I look back on the time I spent caring for my mother, and I realize I was in the exact moment I needed to be. Right where I was needed.
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- Learn what the Bible says about self-employment.
- Discover the importance of developing multiple streams of income.
- Get an overview of real estate investments.
- Consider various business opportunities – this time with the Wisdom of God.
- Self-management tools guaranteed to increase your personal effectiveness.
- How to maintain a positive attitude by changing your focus – simply by focusing on what the Word says about you and your success.
- Fill your mind with 90 scripture-based affirmations (personalized statements of God’s promises).
- Restore strength and stability to your soul (your inner life of thoughts, decisions, and emotions)
The best part is: we’ll accomplish it together. All while using God’s Word and relying on the power of the Holy Spirit. Our motto will be: “Little bits with consistency.” Together, we will learn from the Proverbs 31 woman. And become more like her!
This is an E-Course so you can join anytime! By the way, be sure to order your copy of the book, Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be: A 90-Day Guide to Living the Proverbs 31 Life . You cannot complete the course without the book. I look forward to traveling with you on this journey of a lifetime.
Best-Selling Author, Motivational Speaker & Empowerment Coach for the Aspiring Proverbs 31 Woman
God created you in His image so that so that He could have a personal relationship with you. God is seeking an intimate heart to heart relationship with you. There are some very good parents that have friendship with their children, while still being parents. God is your Father but He desires friendship with you also. (James 2:23 NKJV) And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.
A parent that you can trust as a friend is a refuge of security, someone you will go to without hesitation about any problem, or temptation. God desires that you let Him be that kind of friend to you. (Psalms 91:1-2 NKJV) He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shade of the Almighty. <2>I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
Jesus calls us His friends because He communicates with us. (John 15:12-17 NKJV) “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. <13>“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. <14>“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. <15>“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. <16>“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. <17>“These things I command you, that you love one another.
Our relationship with God is the most personal relationship we can ever have. God is a jealous God; we are not to let anyone or anything come between God and us. (1Timothy 2:5 NKJV) For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus. We are to be in Christ and Christ is in God, it is the Holy Spirit that unifies us together. God has given us His Holy Spirit to counsel, teach, and comfort us. Jesus said in (John 14:26 NIV) But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Anyone that exalts himself as a mediator between God and man, besides Jesus Christ, has the spirit of an antichrist, a false Christ. A cult is a religious organization that separates people from the true God and their relationship with Him. There are some cults that have doctrine very similar to Christianity but they have their own interpretation of the Bible that comes from a central figure or office. They interpret the Bible for the members and some have their own book that they use to judge what is true from the Holy Bible. These cults discourage people from reading the Bible on their own because when people get the truth they leave the cult.
John warned believers about this. (1 John 2:26-27 NKJV) These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. <27>But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. The anointing is the Holy Spirit that teaches us.
Some churches keep a heavy hand on their members denying them the freedom that we have in Jesus Christ. Paul called them false Christians when they demanded that Titus be circumcised. (Galatians 2:3-5 NLT) And they did agree. They did not even demand that my companion Titus be circumcised, though he was a Gentile. <4>Even that question wouldn’t have come up except for some so-called Christians there–false ones, really–who came to spy on us and see our freedom in Christ Jesus. They wanted to force us, like slaves, to follow their Jewish regulations. <5>But we refused to listen to them for a single moment. We wanted to preserve the truth of the Good News for you.
Some churches care more about unimportant things and controlling and discouraging people then they do about loving God and loving their neighbor. If Jesus visited them He might say something similar to what He said to the religious rulers of his day. (Matthew 23:23-28 NLT) “How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest part of your income, but you ignore the important things of the law–justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but you should not leave undone the more important things. <24>Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat; then you swallow a camel! <25>“How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! You are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy–full of greed and self-indulgence! <26>Blind Pharisees! First wash the inside of the cup, and then the outside will become clean, too. <27>“How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs–beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. <28>You try to look like upright people outwardly, but inside your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Our relationship with God is a personal relationship. Do not let anyone or anything come between you and God. If you are not grounded in God’s Word, and you do not know the voice of the Holy Spirit in you, then you are vulnerable to bad advice or even false doctrine. God has given apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for building you up in the faith of the Lord Jesus. They are there to encourage your relationship with God, and not to be a mediator between you and God. Everything they say and do should be pointing you to Jesus Christ and the Word. But we are to judge everything by the Word of God.
(Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, <12>for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, <13>till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; <14>that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, <15>but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Christ; <16>from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
God desires that you enter into the secret place of His presence where there is fullness of joy. (Psalms 16:11 NKJV) You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalms 31:19-20 NKJV) Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men! <20>You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence From the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion From the strife of tongues.