Monday, August 8, 2016
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. Hebrews 11:6(NLT)
In early childhood there is a strong desire to please our parents. Some say it’s all downhill from there! That squares with John Wesley’s understanding of humanity that, we are born in innocence, and learn to sin-away our relationship with God.
Following that (dimming) beam of light back to the source, we can understand WHY the author of Hebrews says it is impossible to please God without faith. Faith is that unhindered desire to please God like a little child wants to please her parents. As our sin increases, that desire melts like snow in Florida.
A very small child begins to exhibit signs of independence; we call it the terrible 2’s. But even in that stage of development there are those wonderful times when your little one just wants to crawl up in your lap and be close. Those times of comfort and closeness are precious, and must approximate, at least on some level, what God feels when we seek that reward of His closeness and friendship.
The Hebrew writer also claims that coming to God in this way must include belief that God exists. Within the child-parent analogy it is easy to imagine this; a toddler crying-out from the crib knows his mother is just on the other side of that door. Orphaned children, those given up for adoption, or separated from parents in some other way may spend a lifetime seeking that parent. It is so with those who are estranged from their heavenly Father.
So, without this childlike faith, this desire to be close to our Creator/Father/God, it is impossible to please Him. Jesus said it’s impossible to enter the kingdom of God without becoming like little children who trust[ii], but, for those who are willing, it’s a slam-dunk! (Well…that’s kind of a modernized version of verity).
Much of Scripture is that kind of invitation; those who would draw close are welcomed by a loving God.
Come close to God, and God will come close to you.
But, those who seek their independence are also granted their desire. You can draw close to God, or you can run away. Even though many opt for autonomous independence, away from God, God prefers you up close and in His lap; the only thing you cannot have is both.
So, once again the love of God calls for us to choose. Father God says He’s not going to play hide and seek with you when you seek for Him with your whole heart.(Jeremiah 29:13)
Go to VIDEO
[i] Title Image: Pierre-Louis Delaval [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
[ii] Matthew 18:3