What God the Father Wants Most (2)
If a father had one wish, what would you suppose it would be? It would probably have something to do with listening and obeying. Fathers appreciate respect.
God the Father wants us to love, obey, and praise Him. Matthew 22:37 extols the desire God has for loving Him. The intensity of that love is “with all,” not halfway or when it feels right, nor is it age relative. Abiding in such love results in what John 15:10 says: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love.”
Obedience is not difficult if our relationship with God is founded upon love. It is the same motivation a relationship every boy and girl have with each other. It is the reason they know and understand each other so well. A servant’s spirit develops as they begin to show their love for each other by sending a card, buying a rose, holding hands, and thanking one another. It is in front of family or friends when you see this love demonstrated as they praise one another by saying, “She is the nicest and sweetest girl I have ever met.” “He is so respectful and kind.”
Praising a dad makes it hard to be one. A father never feels entirely worthy of the worship in a child’s eyes. He is never quite the hero his daughter thinks. He is never quite the man his son believes him to be. This is an anxious moment for the dad. Therefore, he works very hard to try and smooth the rough places in the road for his own children who will follow him.
If our love for God is as real as we profess it to be, we will not be able to resist doing whatever He asks. Following Him will be our priority. His goodness we will willingly praise. He will not be anxious about those words of honor as if He does not deserve them. He is worthy every day of all of our praise. David said in Psalm 51:15, “O Lord, open Thou my lips and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise.”
We find it easy to extol so much of the world. We tell people, “You need to try this.” “This is great.” “Everyone likes this.” “You need to get some of this.” “I found something you need to have.” If our love for God is genuine, praising Him and all He has done will be our first priority. What a joy life would be in loving, obeying, and praising God!
A caring father will always want to be near his children and dwell with them. God the Father wants to be your Father and dwell with you.
To say “father” means different things to different people: A warm, lovable, teddy bear of a man, or painful memories of an angry, critical tyrant for whom a child could never do anything right. Forty percent of children in the United States go to sleep in homes where a father does not live. What a difference a father living with his children would have in their lives!
God the Father does not want to isolate Himself from man. He wants to dwell with him. He wants to abide in him (John 14:23). God has never had any hindrance or lack of desire to abide with man. It is man who needs to allow God to live with him.
Mankind should understand the plan God put in place to meet man’s greatest need - salvation (Ephesians 3:9-11). It is God who provides guidance, comfort, strength, help, and hope as the Father. The interest God has in being our Father may be best seen in how we break His heart if we refuse and turn away. Notice how this is illustrated in Jeremiah 3:19-21 to the nation of Judah: “I myself said, ‘How gladly would I treat you like my children and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation. I thought you would call me “Father” and not turn away from following me. But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you, Israel, have been unfaithful to me,’ declares the Lord. A cry is heard on the barren heights, the weeping and pleading of the people of Israel, because they have perverted their ways and have forgotten the Lord their God.” For all God did for them, they turned away.
People wonder why things are not going well in the world or in their lives personally. Why is there violence, cursing, division, hate, revenge, divorce, abuse, etc.? Where is God? Does He not care? The answer is man’s refusal.
When reading 2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1, God wants to be with His people - to dwell with you. It is a relationship determined by our desire to be removed from independence to dependence upon God. To dwell with you means He wants to be there with you always (Matthew 28:20). God cannot do that if you want to do things your own way. God has come so far as the door to your heart. He does not force Himself. God lives as far away or as close as you allow. One thing is for sure: The greatest fellowship you will ever have with God is to have Him as your Father (1 John 1:3; 3:1-2).