Through the years, I have heard tons of “interesting” attempts to explain the realtionship of God with people. Some explain Him as a benevolent grandfather type who exists to hear stories about our day and give us ice cream even though it might spoil our dinner. Others see Him as a warden keeping order over the chain gang as we pick up trash or dig ditches that are assigned to us. Some see Him as the aloof uncle who barely knows what is going on. Still others think of God as a “cosmic concierge” who is waiting by the phone to deliver extra towels or to arrange a taxi or theater tickets upon our command.
In truth, God does delight in fellowship with us. He does bless us. He does instruct us in the tasks of the kingdom and he certainly is One we can call to arrange things that are beyond our ability to control. But He is more than these things. He is God. There is no real analogy to describe Him in relationship to us. We can only try to understand Him through the analagous relationship that He chooses to reveal to us. He is our Father.
I know this analogy breaks down for some…since they have pretty poor human models of fatherhood to draw on. Their fathers abandoned them, or failed to provide for them, or let them “get away with” everything. Their fathers, were never at home or were really ATM machines that simply doled out money when the right buttons were pushed.
A Father though, as revealed in Scripture ,serves as the Head of a clan, tribe,or people. Abraham, as his name became, was the “exalted father” of many nations. He is the origin of life for the children. He is the Provider. He is the Leader. He is the ultimate decision-maker. He is the one who determines inheritance. he is the safe place to return to. He is the “hub” of the family “wheel.” The Father is to be honored ALWAYS. He is the guardian of righteousness.
The Psalmist in Psalm 18 describes God with many words. Among the ideas presented are God as Provider and God as Empowerer. God not only provides for us as a “mother bird” forages and brings back nourishment to the nest for the baby birds, but He also teaches us to seek out and obtain our own nourishment. When needed, He forces us out of the nest so that we will choose to fulfill our destiny rather than merely existing to consume what He delivers for us to eat.
One thing that particularly spoke to me this morning was 18:3, “I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.” Yes, God empowers us to fulfill purpose but He is also near enough to see and hear us. He is close by to save us when we call on Him. The very nature of pursuing purpose involves us stretching beyond our comfort or ease. We literally go out on a limb…but when we fall, God saves us in RESPONSE to our Call.
Our calling on God is a statement of declared humility. Our refusal to call on Him is a statement of declared independence. He desires our dependence…therefore He demonstrates responsiveness to our humility…when we call.
Today…if needed…call. Call and experience His “salvation.” Honestly…if we are atuned to the realities of life…we recognize our necessary dependence on God at every moment of our existence…so our lives are necessarily a constant “call” to Him. As such, we experience a consistent reply from Him…to save us.