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Understand what God wants

Pastor's corner

POSTED: October 5, 2017 5:30 p.m.

Many times today, one hears of people who have given up on God. They feel that because things have not worked out the way they planned, serving God is not worth the effort.

This feeling and attitude comes from not understanding Jehovah. Man has come to think of God as if he is human. Man thinks and feels a certain way perhaps out of compassion or fear or some other reason.

There are at least three things all need to remember.

First, one must understand that God is not man. God is God. He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. Man makes a mistake when he tries to bring God down to man’s level. It cannot be done. Isaiah the prophet wrote, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isa. 55:8, 9).

Garth Brooks had a song a few years ago about how he wanted to marry a certain girl. He prayed about it, but it did not work out. Meeting the same girl a few years later, having married someone else, he thanked God for "unanswered prayers."

The world would be a different place today if Abraham and Sarah had realized that God did not need their help. When Sarah could not bear children, she gave Hagar, her handmaiden, to Abraham to have his child. From this relationship, Ishmael was born. Later after Sarah had the promised child Isaac, the Bible states she dealt harshly with Hagar and Ishmael so that they fled from her. The descendants of those two boys have been fighting ever since. If men would study and apply God’s word to their lives, they would have better lives and the world would be a better place.

Secondly, it needs to be understood that God is for man. Looking at the biblical account of creation, it is seen that God prepared the earth for man to inhabit before he created man. God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" (Gen. 1:26).

Man had everything needed for him to survive (Gen. 1:29; 2:15). When God saw his creation was alone, God made a woman for man. (Gen. 2:20-25). The family was formed, Adam and Eve living in the garden prepared for them by God.

Even when the first humans rebelled against God, God still cared about them. It is interesting to see the great love God has for man. He was willing to send Christ to die for all men. This is the greatest love story ever known to man. God is for man.

Lastly, it should be understood that God wants man to obey him and waits for man to decide. God created man with the ability to choose if they desire to follow God or not. God has supplied all man needs to make this choice. He gave the only sacrifice that could be given for man – Christ. He has given his word to be written down so everyone can know what is expected of them.

The reason behind all this is God’s love for man. Peter wrote, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).

God wants all men to be saved, but it is up to the individual to make the decision to obey God or not. God’s word teaches the necessity of faith but not faith alone (James 2:17-19). Man must be willing to change his life or to repent, to confess that Jesus is the Son of God and then to be baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of sins.

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