Randy Langham
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A hungry man will do most anything to satisfy his hunger. A person dying of thirst will put aside every other desire to satisfy the deep, painful agony of severe dehydration. And God's desire to have a right relationship with you goes far beyond the craving of a dying person in need of food or water. He could focus His interests on anything in the universe, but He has chosen to focus on you.

From the beginning of time God has bypassed every other interest to pursue that fellowship and to express His love. Not even your wrong choices in life can hinder God’s pursuit of you. No matter what you have done in your past, God earnestly craves to have a right relationship with you. The only thing He refuses to do in that quest is to force you to love in return.

So what is the natural drive of mankind towards God? The Bible states, there is none who seeks for God (Rom. 3:11). In contrast look at God’s pursuit of you: He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us (James 4:5). Yet another translation says, “The Spirit which he made to dwell in us jealously yearns for the entire devotion of the heart.”1  John 15:16 says God chose you. And Acts 17:26-28 reveals more of God’s desire for you: He made from one man every nation of mankind … that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist.

God uses dozens of ways to draw you to Himself. Here are eleven of those ways.

1. God uses His wrath to draw you.

Jesus said to some religious leaders, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Matt. 3:7) When you read the material from yesterday, did you feel a tugging and a need to remove any guilt? The only way to remove guilt is to go to God.

2. God uses the Law to draw you.

God never intended to use the Old Testament standards to save you. They exist to show that you are separated from God: we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin (Gal. 3:19-20). The law existed also to lead you to a Savior: the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith (Gal 3:24).

3. God gives you a conscience to draw you.

When you do wrong, God convicts you so you will repent and draw near to Him. they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them (Rom. 2:15).

4. God draws you with His love.

You appreciate God's love more fully after you understand His wrath. That He would initiate a love relationship with you should motivate you to love Him in return: We love, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). God drew the nation of Israel with love, and even today when Christians fall to the level of those in Laodicea, Jesus stands at the door and knocks (Hos. 11:4; Rev. 3:20).

5. God gave the Bible to lead you to Christ.

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me (John 5:39); but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name (John 20:31).

6. God draws you with pain.

Whether it comes from not doing anything wrong or whether it comes as a consequence from doing wrong, pain motivates. Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word (Psa. 119:67).

7. God uses proclaimers to draw you.

for "whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? (Rom. 10:13-14)

8. God uses nature to draw you.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse (Rom. 1:20). For example, God uses the rainbow to remind us of His wrath and His promise not to flood; He uses the sheep to portray Christ on the cross; etc.

9. God draws you with His kindness.

do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? (Rom. 2:4)

10. God draws you by placing needs in your hearts.

You have heard that you can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink. This is true, but you can make the horse thirsty, by giving it salt. God will not force a person to seek His love, but He does put in every person a strong need to be loved (Jer. 24:7). What an incredible combination – man's need for love and God's endless supply of love to give! Jesus places in you a desire for peace, and He is the prince of peace. He places in you a desire for real life, and He is the abundant life.

11. God uses All Things to draw you to Him.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose .. to become conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:28-29a).

As you know, God uses many more ways to seek a very close relationship with you. No matter how old you are, and no matter what you have done, God jealously desires to dwell in you. One group of believers who nauseated God was still invited by Him to have a relationship with Him (Revelation 3:15-16).

People can refuse to reject God if they so choose. They can run away like Adam and Eve; they can pretend nothing bad has taken place like King David; they can persecute the church like Saul of Tarsus (later known as Paul); or they can deny Christ three times like Simon Peter, and God will continue to seek them.

Notice that others also failed, and God still sought a relationship with them, but their lack of confession and repentance led to tragic consequences: God gave time for Judas Iscariot to repent. He gave King Saul many times to repent of his evil. And He gave the Laodicean Christians time to “open the door.”

1  Mayor, J.B., The Epistle of James (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1966). Quoted in Curtis Vaughan, James: a Bible Study Commentary, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1969), 87-88.

God Initiates a Relationship with You

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