Honesty With God
By Glenda Ward
“For the froward is abomination to the Lord: but His secret is with the righteous.”
“The Curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but He blesseth the habitation of the just.”
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” James 4:7-8
God desires our complete honesty. We are as close to God as we choose to be. If you desire to develop a closer relationship with God it will take time and energy. It does not happen by accident, nor does it happen overnight. To gain a deeper, more intimate connection with God we must learn to honestly share our feelings with Him, trust Him, and learn to care more about what He cares about in our life, and desire this kind of relationship with Him more than anything else. We must choose complete honesty with God about our faults and feelings. In Jesus’ generation; no matter what He said or did, the people took the opposite view. Jesus condemned their attitude because they were cynical and skeptical because He challenged their comfortable, secure, and self-centered lives. Too often people justify their inconsistencies because listening to God may require a change to their way of life.
Friends of God in Bible times were honest about their feelings, often complaining, second-guessing, accusing, and having differences of opinion with God. However, God doesn’t seem to mind this frankness. God allowed Abraham to question and challenge Him over the destruction of the city of Sodom and what it would take to spare the city. Abraham was negotiating God down from fifty righteous people to only ten. (Reference Genesis 22-33). Job was allowed to vent his bitterness during his ordeal, but in the end, God made it clear that Job’s friends were wrong. Job was tested, yet refused to give up on God even though he did not understand why these things were happening to him. Job is restored in Job 42:1-17. In response to God’s speech, Job humbles himself and God rebukes the three friends for adding to Job’s suffering by their false assumptions and critical attitudes. “And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath” (Job 42:7). God tells them they haven’t been honest, either with Him or about Him – not the way Job was…. He also told them that Job would pray for them and God said He would accept Job’s prayer. True faith begins in such humility. Those who persist in trusting God will be rewarded.
In another example, God honestly expressed His total disgust with Israel’s disobedience. He told Moses He would keep His promise to give the Israelites the Promised Land, but He wasn’t going any farther with them in their journey! God was fed up, and He let Moses know exactly how He felt. (Reference Exodus 32:1-8). “And the Lord said to Moses, I have seen this people, and behold, it is stiff-necked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation” (Exodus 32: 9-10). And Moses, speaking as a “friend” to God responds beginning in Exodus 32:11-14. Read this passage to find out how Moses pleaded for mercy, and God spared them. In this event, God even repented of the evil which He thought to do unto His people. God changed His behavior to remain consistent with His nature. When God first wanted to destroy the people, He was acting consistently with His justice. When Moses interceded for the people, God “changed” to act consistently with His mercy. This is just one example of God’s mercy. Although we deserve His anger, He is willing to forgive and restore us to Himself.
Bitterness is the greatest barrier to friendship with God! People often blame God for hurts caused by others. This creates a hidden rift with God. Revealing our true feelings to God is the first step to healing. Tell God exactly how you feel. God gave us a worship manual to instruct us in candid honesty with Him. Every possible human emotion can be found in the Book of Psalms. When we read the emotional confessions of David and others, we can realize how God wants us to worship Him – holding back nothing of what we feel. We can pray like David. We can choose to obey God in faith and trust in His wisdom. When we do this, we deepen our friendship with God. Jesus makes it clear that obedience is a condition of an intimate friendship with God. (Reference John 15:1-13). “Ye are my friends, If ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:14). As we are friends with our God, we are not His equal. He is our loving leader, and we follow Him. We want to follow Him out of gratitude for all He has done for us. When we nourish and deepen our friendship with God; we are abiding in Christ which means;
1- believing He is God’s Son (1 John 4:15),
2- receiving Him as our Savior and Lord (John 1:12),
3- doing what God says (1 John 3:24),
4- continuing in faith (1 John 2:24),
5- relating in love to the community of believers, Christ’s body (John 15:12).
Jesus says the only way to live a truly good life is to stay close to Him, like a branch attached to the vine. Apart from Him, our efforts are unfruitful. We receive the nourishment and life offered by Christ, the vine. When a vine bears “much fruit,” God is glorified, for daily, He has nurtured each tiny plant or vessel – as we are – and prepared it to blossom. What a moment of glory when our harvest is mature and ready for use! God is glorified when people come into a right relationship with Him and begin to “bear much fruit” in their lives.
Jesus’ relationship with His Father is the model for our friendship with Him. God treasures simple acts of obedience. Small opportunities surround us every day. When we do small things for Him out of loving obedience, which may go unnoticed by others, God notices them and considers their acts of worship. (Reference 1 Samuel 15:22).
Jesus began His public ministry at age thirty by being baptized by John. At that event, God spoke from heaven. (Reference Matthew 3:16-17). What had Jesus been doing those thirty years that gave God so much pleasure? The Bible says nothing about these hidden years except for a single phrase in Luke 2:51-52: “And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but His mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Jesus lived in Nazareth with Mary and Joseph; and as He lived and grew, He increased in wisdom with God. Thirty years of pleasing God can be summed up in these few words: He lived obediently in God’s favor. All is worthless compared to knowing Christ; “and being found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death” (Philippians 3:9-10). When we are united with Christ by trusting in Him, we experience the power that raised Him from the dead. That same mighty power helps us live morally renewed and regenerated lives. But before we can walk in the newness of life, we must also die to sin (“be made conformable unto His death”). Just as the resurrection gives us His power to live for Him, His crucifixion marks the death of our old sinful nature.
Just as after Christ’s resurrection Christ was exalted; one day we too will share God’s glory. What practical choices will you make this week in order to grow closer to God?
Glenda Ward is a member of Grand View Baptist Church in McDowell County. She is the mother of five grown children. Glenda is a Christian writer/author of “Something to Think About” – weekly Christian Articles. She writes Church Programs & Bulletins, VBS Material, Christmas and Easter Programs; all material based on the KJV of the Bible. Also testing the field in tributes, individual memorial writings, etc. You can read more good Christian news from Glenda HERE.