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In your relationship with God, He always initiates. This means that you never start a conversation with God—you only ever continue a conversation that He’s already started with you. What Christians call “seeking more of God” is really just souls choosing to respond positively to God trying to get their attention.
God is like a man who is standing behind you tapping you on the shoulder. When you feel the tap, you choose to either turn around and engage, or you ignore the sensation and go on with what you were doing. Because they do not acknowledge how much God is involved in their lives, and because they are always trying to lead Him, Christians often take the glory for furthering their walks with God when really He is the One who deserves the credit for making the relationship possible. You see, you didn’t even know there was a God until the Holy Spirit started tapping your soul. And once you know there’s a God, you still have no idea what He wants from you. The Holy Spirit has to supply that information as well, and you can’t rush His timetable. God reveals Himself to you according to His schedule, not yours. And before He starts tapping you, you don’t even bother looking for Him.
Here’s something you don’t know: there is a planet in our galaxy that’s named Muff. Before this moment, how much of your life have you spent wondering where Muff is and what it’s like? You’ve never wondered about Muff because you’ve never heard of Muff. And you never would have heard of Muff if we hadn’t told you about it, because we just invented it. This is how it works when it comes to truths about God. The revelation of God is something that God entirely controls. Until He starts calling you, you simply won’t wonder about Him. It doesn’t matter how many Christians come along and try to convert you. They’ll all sound like religious nuts until God starts talking to you. God has fixed it so that only He can make you understand who He is and what He wants. This means that you have no chance at having a relationship with God unless He first decides that He wants one with you.
So how do you know if God wants to have a relationship with you or not? Well, the very fact that you want a relationship with God means He’s already talking to you about that subject. God only brings up the subject of relating to Him with souls who He is interested in relating to. So the very fact that you want to know God and want to be in a good place with Him proves that He is already talking to you.
Now simply being aware of God isn’t enough to get you saved. He requires certain things from you, and you’ll never know what those things are until He tells you. But once He does tell you, how do you know when you’ve met His requirements? Salvation is essentially an act of submission—how do you know when you’ve submitted enough? This is a concern that many new believers have, and it is the concern that we will address in this post.
WHO CONTROLS YOUR SALVATION?
Let’s use our fictitious planet Muff as an example. Suppose we decide that we are going to give a million dollars to anyone who shows sincere interest in learning more about Muff. We’re big fans of Muff ourselves, and we want others to share our enthusiasm about this distant world. But we don’t just announce our contest online. Instead, we hand pick certain people who we are going to give a shot at earning our prize money. You are one of the people we pick. You didn’t even know Muff existed until we showed up on your doorstep telling you about it and about our contest. Now you really want to win the million dollars, so you decide that you really want to learn more about this mysterious place. As we all sit down together, you ask us a bunch of questions that you hope will prove how interested you are in Muff. But how do you know if we’re pleased with your level of interest? You don’t. Suppose we’re not yet satisfied with how interested you are. Unless we communicate with you and tell you this, you have no way to win the contest.
When it comes to your salvation with God, you’re in the same situation with Him that you were in with us regarding our Muff contest. If there is something lacking in your efforts to align with God’s requirements for salvation, you aren’t going to know about it unless He tells you. He has to communicate with you, or you’re totally stuck. And since you can’t make God talk to you, what then? Well, here is where we get into the issue of character.
If God is as good as He claims to be, and if He really loves you as much as He says He does, then you can count on Him to make it very clear to you if you still need to do something more to meet His salvation requirements. If God is good and He isn’t saying anything to you, then you can trust that all is well between you. If God is good, then His silence is not a problem. In fact, His silence is a good thing, because it means there’s nothing left undone at the moment. God knows you can’t read His mind. He knows you’re just a little dot of a human who depends on Him for every breath. If God is good, He will take full responsibility for giving you the understanding and resources you need to please Him.
But if God is not good, then everything changes. If God is some unreasonable Ogre, then He will expect you to read His mind and then He’ll threaten to damn you to Hell if you don’t guess right about what He wants. If God is not good, then He can’t be trusted, and you’re in quite the pickle. If God is not good, then His silence becomes a terrifying thing, because it could mean He’s already written you off or that He’s intentionally ignoring you because He doesn’t want you to succeed with Him. If God is not good, then even if you did everything He asked of you and more, you could never rest in the knowledge that you are going to Heaven. If God isn’t good, then His promises are worthless, and nothing He says to you can be counted on. If God isn’t good, then if He says all is well between you and Him, for all you know, He’s just playing a mean prank and snickering at the sight of you trusting in false hopes. If God isn’t good, then you have no hope at all.
So where are we going with this? Well, you need to understand that your current angst about salvation really comes down to an issue of God’s Character, and you can’t change God’s Character. God is who He is. If He’s not good, then nothing He says can be counted on and we Christians are in for a very rude awakening on the other side. But if God is good, then you have nothing to worry about, for if you want to succeed with God, He will make sure that you do. You see, you can’t gain peace about your standing with God through striving and stressing. There’s only one way to gain peace, and that is through confidence in God’s goodness. God says He is good, and that He can be counted on to help us succeed with Him. He says that He loves us far more than we love Him, and because of this, we have to work at getting on His bad side. It’s really quite simple to succeed with God, and the more you trust Him, the simpler it becomes. But it all starts with understanding that God is good and developing trust in Him. How do you do that? We’re back to God helping you by giving you the understanding and resources you need to develop that trust. God always initiates, and because of that, He controls the rate at which your relationship with Him will progress.
So then, you really want to be accepted by God, and you’ve tried to do everything He’s shown you to do up until now. Are you in a good place or not? Of course you are, because God is good. When there’s something more you need to do, He’ll tell you. But will you be able to relax and actually enjoy your secure position with Him? Not until you develop trust. In the meantime, realizing the true source of your angst is an important step in the right direction.
For the soul who sincerely wants to please God, the issue is never a lack of trying, but a lack of trust. God is far easier to succeed with than we realize. In fact, so much about God seems much too good to be true, and this is why the development of trust is such a long process. But you will make progress, because you sincerely want to please God, and He always helps those who want to please Him. The happy news is this: even though you’re all anxious and fretting, there’s really nothing to worry about. You really want to please God, and He is with you and drawing you closer to Himself. It’s easy for us to see the security of your situation because we know Him so much better than you do. But soon you’ll know Him much better yourself, and then you’ll realize what a good place you were in back when you used to worry if you’d done enough to get saved.
What it Means to be Aligned with God
Understanding Salvation: How We Find the Real Gods & The Irrelevance of Titles