Does God Have to Respond to Us?

by Christian Union Day and Night Staff
God responds to our actions and prayers—freely, and as He has promised.

God is free to do all that He pleases (Ps. 115:3). We cannot twist God's arm or manipulate Him, nor is He is obligated to respond to us in the way we want Him to as we seek Him and His presence. Nevertheless, He has revealed to us in His word that He is a God who loves to draw close to and pour out His presence on people who seek Him according to His word:

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

"For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite" (Is 57:15).

"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him" (2 Chr. 16:9).

He gives us the choice to have His presence or not to have it:

“I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:8-13)

"The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded, and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, "Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The LORD is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you" (2 Chr. 15:1–2).

When His people seek Him he delights to draw near to them. God is certainly free to do all that He pleases, and it pleased Him to freely promise that He will draw near to us as we draw near to Him (James 4:8).


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