The Responding God Jeremiah 3:22

“Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God.”

The character of God is to respond to what the believer does. God does not force Himself on any person, but He is quick to respond when they choose to make the right action. When you consider salvation, you can see that God responds to the person who puts their trust in Him. We often think that we have to beg God for Him to do most things for us, but that is not the case. Most of the time, it is the believer’s actions that causes God to spring to action. There are several instances in the Scriptures that show God’s character to respond to the believer.

In the verse above, God responds to the believer returning. Notice that God says, “Return…and I will heal…” The word “return” is a directional move. Returning is turning around from going your own direction to following God. It is turning from following your backsliding ways to following the ways of the LORD. When God says, “I will heal your backslidings.”, He is saying that He will start sending His blessings that moment that you return to Him.

Another time we see God’s character to respond is in 1 John 1:9. This verse says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Notice that you don't have to ask God to forgive your sins because He has already promised to forgive them if you will confess them to Him. Many have this idea that you have to beg God to forgive you for doing wrong. This is not true! God is more willing to forgive sins than most believers are willing to confess them. The problem is not that God won't forgive sins; the problem is that the believer won’t confess their sins to God. If you want God’s forgiveness, confess your sins to God and He will forgive. This may sound too mechanical, but it is God who promised to forgive our sins if we confess them to Him.

James 4:8 shows God’s character to respond when it says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you….” The promise to get close to God is not dependent on God, but it is dependent on you drawing closer to God. God wants to be close to the believer, but it is the believer’s fault that they are not close to God because they have not drawn closer to Him. It is fallacy to think that you have to beg God to come closer to you because it is not up to God to draw closer; it is up to you. God has already promised that He would draw closer if you make the first step to draw closer to Him. Your distance from God is not God’s fault but yours.

Matthew 7:7 also shows God’s character to respond when it says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” You will notice that God giving is dependent on you asking. God wants to give to you, but you must ask Him in prayer before He responds to give. God has already promised to give you an answer to prayer, but you don't have the answer because you have not asked Him as James 4:2 makes so clear.

My friend, you often dictate God’s response. If you don't like how God is responding to you, the first place you need to look is at what you are doing. God always keeps His word, so the problem is with you. God’s responding character should cause you to always look at yourself first when things in life are not going the way you think they should be going. 

Dr. Allen Domelle

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