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Summary: It would seem natural that we would long to be close to God, our heavenly father…for every child wants to know the security of being close to their parents: …the familiarity of their faces, the security of their strength, the assurance of their words. T

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It would seem natural that we would long to be close to God, our heavenly father…for every child wants to know the security of being close to their parents:

…the familiarity of their faces, the security of their strength, the assurance of their words.

This is a good model for our relationship with God; except to one degree or another the model has been marred a bit:

…sometimes mom and dad weren’t really there.

…even if physically there, many of us may have known emotional estrangement…left uncertain about our place/value…left without finding help in terms of direction/vision.

We wonder if we really can get close to God.

• If we seek, we find a wonderful surprise.

• If our souls can clear away the debris of disappointment, we find a very present and relentlessly pursuing Father, a God whose fatherly love said:

…I’ll create an environment that testifies of my love and care.

…I’ll inspire writers to capture all that is fundamental about myself.

…I’ll come and show you what I’m like in person.

…I’ll even impart my own spirit to be placed in you.

That is a father who wants relationship.

The scripture authoritatively declares that God’s love longs to listen to our hearts, comfort us, counsel us, and challenge us like a father. As the Psalmist declared:

(Ps 145:18) “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

(Ps 32:8) “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will counsel you and watch over you.”

Jesus, in presenting the coming role of the Holy Spirit, said, “If anyone loves me they will obey my teaching. My Father will love them and we will come to them and make our home with them.” (John 14:23)

So, how can we experience this constant companionship? How can we get closer to our Divine Father?

Obviously, that’s a broad question whose answer is equally broad…and touches upon many facets of our faith. This morning I simply want to focus on some of the challenges faced in any parent-child relationship.

It’s helpful for us to realize that God not only relates to us with all the desire of a parent to a child, but also with all the dynamics of a parent to a child.

• For as many parents have learned, all the parental desire possible cannot determine intimacy with a child.

• Authentic relationship cannot be forced.

• With that in mind I believe God would remind us of the parent-child dynamics that relate to our intimacy with Him.

• As I’ve reflected upon the Scriptures this week, four dynamics in particular have stood out to me in regard to our lives:

The first factor involved in God’s fatherly interaction is:

1. OUR MINDFULNESS – God will relate to us according to our attentiveness.

- Every parent knows the importance of getting a child’s attention

… so does God.

- So it is, He states most simply in Ps. 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”

- Often times we think of merely the need for a quiet place to be with God, and certainly silence lends itself to stillness. But stillness of soul is more than silence. It refers to quieting the inner activity of our souls.

- I find this is one of my greatest challenges to enjoying constant closeness with God.

- Finding a relatively silence place isn’t so difficult, but quieting my soul is.

 In fact, silence often seems to unveil all the stirrings & voices in my soul.

- Have you ever found that to be true? Just as you get quiet, your mind is flooded with competing thoughts and concerns … as you initially try to focus, you find your soul suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder?

- I can even begin to pray about things without really being still and focused yet … and I begin to spatter off my concerns to God with no real inner attention on Him.

- I might add that I think the things we’re most concerned about may be the hardest because our own thoughts and emotions are so involved; our own desires and reactions fill our attentiveness.

 At these times, we’re like a wound up child rambling before a parent who waits to really gain our attention.

- God says “Be still” … come let your thoughts and agendas be still before me. Let them rest … get centered … die down.”

- The full attention of God’s heart is always there for us as our Divine Parent … but we cannot really know His attention until we bring Him ours.

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 And so, the first question I would pose in getting closer to our Divine Father is: DOES YOUR FATHER HAVE YOUR ATTENTION; NOT JUST SILENCE, BUT THE STILLNESS OF YOUR SOUL?

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