Vibrant relationship with God
Listen to the word of the Lord, people of Jacob—all you families of Israel! This is what the Lord says: “What did your ancestors find wrong with me that led them to stray so far from me? They worshiped worthless idols, only to become worthless themselves. They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord who brought us safely out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness—a land of deserts and pits, a land of drought and death, where no one lives or even travels?’ “And when I brought you into a fruitful land to enjoy its bounty and goodness, you defiled my land and corrupted the possession I had promised you. The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those who taught my word ignored me, the rulers turned against me, and the prophets spoke in the name of Baal, wasting their time on worthless idols. Jeremiah 2:4-8 The people during the time of Jeremiah took for granted what God wanted from them. He desired to have a personal relationship with Him, instead they engaged themselves to religious observances and rituals that they ignored the longings of God. They were satisfied to go through the motions of religion rather than experience an intimate fellowship with God. Their prayers were offered so they could show a fickle pretense of relationship. Such neglect of God’s command led to the Israelites worshiping “worthless idols.” God, through Jeremiah, spoke of His discouragement for they were unfaithful and ungrateful despite the blessings He provided them. Our relationship with God should be based on our desire to be near Him. This means that we will remove the barriers that will prevent us to experience His presence. Each day, we think of ways on how we could be a blessing to others so that our lives could be an expression of who He is. Our service is done not to pacify Him or to soothe our guilty conscience but a sincere commitment to glorify Him. Prayers are offered because we want our lives to conform to His ways and His will. We call Him our Father and friend not because we want Him to be lenient to our sinful habits, but so He could reveal to us what is in His heart. Do not allow your worship or your activities be deprived of His presence because you are just going through empty rituals. God seeks from us a vibrant relationship with Him. “The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. He grants the desires of those who fear him” (Psalm 145:18-19).
Noel De Guzman