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How Do We Relate To God By Joseph Alleine

How Do we Relate to God?

With all possible devotion and veneration, take the Lord for your God. Set the world, with all its glory, and paint, and gallantry, with all its pleasures and promotions, on the one hand; and set God, with all His infinite excellencies and perfections, on the other; and see that you do deliberately make your choice. Take up your rest in God. Sit down under His shadow. Let His promises and perfections turn the scale against all the world. Settle it in your heart, that the Lord is an all-sufficient portion, that you cannot be miserable while you have God to live upon. Take Him for your shield and exceeding great reward. God alone is more than all the world; content yourself with Him. Let others possess the preferments and glory of the world; but you must place your happiness in the favor of God, and in the light of His countenance.

Poor sinner, you have fallen off from God, and have engaged His power and wrath against you; yet know, that of His abundant grace He offers to be your God again in Christ. What do you say? Will you have the Lord for your God? Take this counsel, and you shall have Him. Come to Him by Christ, renounce the idols of your pleasures, gain, reputation. Let these be pulled from their throne, and set God’s interest uppermost in your heart. Take Him as God, to be chief in your affections and purposes; for He will not endure to have any set above Him. In a word, you must take Him in all His personal relations and in all His essential perfections.

God the FATHER must be taken for your Father.

O come to Him with the prodigal: ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight, and am not worthy to be called your son’ [Luke 15:21]; but since of Your wonderful mercy You are pleased to take me, that am of myself most vile, even a beast and no man before You—to be Your child, I solemnly take You for my Father, commend myself to Your care, and trust to Your providence, and cast my burden on You. I depend on Your provision, and submit to Your corrections, and trust under the shadow of Your wings, and hide in Your chambers, and fly to Your name. I renounce all confidence in myself; I repose my confidence in You. I declare my engagement with You; I will be for You, and not for another.’

God the SON must be taken for your Savior, your Redeemer, and your Righteousness.

He must be accepted, as the only way to the Father, and the only means of life. O then put off the raiment of your captivity, put on the wedding garment, and go and marry yourself to Christ. ‘Lord, I am Yours, and all I have, my body, soul, and estate. I give my heart to You; I will be Yours undividedly, Yours everlastingly. I will set Your name on all I have, and use it only as Your goods, during Your absence, resigning all to You. I will have no king but You to reign over me. Other lords have had dominion over me; but now I will make mention of Your name only, and do here take an oath of fidelity to You, promising to serve and fear You above all competitors. I reject my own righteousness, and despair of ever being pardoned and saved for my own duties or graces, and lean solely on Your all-sufficient sacrifice and intercession for pardon, life, and acceptance before God. I take You for my only Guide and Instructor, resolving to be directed by You, and to wait for Your counsel.’

God the SPIRIT must be taken for your Sanctifier, for your Advocate, your Counselor, your Comforter, the Teacher of your ignorance, the Pledge of your inheritance.

‘Awake, you North wind, and come, you South wind—and blow upon my garden’ (Song 4:16). ‘Come, Spirit of the Most High; here is a temple for You; do You rest here forever; dwell here. Lo, I give possession to You, full possession; I send You the keys of my heart, that all may be Yours. I give up the use of all to You, that every faculty and every member may be Your instrument to work righteousness and do the will of my Father who is in heaven.’

How Do You Response To God.

Consider how the Lord has revealed Himself to you in His Word.

Will you take Him as such a God?

O sinner, here is the most blessed news that ever came to the sons of men: The Lord will be your God, if you will but close with Him in His excellencies. Will you have the merciful, the gracious, the sin-pardoning God to be your God?

Response: ‘O yes,’ says the sinner, ‘otherwise I am undone.’

Will you be holy—holy in heart, holy in life?

But He further tells you, ‘I am the holy and sin-hating God; if you will be owned as one of My people, you must be holy—holy in heart, holy in life. You must put away all your iniquities, be they ever so dear, ever so natural, ever so necessary to the maintaining of your worldly interest. Unless you will be at enmity with sin, I cannot be your God. Cast out the leaven. Put away the evil of your doings; cease to do evil; learn to do well. Bring forth My enemies—or there is no peace to be had with Me.’ What does your heart answer?

Response: ‘Lord, I desire to be holy as You are holy, and to be made partaker of Your holiness. I love You, not only for Your goodness and mercy—but for Your holiness and purity. I take Your holiness for my happiness. O be to me a fountain of holiness. Set on me the stamp and impress of Your holiness. I will thankfully part with all my sins at Your command. My wilful sins I do henceforth forsake; and for my infirmities that cleave unto me, though I would be rid of them, I will strive against them continually. I detest them, and will pray against them, and never let them have rest in my soul.’ Beloved, whoever of you will thus accept the Lord, He shall be your God.

Will you lay all at My feet, give up all to My disposal, and take Me for your only portion?

Again, He tells you, ‘I am the all-sufficient God. Will you lay all at My feet, give up all to My disposal, and take Me for your only portion? Will you own and honor my all-sufficiency? Will you take Me as your happiness and treasure, your hope and bliss? I am a sun and a shield all in one; will you have Me for your all?’ Now what do you say to this? Does your soul long for the onions and fleshpots of Egypt? Are you loath to change your earthly happiness for a portion in God; and though you would be glad to have God and the world too—yet can you not think of having Him, and nothing but Him; but had rather take up with the earth below, if God would but let you keep it as long as you would? This is a fearful sign. But now, if you are willing to sell all for the Pearl of great price;

Response: if your heart answers, ‘Lord, I desire no other portion but You. Take the grain and the wine and the oil who will—just so that I may have the light of Your countenance. I fix upon You for my happiness; I gladly venture myself on You, and trust myself with You. I set my hope in You; I take up my rest with You. Let me hear You say, “I am your God, your salvation,” and I have enough, all I wish for. I will make no terms with You but for Yourself. Let me have You for sure, let me be able to make my claim and see my title to Yourself; and for other things, I leave them to You. Give me more or less, anything or nothing; I will be satisfied in my God.’ Take Him thus, and He is your own.

Will you bow to My government?

Again, He tells you, ‘I am the sovereign Lord; if you will have Me for your God you must give Me the supremacy. You must not make Me second to sin or any worldly interest. If you will be My people I must have the rule over you; you must not live at your pleasure. Will you come under My yoke? Will you bow to My government? Will you submit to My discipline, to My Word, to My rod?’ Sinner, what do you say to this?

Response: ‘Lord, I had rather be at Your command than live at my own will. I had rather have Your will to be done than mine. I approve of and consent to Your laws, and account it my privilege to be under them. And though the flesh rebels, and often break its bounds, I have resolved to take no other Lord but You. I willingly take the oath of Your supremacy, and acknowledge You for my Sovereign, and resolve all my days to pay the tribute of worship, obedience, love, and service to You, and to live to You to the end of my life.’ This is a right acceptance of God.

Will you venture yourselves upon My Word, and depend on My faithfulness, and take My bond for your security?

To be short, He tells you, ‘I am the true and faithful God. If you will have Me for your God you must be content to trust Me. Will you venture yourselves upon My Word, and depend on My faithfulness, and take My bond for your security? Will you be content to follow Me in poverty, and reproach, and affliction here; and to tarry until the next world for your preferment? Will you be content to labor and suffer, and to tarry for your returns until the resurrection of the just? My promise will not always be instantly fulfilled; will you have the patience to wait?’

Now, beloved, what do you say to this? Will you have this God for your God? Will you be content to live by faith, and trust Him for an unseen happiness, an unseen heaven, an unseen glory?

Response: Do your hearts answer, ‘Lord, we will venture ourselves upon You. We commit ourselves to You, we cast ourselves upon You. We know whom we have trusted. We are willing to take Your word; we prefer Your promises before our own possessions, and the hopes of heaven before all the enjoyments of earth. We will do Your pleasure—what You will here, so that we may have but Your faithful promise for heaven hereafter.’

If you can in trust, and upon deliberation, thus accept of God, He will be yours. Thus there must be, in a right conversion to God, a closing with Him suitable to His excellencies. But when men close with His mercy—but yet love sin, hating holiness and purity; or will take Him for their Benefactor—but not for their Sovereign; or for their Patron, and not for their Portion; this is no thorough and sound conversion.

This article is an edited version of “Directions to the Unconverted” in Joseph Alleine’s book, “An Alarm to the Unconverted”. Welcome to read ALL related posts here or purchase the book

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