“The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars: A New Hope
Star Wars is a fun movie. The concept of the Force, this energy the young Luke Skywalker can tap into that allows him to block lasers with his lightsaber and lift things with his mind, looks pretty awesome.
Of course, the Force has its shortcomings. Luke and his mentor, Obi-Wan, can do amazing things with this cosmic Swiss army knife. But the Force is not a companion.
It doesn’t care about anyone. It just sits there until someone picks it up.
The God of the Bible is entirely different. God is not energy. God is not a tool. He is a person, and as it is with other people – and this is amazing when you think about it – you can have an effect on God’s feelings.
Jesus often referred to God as the Father and not just His Father. “Our Father, who art in heaven …” is how the Lord’s Prayer starts. He is our Father, and He loves us more dearly than any earthly father could.
That means we, as His children, can make God happy just by being with Him. His face lights up when we enter His presence. He grins when we call on His name.
It also means He shares in our pain. When you are so depressed you wonder whether you can go on living, God’s heart aches in anguish beside you. When you are scared and buried in sorrow because a loved one has cancer, God weeps over you.
And because He is a perfect Father whose love has no conditions attached, our accomplishments have nothing to do with His happiness. Our failures have no effect on His joy.
All it takes to make God happy is to be with Him. We can do good works in this world, and of course, God is pleased when we reflect His love on others. But He loves us the way parents love their baby. Joyfully. No performance required.
It is hard for many of us to understand what it means that God is a father because, in our fallen world, so many fathers have betrayed and abused the power they have over their children. When we write stories like Star Wars, fathers can easily be made the villain.
But God is neither a father who abuses power, nor is He a mindless source of power for us to “use.” God is a person. The one and only perfect Father. His joy is at its fullest when you are near.
Watch Chip speak in this clip about how God’s heart is linked to yours so powerfully that your joys and your sorrows are His as well. Yes, though he is the Creator of all things and is all-powerful and all-knowing. He is also a person. And you can make Him happy.
For more information about the character of God, check out the series The Real God.
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