Evaluating our Attachment to God

Bible Verse for today: “…He raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse man after my heart, who will do all my will.”

Acts 13:22 ESV) “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called friend of God.”  (James 2:23 ESV)

Our relationship with God can serve as the basis for healthy relationships with others. In our zoom class today on “The Bible and Mental Health” Ron Hanson shared about “Attachment Bonds: How They Shape Relationships.”

Psychologist John Bowlby says, “the concept of attachment is a lasting psychological connectedness between human beings.” If we apply that spiritually we could say, “attachment is a lasting spiritual connectedness between an individual and God.”

We can be thankful as New Testament believers for the relationship with God through Jesus Christ that is afforded to us by forgiveness and grace offered in the cross. That is why when I read of the lives of Old Testament leaders and especially David’s relationship with the Lord in the Psalms it is even more striking.

There are four distinguishing characteristics of attachment physiologically and they have an application to our spiritual lives.

1 – Proximity Maintenance – The desire to be near the people we are attached to. Application: Do you value and cultivate the Lord’s presence in your life?

 “…in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11 “…Set me in your presence forever.” Psalm 41:12 “…The upright shall dwell in your presence.” Psalm 140:13

2 – Safe Haven – Returning to the attachment figure for comfort and safety in the face of fear or threat. Application: Is the Lord a source of comfort, safety and security for your life?

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2 (NIV) ”…I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2 (NVI)

3 – Secure Base – The attachment figure acts as stability from which a person ventures into activities of daily living. Application: Take the Lord with you each day every day.

“For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.” Psalm 18:28,29 (NIV)

When Moses was preparing to lead God’s people to the promised land, the Lord responded to his plea for help with these words,  ”The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Moses’ response back to the Lord was, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” (Exodus 33:14,15 NIV)

Remember how the Children of Israel in the wilderness were not to move unless they were following the cloud? That is a good reminder of how important it is for us to trust the Lore for His daily guidance, protection and provision for our life.

4 – Separation Distress – Anxiety that occurs in the absence of the attachment figure. Application: Are we aware of the decisions and actions that bring separation between us and the Lord? While we can be confident of the Lord’s love, we must desire to always be close to Him. We see King David’s prayer of repentance included this plea:

“Do not cast me from your presence   or take your Holy Spirit from me.” Psalm 51:11 NIV

“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:23-26

I encourage you to look for other verses and the application of these concepts for your life. When we are secure in our relationship with the Lord it will serve as the basis for our healthy relationships with others. We won’t be looking for people to meet the needs that God alone can meet on a consistent basis.