January 9, 2009

The Excitement of Knowing

J I Packer, in Knowing God, makes a great point early on in the book. He talks about the effect on you ok knowing a powerful individual, of having that person share concerns with you, their thoughts and cares. Of how it would change your attitude in life if you were the confidant of such a powerful person. Someone like the president of the United States or the queen of England. How would your outlook on life change, would you have a new, higher standard to live up to?

Packer goes on to talk about knowing God like that. Would you feel the same way? God does speak to us, and we know a bit about the thoughts and plans of God, we have the Bible. Why is it that we do not feel as if we are in as exalted position, having God speak to us as we would if it were the president? I suspect it is the pride element hard at work. We can flaunt a relationship with a powerful and exalted personage, something tangible in a relationship that others would see, regardless of their beliefs.

Being invited to stay over and sleep in the Lincoln bedroom, something like that.

But knowing God from a book, claiming that He speaks to us from the pages of the Bible, that is not something we necessarily want to brag about to those who do not have a similar relationship to God that we have. Makes us feel uneasy, someone might think us a bit...odd.

Packer goes on to talk about how well we know Jesus from Scripture, about how we can have just as personal a relationship with Him that the apostles did. How that should fill us with joy, with peace and security. But how many of us would proudly proclaim that relationship as compared to knowing the president or the queen?

That is sad, especially since Jesus is so much more accessible than the president or the queen, so more much knowable, and the relationship so much more lasting than either of those could be.

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