One of my favorite mentors* reminded me that “…no matter what is going on out in the world, we have this stability, this fruitfulness, this life, this goodness, when we have Christ.” Oh my goodness, how true that is! 2020 was a year of massive struggle and massive spiritual growth for me, and this season isn’t over yet. But it’s funny how those two things– the struggle and the growth–often go hand in hand isn’t it?
I just want to pass on a great resource that has helped me weather this past year– J.I. Packers “Knowing God”. If you’ve never read this book, treat yourself with a copy! The audio version is really nicely done, in case you like to listen while you do other things. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 3, “Knowing and Being Known” (pages 36-37) about what it looks like to be in relationship with God.
“What happens is that the Almighty Creator, the Lord of Hosts, the great God before whom the nations are as a drop in a bucket, comes to you and begins to talk to you through the words and truths of the Holy Scripture. Perhaps you have been acquainted with the Bible and Christian truth for many years, and it has meant little to you; but one day you wake up to the fact that God is actually speaking to you–you!–through the biblical message. As you listen to what God is saying, you find yourself brought very low; for God talks to you about your sin, and guilt, and weakness, and blindness, and folly, and compels you to judge yourself hopeless and helpless, and to cry out for forgiveness.
You come to realize as you listen that God is actually opening His heart to you, making friends with you and enlisting you as a colleague–in Barth’s phrase, a covenant partner. It is a staggering thing, but it is true–the relationship in which sinful human beings know God is one in which God, so to speak, takes them onto His staff, to be henceforth His fellow workers (see 1 Cor 3:9) and personal friends. The action of God in taking Joseph from prison to become Pharaoh’s prime minister is a picture of what He does to every Christian: from being Satan’s prisoner, you find yourself transferred to a position of trust in the service of God. At once life is transformed.
…from being Satan’s prisoner, you find yourself transferred to a position of trust in the service of God. At once life is transformed.
Whether being a servant is a matter for shame or pride depends on whose servant one is. Many have said what pride they felt when rendering personal service to Sir Winston Churchill during World War II. How much more should it be a matter of pride and glorifying to know and serve the Lord of heaven and earth!”
The mentor I mentioned and her podcast is here: