September 08, 2014

God and the Queen of England

Devotion for the Week...

Some people view God the way I view Queen Elizabeth II of England. I believe she exists. If I were to read the facts of her life (birth, schooling, marriage, children, etc) I would believe them too. I don't understand the fascination some people have for following every detail of her life, and those of her family, though I generally will read an article about them if it appears in a magazine I am reading.

Likewise, there are many who believe that God exists. They believe that Jesus lived and died as described in the Bible. They really don't understand people who focus their lives on living the way God wants, but they will sometimes read stories about missionaries or others who have devoted themselves to serving others in the name of God.

There is a big difference, though, between my relationship with the Queen and my relationship with God. Simply stated, I don't have a relationship with the Queen. She knows Canadians exist, she even knows people live in the province called Newfoundland and Labrador. She may have once heard the name of my small town, but she certainly doesn't know my name. She doesn't know that I'm a quilter, or that I write this blog or that I have a husband and three boys. A lot of people think that's the extent of their relationship with God - they believe He knows there are humans living on the earth, but He doesn't have any particular interest in one specific person.

Thankfully, that's not the case at all. Consider the beginning of Psalm 139:

 You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me. 
 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar. 
 You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways. 
 Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely. 
 You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain" (Psalm 139:1-6).

That sounds like a very intimate interest. In fact, it sounds as if God knows me better than I know myself. I love that the psalmist wrote that God is "familiar with all my ways." It's like He has studied my habits, my preferences and my way of doing things. My husband is familiar with my ways, but the Queen of England certainly isn't! Even more intimately than my husband, my God knows my ways. He knows what I will say next, or how I will respond when someone hurts my feelings. He knows even before I know. And not only does God know me that well, He loves me!

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

 "We love because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19).

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38,39).

God knows and loves each one of us individually. He is not a distant figure, someone we can read about or see on television but never really know. Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep" (John 10:14,15). He also told His disciples, "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you"(John 15:15).

Queen Elizabeth has no interest in a relationship with me. She does not count me among her friends, and she would not take my call were I to try to reach her this evening. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, the Queen and I live in different countries, different circumstances and we are of different generations. God, on the other hand, has called me a friend. What is more, He has adopted me into his family. "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God"(1 John 3:1). Don't you love that image? God has lavished His great love on us. How abundant and freely given that love is! God, the creator of the universe, is always ready to listen when we pray and Jesus made us this promise: "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20). I am so glad my God is interested in me and wants a relationship with me!

What is your relationship with God? Do you relate to Him as you do to the Queen, meaning you believe that He exists, but you have no actual relationship with Him, or do you have an intimate friendship with Him? If you do not have a relationship with Him, what is holding you back?

1 comment:

  1. Very well said. It's all about the relationship. Have a great week!


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