Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I've been reading Knowing God by J.I. Packer, and he has given me a new perspective on what it means to know God. I suppose some of these things I had heard before, but they had never before sunk in.

Packer compares knowing God to knowing a person of great authority and deserving of respect. Just think of someone you look up to, like a great writer for example. For me, (this may seem strange since many of you know him), I look up to Dr. Gideon Strauss because he introduced me to the possibility of becoming an opinion journalist, he has dedicated his life to fighting for justice and he is extremely smart. (go here for more about him.)

Who ever it is that you personally look up to, you might know much about him, but you probably don't know him. He seems very above you, and you don't hang out with him on the weekends or have heart to heart conversations. No matter how much you may try to get to know this person, ultimately, it is up to him whether or not he opens up to you and allows you to know him. You feel that this person is so high above you intellectually, etc, that there is nothing particularly special about you that he should want to know you or let you know him.

Thinking in terms of this analogy, I was amazed that God, who created me would know me, inside and out, and choose to reveal himself to me. There is nothing great about me that God should find me extremely interesting. He is perfect, pure and sinless, and I am the opposite of that. I am everything that he hates. Though he knows all of my dark thoughts, everything I have done or will do, he still chose me to be his child, servant, wife, sheep (the main analogies in the Bible describing a Christian's relationship with God) and to give me eternal life because to know God is to have eternal life (John 17:3).

Sometimes I think about Jacob and I, how we are together and I wonder why he chose me. He is likable, funny and intelligent-someone I look up to. I wonder what he saw in me, and I think of all my sin and how if he knew everything I think, he probably wouldn't like me as much. However, Jacob is sinful and dark too, so it is more understandable that he could like someone who is also sinful and dark. In terms of this, I think of God who is holy and knows everything about me, yet loves me still. This is mind blowing and so comforting.

Being in Arizona makes me fall in love with the sky again and reminds me of the greatness of God. It's so vast. Every moment God is painting a new master piece with the clouds, and colours of the sun. At night the stars make me feel so tiny. I think of God's sovereignty. I don't even move unless God wills it. God is in control, even to the minutest detail. He upholds all of creation, this globe and everything in it, and the stars, sun, and planets we don't even know exist. A God like that, he must be magnificent, but this is the same God who knows me, and chooses to let me know him.

I began to read this book thinking that I would seek and I would get to know God, but J.I. Packer reminded me that God must reveal himself to me. I cannot know him unless he chooses to open himself to me. And this is salvation, to know God. It depends not on me, but only God. So when I pray, I ask God, "show me your glory" and I cannot forget the greatness of God, or I forget how great it is that God has chosen me to love.

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