This is a devotion I had written for my sister’s baby shower as well as an incredible turning point in my relationship with God. This realization has transformed my view of God and I am beyond excited to see how He will use this to continually mold me for as long as I live!
To give you a bit of a background on what we’re going to be talking about today I want to share a bit about my struggles and limitations in my faith with God. To me, knowing God has been mainly about facts, like having the proper answer at the proper time, knowing where things are found in my bible, or even just being able to point people in the right direction to be able to receive the answers they are searching for. A lot of that has to do with the way my spiritual gift works which so often uses that to bring others and myself closer on the path to “knowing” God… but if I’m not careful there can grow a separation between knowing God and knowing about God. And that’s the difference that I want to talk about today. I want to invite you to join me in my own personal quest to know God, to truly, deeply and intimately know him… to which I quickly realized is the journey of our lives.
Now, I didn’t get far into this quest before it became very apparent that no matter where you look in the bible, Old Testament, New Testament, knowing God is a top priority for us as Christians. And when I received the invitation to come here and do this devotional for this baby shower, the first thing that I thought about was what greater gift could a parent possibly give to their child than to truly, intimately, deeply, passionately know God and to love Him.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 says, “Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
I was listening to a sermon by David Platt in which he asked his audience something along the lines of “Would you rather receive $10,000 or read through the bible in a year?” I am now asking all of you the same question, you don’t have to answer me obviously but just think about it. Would you rather have $10 000 to maybe pay off some debt or do that siding on your house that really needs to get done, or put that away for your kid’s education. OR… would you rather read your bible in its entirety this year? I know what some of you are thinking, “Oh I know what the Christian answer is here: of course I choose my bible!” Haha since that’s probably not what you’re thinking…
…Let me change the question: Would you rather receive $10 000 but you are unable to read your bible in its entirety this year or receive nothing but you are able to read the bible in its entirety this year? Does that change the answer for any of you? In preparation for this, I asked my husband this same question and he said, “well that’s easy I would obviously choose my bible.” Well, hold up now, I didn’t say you couldn’t read your bible… I just said you couldn’t read all of it. If you were with my husband on this one, would receiving $10 000 to simply just not read all of your bible this year in any way change how you read your bible today? I’ll be the first to say that to this day I have not read my bible in its entirety in one year, so why does the threat of removing that privilege suddenly make us apprehensive to choose that first option?
Psalm 119:72 says “The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” Is that true for you today?
According to Jeremiah, knowing God is worth more than all wealth, it is greater than all wisdom, and stronger than all might. Why? Well, think about it, if you truly know God, now you get to see and understand His heart, that he is the “Lord who practices steadfast love, justice and righteousness in the earth” and in these thing He delights. When you experience that, now you’re compelled to love like He loves, to seek and see justice as He seeks justice and to live out righteousness just as Jesus demonstrated daily to us so perfectly! We can’t know Him and understand Him without knowing and understanding His heart. And if we truly knew and understood his heart we would undoubtedly seek to live that out. And when we live that out, we make Him known.
You see the difference between knowing about God and knowing God has to do with you and me. Knowing God is always an individual journey. I can’t teach you to know God but I can teach you about God. The Holy Spirit in me can inspire you to desire to know God but the onus is on you to act upon that.
I just love Casting Crowns’ lyrics in their song “To Know You”, “More than my next breath, more than life or death, all I’m reaching for, I live my life to know you more” and it ends with this little beauty “To know you is to want to know you more.” Oh I love that! “To know you is to want to know you more.”
As I said earlier, I often struggle to feel close to God, like I know all this stuff about all throughout history how God loved His people, guided His people, protected His people, provided for His people. He loved His people and I am a part of that. He knows me, He loves me, He has a purpose for me, He created me!! And though I know all these things, I don’t always truly understand or feel these things. It reminds me of a moment with my mom that I will never forget… I wasn’t dating Pierre yet but back when we were skyping all the time and texting, you know how it goes… I had the biggest crush on this man and at that time I was waiting to date until I knew it was the man I was going to marry. And I remember driving back from visiting Skye in Edmonton and opening up to my mom about all my thoughts, my pros and cons, for dating this man, etc. And she said to me, “I believe you are ready to date now and I’ll tell you why: I think you’ve kind of hit a brick wall in your relationship with God where the way you are going to grow further in your relationship with Him is to enter into this new phase of your life.” What she said has stuck by me so many years now and I keep going back to it and I feel that the same is now true here for me.
I have not had the privilege yet of entering into motherhood. I have not felt a baby grow inside me. I don’t know what it feels like to look into their eyes and see a part of myself. I don’t know what its like to have not even seen their little face and know that I would lay down my life for them. I haven’t experienced that kind of love. But when that day comes, I know for a fact that my view of God will change forever because that love and that connection that I have with that beautiful baby that God will entrust to me will magnify the way I understand and feel the love of my Father in heaven. God connects to us where we are, whether we receive the opportunity to enter into the marriage covenant and whether we receive the opportunity to raise a family. Wherever we’re at, we were created to know God, to continually seek him and to consistently grow in Him.
It just blows my mind how even before our children are born, God, the God of the universe values them (Exodus 21:22-25). Before you have even had the chance to meet them, now get this, He knows them (Jeremiah 1:5), He doesn’t just know about them or know that they exist, no, he knows them. He relates to them (Psalm 22:9-10). He calls them (Galatians 1:15). He names them (Isaiah 49:1) and He anoints them (Luke 1:15). This is God’s intimate relationship with your child before they are even born! He loves our children more than we ever could, and as much as He loves them, He loves you.
If you make seeking to know God your number one priority, you will naturally live that out simply from the overflow. There is no greater gift you can offer to your children than to seek to know and be guided by the God who loves them more than you do. To seek Him daily, prayerfully, humbly, carefully, joyfully, confidently, diligently, consistently, and personally. And I promise you it will be worth it. As a closing encouragement I want to share these words by Dorothy Patterson.
“Few women realize what great service they are doing for mankind and for the kingdom of Christ when they provide a shelter for the family and good mothering – the foundation on which all else is built. A mother builds something far more magnificent than any cathedral – the dwelling place for an immortal soul (both her child’s fleshly tabernacle and his earthly abode). No professional pursuit so uniquely combines the most menial tasks with the most meaningful opportunities. It is hard to locate an aging mother who believes she made a mistake of pouring her life into her children, and it would certainly be more difficult to find a child to testify that his mother loved him and poured herself into his life to his detriment and demise. Homemaking – being a full-time wife and mother – is not a destructive drought of usefulness but an overflowing oasis of opportunity; it is not a dreary call to contain one’s talents and skills but a brilliant catalyst to channel creativity and energies into meaningful work; it is not a rope for binding one’s productivity in the marketplace, but reins for guiding one’s posterity in the home; it is not oppressive restraint of intellectual prowess for the community, but a release of wise instruction to your own household; it is not the bitter assignment of inferiority to your person, but the bright assurance of the ingenuity of God’s plan for complementarity of the sexes, especially as worked out in God’s plan for marriage; it is neither limitation of gifts available nor stinginess in distributing the benefits of those gifts, but rather the multiplication of a mother’s legacy to the generations to come and the generous bestowal of all God meant a mother to give to those He entrusted to her care.”
Thanks for reading! I pray for whoever is reading this that God would bless you wherever you’re at and send His Spirit to you today to flood through your body and to reveal to you how much He truly loves you and desires to have an intimate relationship with you. Along with that I pray that God would convict and enable you to act upon that, to desperately seek him and to live that out in your daily life. I thank God for you and for where He has placed you right now at this very moment. I pray that you would be encouraged as you go from here and always remember that you are a child of God! 🙂 I pray this all in Jesus’ name,