Remember the parable of the princess who hid her identity, and never spent time with her father, the king? There’s more to the story. The princess was an adopted child of the king with all the rights, benefits and privileges of being in his royal family. But she did not actually spend time to get to know the king, to know what he is like or what it means to be a child of the king. Instead she spent her life living apart from him. Yeah, as the parable told us, she checked in once a week as a part of a crew of reporters that attended his weekly briefing, but she never met with him personally.
That princess is you and me.
We’re adopted into the family of God. But how often do we spend time getting to know him?
Our weekly check-ins with our church family on Sundays are very important. They are family gatherings, to change the metaphor a bit, when the family of God gets together. But there is so much more an adopted child of God can do to spend time with our heavenly father.
It starts with making space in your life to get to know him. I urge you, if you’re aren’t already doing this, to make this a priority for 2020. And do it with a friend. Maybe someone in your small group. Maybe someone in your Sunday School class. Here’s what you do to get to know God who is your adopted parent:
Pick a book of the Bible, and read one chapter per week. Read it every day, asking the question: “What does this teach me about God? What is there about God in this passage that I can learn to be like?” Write it down. Through the week, read the same chapter, every day, seeking God. Then get together with that other person or persons, and share what you learned.
Then the next week you move to the next chapter. Read it every day, studying it, asking, “What does this teach me about God?” Next meet up at the end of the week with your friend to discuss it. And keep going.
Thus day by day you are learning about God.
It starts with a choice to get to know God. It’s a decision to make getting to know him such a priority that you actually do something about it. It is a choice to go beyond the idea that your identity is a child of God, to living out that reality in your day to day, hour by hour world.
God won’t force this upon you. He is not a dictator parent. He allows you to make the decision. I believe sometimes he is actively wooing us, drawing us to him, and he always desires to be closer to us, but he doesn’t overwhelm and force us. In the end we have to be the ones who choose him. Quite frankly, we have so many options in our society to allow ourselves to give attention and priority to other things.
I’m preaching to myself too. It can feel much more pleasing or entertaining to read a good book, watch a TV show, go to a sports event, work on a hobby, go on vacation, or go out to eat, you name it, than to sit down and get to know God. Those things are not wrong, but they are not the most important.
In 2020 I urge you to move out of the crowd, to decide to make a move in God’s direction.
Here’s a look ahead at the rest of the series, because I want you to see how this works together. This current series of posts (of which this number 5 of 5) we have been learning how we locate our identity in God the Father (and mother!). Next up, we look to Jesus, the example of one who lived out that identity perfectly as a human. Third, we will study the Spirit, God living in us, empowering us to live out that identity as Jesus did. Finally we will examine the how we are citizens of the Kingdom of God, as we are the family of God living out our identity in the world.