“But this is the new covenant I will make
with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds,
and I will write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
And they will not need to teach their neighbours,
nor will they need to teach their relatives,
saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’
For everyone, from the least to the greatest,
will know me already.
And I will forgive their wickedness,
and I will never again remember their sins.”
So in our New Covenant we know the Lord. We don’t just know His laws, or even know about the Lord. That’s not the point! We know the Lord! Just like the disciples did. It’s not that they were always taking notes or were all academically gifted (the apostle Paul was but Peter seems like an honest hard-working fisherman rather than an academic). They knew Him because they were near Him. They knew Him because they listened to Him as we are meant to. They are forgiven by Him in the above passage, because they are His friends! As are we (that is: we that keep his commands – no, not perfectly but we are on His side- it’s the difference between being a soldier on the right side who makes mistakes and an enemy). A lot of the Christian life can be a challenge: we are confronted by our own old selves, the world’s temptations and the devil’s power. But the greatest thing about our new Life in Him, is that He is with us. He is close until the end of the age. He is our friend- now this is not a matter of imagining Him in the right way but knowing Him- He will never turn you away or abandon you because of who He is- just don’t abandon Him!
So here’s my advice: spend time with him in prayer. Read the Bible but remember you are not learning about Him, but getting to know Him. Spend time with other believers because together we are His body, and where two or three believers gather, He is there amongst us. Seek Him earnestly- spend time on this like we spend time getting to know other people- not just two minutes a day but as long as it takes (no judgement if that’s all you have). You are His children after all, so spend time with Dad.
One thing that has come up over and over again in the passages I have been looking up is obedience, and though I did not intend to put this into this article, it’s clearly important. It’s a test of whether we are His children or not- it’s a way of us showing we have really been adopted- because under our own power in our old family we could not have managed this! Only in Him can we obey Him! God does not want to take in us broken, harsh and selfish orphans just to have us run back to the streets we grew up in- he wants to raise us as His!
PS No picture this time- could not find one I wanted. If you want one, shut your eyes and imagine Him welcoming you Home at the end.