Heather Bellamy spent time with Sheila Jones hearing about how she got to know God as a Father and why it's important to God that we get to know Him personally.
Having a relationship with God and getting to know Him is something that develops over time, just as it does with any person. Heather Bellamy spoke with Sheila Jones, who has walked with God for many decades, to find out what she has got to know about Him.
Heather: Who is God?
Sheila: That's a very good question. In fact, I think that is the most important thing before we even think about getting to know Him, because in these days it's very common to hear people say, "There is only one God and we're all going to God by different routes; it doesn't matter."
That is a nice sort of comment, but it is a bit unrealistic. My name is Sheila Jones. I know personally two other Sheila Jones' and I'm sure there are many more than that. One was a missionary in India, one was a missionary in Pakistan and one was an art teacher in Liverpool. We've all got the same name, but we are not the least bit the same person. Therefore, when we just say "god," it's a big word. But there are many gods and we need to know who we believe is the God we are committed to getting to know. Their characters are different; their histories are different and as far as I am concerned, the only one who stands up to history is Jesus. He was an historical person and taught us about His Father God, Jehovah. That stands up to history and both in His life, in His resurrection and in all that He taught.
He said, interesting to note, "I am the way, and the Truth and the Life, and no man comes to the Father except through me." He didn't say you can't go to god except through Him. You can go to any god you like by different routes, but you won't come to the Father, except through Jesus.
Heather: Now talking about the Father, there was a period in your life when you specifically got to know the Father more, please could you tell me about that?
Sheila: Yes. I'd come back from India and I was quite worn out. Talking to the godly counsellor, he said, "Sheila, you need to know your Father God."
He began to talk about the Father God. Well, I had grown up with a very lovely dad, but he had certain weaknesses. One of his weaknesses was that he had wonderful ideas and he was always making promises that we would do this and that, but they were never fulfilled. And so I had grown up with no ability to trust a father. However, on this occasion when this gentleman was talking to me, I began to understand that I could trust Father God. I went up to my room after we'd had our conversation and actually I wept and said, "I can trust my Father God. I can trust." That was a big issue and I started to read the Bible and found all the things Jesus said about His Father. Amazing! I really enjoyed it.
Heather: Why do you love Jesus?
Sheila: Because He introduced me to the Father! And He is so wonderful in Himself, but He also introduced me to the idea of God being a Father.
Heather: What does a Father do?
Sheila: He takes responsibility. He brought us to birth, brought us to conception and takes responsibility for us, guides and teaches us. Jesus lived it, so He said, "I came to bring them to the Father." When we are talking about knowing God, then that to me is the most important thing, to know that God cares and that God is the Father. Also that Jesus stepped in and died for us and opened the way for us to go to God. Through doing that He effectively says, "Now you're forgiven, you're accepted and you belong in the family." So we can grow to know God that way.
Heather: How would you describe your relationship with Him?
Sheila: A growing level of amazement at His greatness and His glory and His beauty. A growing appreciation of the depth of His love through pain and sorrow and a deepening trust. It takes time. It takes time to learn to trust Him and to trust that He will do what He says.
Heather: Why does He want to be known?
Sheila: I think because He loves us; because He created us and He created us with the intention of us being His family. He wants to be part of those He loves. So it is important to Him that we know Him. Amazing isn't it, that He should care!
Heather: What difference does knowing Him make to life?
Sheila: It's the reason, for me, for living, because if I didn't know God, I really would have no reason to live. It's the only reason for living; to know Him and love Him and know that as Jesus said, "If we believe in Him we will never die." I've got a hope forever.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
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