Joel 2:12-13

Ben Doggett reflects on the importance of knowing who God is.

Ben Doggett
Ben Doggett

"Aslan is a lion - the Lion, the great Lion." "Ooh" said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion"..."Safe?" said Mr Beaver ..."Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."

These famous words are from the C.S. Lewis classic 'The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe'. Like so many others, it was one of my favourite stories growing up. At this point in the story Susan is trying to get her head around what this Lion is like and how she should approach him. As a Christian, C.S. Lewis was very deliberately drawing a comparison with another King who also gave His life for the sake of those He loved.

I often find myself in Susan's shoes as I seek to discover more about what my King is like. In Susan's case, Mr Beaver assured her that Aslan was good and that gave her a starting point to begin to understand him more. Knowing that he was good gave her a vital piece of information which she could build from.

Over time I've realised that our picture of God forms so much of our view of the world and hugely impacts the way we live. From big decisions to tiny mindsets, our view of what God is like makes a massive difference. So when we think about who He is, what is our starting point? Is He good?

So much of our Christian walk is in some way impacted by whether or not, deep down, we believe that He is good. Most of all, it impacts our intimacy with Him. If there are questions in our mind about whether He truly is trustworthy, or faithful, or for us, then this will impact the way we approach Him.

The Bible is full of insights as to what our King is like. As we mine into it's depths we can build up a picture of Him, which in turn sheds light on everything else in life.

I was recently reading the book of Joel and came across a well known couple of verses:

'That is why the Lord says,
"Turn to me now, while there is time.
Give me your hearts.
Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning.
Don't tear your clothing in your grief,
but tear your hearts instead."
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is merciful and compassionate,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He is eager to relent and not punish.'
Joel 2:12-13

I want to know my King more. I want to understand my merciful, compassionate and slow to anger God. But as Joel shows, this begins with giving Him my heart. He's not looking for an outward display of tearing my clothes, but an inward surrender of everything I am.

Wherever you're at in life, why don't you determine in your heart to find out more about the King who gave everything that we may live in freedom? Let's truly know Him. Let's discover His unending goodness, enjoy boldly approaching Him and find peace in the midst of intimacy. CR

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.