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From the Pastor's Heart:

Finding Joy in God's Holiness

5th May 2024

To the amazing CLIC family, who are chosen and loved by God,

Last Sunday, we explored God’s sovereignty and His holiness through the unfolding events of 1 Samuel chapters 4 to 6. We encountered the difficult yet profound narratives such as the judgment on the household of Eli and the divine retribution on those who mishandled the Ark. These stories challenge us, yet they also invite us to a deeper reverence for God’s holy presence.

Today, I want to share a personal reflection that might help us to discover the joy and peace found in embracing the holiness of God, much like the joy found in the loving relationship between a father and his son.

The story of the Ark of the Covenant in 1 Samuel 4-6 teaches us about the consequences of both disrespect and reverence towards God’s sacred presence. When the Israelites used the Ark as a lucky charm in battle against the Philistines, they were defeated. This painful lesson mirrors the discipline a father must sometimes exert to guide his children. However, when the Ark was treated with the reverence due to it (1 Sam 7), God’s blessings were evident, symbolising the joy and restoration that follows true repentance and reverence to God.

In my life, the relationship with my youngest son Zach somewhat mirrors this dynamic. He respects my role as his father, not out of unhealthy fear, but from a place of love and respect. His willingness to obey me as a father brings him the joy of my approval. We spend quality time together, playing his favourite game, "Exploding Kittens," which not only brings us closer but also enriches our relationship with joy and mutual love.

Similarly, when we approach God with the reverence He deserves, aligning ourselves with His divine nature, we experience His profound blessings. This reverence brings us closer to God, transforming our lives with His peace, protection, and fatherly love.

Our journey toward spiritual maturity can resemble a child’s learning curve with his father—sometimes challenging, but always leading to deeper understanding and greater joy. As we learn to respect and honour God’s holiness, each step brings us closer to experiencing the fullness of His love and the joy of living in His presence.

Let us be encouraged by the stories of 1 Samuel and the beautiful analogy of a father-son relationship to approach God with the reverence and love He deserves. In doing so, we find not only a refuge but a profound source of joy in the approval and presence of our heavenly Father.

The good news is we are now fully approved by God the Father because of what Christ has done for us. Through Jesus, God the Father is inviting us to experience His joy and love by walking obediently with Him. As we follow in Jesus's footsteps, let us embrace this divine invitation with hearts full of gratitude, seeking to live in a way that brings pleasure to our Father in heaven. Remember, there is no true joy outside of God. May you be blessed as you deepen your walk with God, finding peace and joy in Christ alone.

With the love of Christ,