Our church has been doing a series on Genesis, and we are studying the story of Jacob. One of the great things about this story is that through reading it, you can see how Jacob grows in his walk with God. You can find the series and listen online here if you are interested.
Do I claim my God? The story of Jacob has me thinking about this. Jacob, like many of the people God has chosen to work through, didn’t always show what we’d call “Christian” behavior. He lied, he cheated his brother, he failed to lead his family (talk about marital issues!) and his relationship with God wasn’t always strong. During his life, Jacob refers to God as “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac.” It is only after he spends a night wrestling with God (what a sight that must have been!) that Jacob finally begins to show signs of truly claiming God as his own…as his God, the God who personally loved, protected, disciplined and blessed not just his forefathers but Jacob himself.
God is the God of my fathers, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. But is he also my God? Is my relationship with him personal and one-to-one? Do I know him and claim him on my own? It’s so easy to hitch a ride on the shirttails of others. Our parents’ God, the God of our religion, the God of tradition and doctrine and habit. Not that this is necessarily the wrong God, but until we have a personal relationship with him we’re missing out on so much. I know that for many years, I knew God and loved him but my relationship with him was shallow. I lacked an understanding that God wants me, personally, to get to know him. He wants to be more than “just” the God who created the Universe, the God of all history, the God who inspired cathedrals and and masterworks of marble. He wants to be the God who personally dries my tears, the God who hears my every prayer, the God who I seek for guidance and understanding and mercy and unconditional love.
He wants to be the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of insignificant little me. He wants me to claim him: He wants to be My God.
A few weeks ago at church, I watched asYoungest pulled another child along by the hand. Weaving through the crowded entryway, she proudly guided her new friend across the room until she could see me. She pointed proudly right at me. “See!” She told her companion. “That’s my mom!” That was all, she didn’t need anything from me right then. But in her desire to claim me, she blessed my heart! I wonder if God feels the same way when we claim him?
And Oh! To think of how we are also on the other side of this. As we point to God and claim “That’s my God,” he points back and says…“That’s my child.”
Lord, let me claim you as my God in my actions and in my words! Help me to remember to claim You when I am weak and when I stumble. Thank you that nothing…fear or pride, complacency or persecution, can cause Your claim on me to falter. Let me rest in the knowledge that You are my God, and I am your child!