Sunday, December 13, 2009

Words of the Father

The Russian aviator and inventor of the helicopter, Igor Sikorsky, once reflected on a conversation he had had with one of his teachers, and noted its application to our spiritual lives. Recalling the conversation Sikorsky wrote:

“An elderly and well respected teacher in the naval academy where I was studying once asked me whether I had read the books written by my father, and he added with great emphasis that a son must be interested in the creative work of his father. This wise suggestion is, I believe, directly applicable to the case of a religious person who considers the Creator of the Universe to be his Heavenly Father.”

Sikorsky goes on to ask what we would think of the children of great artists, authors or inventors who totally disregarded the work of their famous parent. He concludes that we would likely not think very highly of them. Sikorsky implies that as sons of God we should take great interest in the work of our Father in Heaven. As God’s children, we should seek to discover to know as much about him as possible. We should avidly study the Bible. It is both his instruction manual for life here on earth as well as the place we learn most about him.

Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case in our world today. Several studies have shown that many Christians have minimal knowledge of the Bible. A study by the Barna research organization noted that only four percent of Christians are truly living a Christian worldview. Other studies point to the fact that many young adults, having spent their entire childhood attending Sunday School, have an extremely limited understanding of the Bible. Others have suggested that many Christians have a shallow faith which is a mile wide but only an inch deep. We live our lives as though the wisdom expressed by Sikorsky’s teacher has no value for us at all. We have a limited knowledge of God because we have never really sought to understand his character as described in his Word. We haven’t taken the time of made the effort to really get to know him.

Yet God greatly desires that we would have a deep, intimate relationship with him. He desires that we hide his word within our hearts. The Psalmist, deeply aware of God’s aversion to sin, says we should hide his word in our hearts in order to avoid sin. Just as an earthly father would be saddened that his children had no interest in his creative works, so also is God saddened by our lack of interest in really knowing him. Because of his great love for us, he sent his son to this earth to accomplish the purpose of bringing us back into relationship with him. Yet too many times we act as though this means little to us. We can live as though Sunday mornings at church is enough for us. We coast along, never putting forth the effort it might take to get to know God on a deeper level. We often appear to have little interest in his works.

To what extent do we seek to learn of the creative works of our Father in Heaven? How much do we seek to know and understand what he has said in his Word? How well do we know his thoughts and actions? Are we willing to put forth the effort to get to know him? The answer to these questions may tell us a lot about our relationship with God.