Every human being is born dependent. The sense of belonging to someone and somewhere is most fundamental and important for the healthy growth and development of the human nature. Without this sense of belonging, one lacks the confidence to venture into the unknown.
In the Christian life, there are many new and unknown territories for a child of God to experience. Some of these spiritual experiences can be quite frightening with serious consequences. Fear is not the best place for a normal learning experience. We learn and grow best and con dently in this world when we know that we belong to its caring Owner and Provider.
Thus, the Psalmist commands God’s people to know how they are related to their God – “…we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
Why We Are Jehovah’s
Things belong to each other as they are meaningfully related to each other, and together they function in harmony and unity. Think of the different pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. The curvy sides of each piece fit those of others perfectly, and together they present a beautiful picture. The pieces belong to each other. They belong to each other because they have the same creator who determines their respective shapes and images. Each piece is lost and meaningless when it is not placed where it rightly belongs, according to the design of the creator.
As Christians, we must know where and to whom we belong before we can live meaningfully and happily in this world. The Book of Genesis is the book of beginnings in the Bible, the Word of God. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and all things therein. And man was created after the image of God. So we Christians, as human beings, belong to God by virtue of Creation. He did all things according to His own good pleasure and out of His infinite wisdom. We are the way we are because of God’s determination. We belong to Him and find our meaningful place in Him. Any form of denial of the Almighty Creator is the forsaking of the proper place to which we rightly belong and from which, alone, we can begin all rightful thinking.
The Jehovah Who establishes His Covenant (friendship) with us is this God, our Creator. He made us, and not we ourselves. We must know that among our many friends in this world, there is one who is the Mighty Creator of all things. And we belong to this Mighty One Who knows us through and through because of His own determination of all things concerning us! What a wonder and privilege to have such a friend!
It is He Who has brought us into existence, both physical and spiritual, and not we ourselves. He creates and redeems us in Jesus Christ. We are doubly His!
The Implication Of Being His
Being possessed and owned by another means that we are not alone, but belong somewhere and to someone. Such a thought of being owned can either bring joy and comfort or it can bring misery and great apprehension. It all depends on who the owner is.
If we belong to the evil one, we are indeed in deep trouble, as he cares not for us but only seeks to use and dump us finally. Oh yes, the evil one will first deceive with his wicked lies
and then show his true colours when we are safely in his hands, doing his bidding. We then become wicked like him and condemned of God to eternal perdition. Here, we have no comfort.
But, on the other hand, to belong to Someone as good as God Almighty Who changes not, there is no greater comfort and joy. This is because He shows Himself able and willing to take care of His own according to His good promises to His own. He is the Sovereign One ruling over all and causing them all to fall out according to His eternal good council which serves our well-being.
That we belong to Him means that He has undertaken to be responsible for us. Whenever something or someone is in trouble, we not only consider the state and condition of that troubled object itself, but also look for any other who may be responsible for its being and well-being. So, when a child is in trouble, we look for his guardian – the one who has undertaken to care for him. An irresponsible guardian may disappear at such an hour, shirking his responsibility. But we may not have such an idea of God. He is never irresponsible like sinful men. When He has undertaken to do something, He will make it good with His whole being.
He has undertaken to make us His people and the sheep of His pasture. We belong to Him as His people to show forth His praise. We belong to Him as His sheep to enjoy His shepherding.
The Blessing Of Knowing That
The word ‘know’ used in Scriptures can refer to the different depths of perception of things. For example, Adam was said to ‘know’ Eve and she brought forth a son. The ‘know’ used here speaks of intimate, sexual, physical knowledge. But ‘know’ can also simply refer to being acquainted or familiar or aware.
God wants us to know that we are His in a deep way. In a super cial way, in the messages we have heard, we have come to know this truth that we belong to God. When the Psalmist commands that we should know that we belong to Jehovah, he calls us to an in-depth knowledge of that. We must know that in our experience and, in our soul, be able to rejoice in it. We can ever grow in greater depth of such knowledge. He becomes ever more precious to us as we become more aware that we belong to such a Mighty God.
To be a good and faithful member of a good church is a sure way to know this God and all His glory better. This is so because a true Church not only declares the true Word of God, but also ensures that Its discipline is upheld to the glory and honour of His Name. Such a Church is also very supportive of all who would walk in Jehovah’s way.
The more we know of His perfections and our miserable conditions, the more we desire to belong to Him. It is always our lingering doubt of being His that gives rise to problems in our Christian walk. The Lord knows who are His, but do we know whose we are? And do we know how great He is to whom we belong? For the perfect knowledge of such things we must wait for Heaven. And, since God commands us to know them in this lifetime, He Himself will teach us as we go along with Him.
The sure signs of true spiritual growth are:
1. The growth in deeper appreciation of God in His attributes and perfections.
2. The growth in knowledge of our own unworthiness and total dependence upon Him.
3. The growth in confidence that we belong to Him as His people and sheep under His guidance and care.
God created us, and redeemed us in Christ. We are His because He brought us into existence. He is responsible for our well-being because He chose to save us from sins and destruction. Having began a good work in us, He will perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ.
We must learn to trust Him in all things, and to obey Him, knowing that what He requires of us is only good for us. We can trust our Good Shepherd to help us overcome the many difficulties along the path of obedience.
God will uphold His own good name. He will not allow Himself to be known as a God Who has failed to save His people and His sheep. We must know and understand that, and walk in His way confidently. In that way, we can be happy Christians, come what may.
This is to walk by faith. Whatever is not of faith is sin and we are called to cleanse ourselves of such sins in the Blood of Christ. Amen.
“Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psa. 100:3
Written by: Pastor Lau Chin Kwee | Issue 5