Friday, August 21, 2009

The Easy Encounter With God

So what’s wrong with the world today, what’s wrong with the church? Why are people so embittered against the church, and why is it so hard to get them connected, why are we frustrated, why are ministers leaving the ministry?

These are a few of the questions that loom among the believers today and I am sure there are a million opinions on this issue, I have one too… I don’t think that my opinion is of any more validity than any one else’s, but hey it’s my blog and I’ll blog if I want too!

My personal opinion is this – years of self righteous, self serving, self pinning, egotistical, religious, hypocritical, self defined virtue have taken its toll. So much so that we don’t even know what church is suppose to look like, or feel like! We don’t know how to respond to one another, to respond to the call of Christ or to the world without!

Who to love, how to love, what to love and what is love seem to be the most evasive answers to our “Christian society” today.

We are stuck between the manufactured image of our modern Christ, and the frustration that product produces.

It has so many of us feeling lost and uncertain.

Let’s face it we are tired and frustrated… tired of trying to play the part and look the image… saying the “Christian thing” in the Christian way, feeling frustrated that God did not “show up” or did not respond the way the televangelist said he would and wondering where in the world we are!

So many are tired of the right song at the right moment followed by the manufactured right words – it has become nauseating and all the while– there He is, Jesus, consistent, persistent, loving and waiting by that same ole well… The same well that he waited by for the Samaritan woman – Who like us was not worthy, who like us was frustrated, who like us was totally and utterly confused, who like us needed an encounter with the real Jesus! (John 4)

Interestingly enough Jesus seemed happy to oblige, happy to wait for this woman – in fact the encounter was His idea and… I like that… a God who looks for the opportunity to have an encounter with me, with you… a God who looks for the moment to clear it all up a bit… a God who takes the time to wait in a place where he knows I will show up… just to encounter me… Wow – can I fathom being “God –Chased!”

Encountering God may not be the maze we once propagated it to be… Could it be that God wants to expose us to His love, His grace and His power?(Luke 13:35) (John 1:14-17) Could it be this seeming chase to find Him, this elusive game of His presence being just out of our reach that all this has been a sham? A rouse, even perhaps a tool to keep us in line?

I don’t even know if I want to answer that, all I know is the God defined by scripture seems to be hunting continually for us… I find Him calling men, (Mark 1: 16, 17, 18) seeking them in the cool of the day,(Genesis 3:8) seeking them under trees,(1 Kings 19:5) in a manger at some dirty stable(Luke 2:1-14) in upper rooms(John 20:24-29), and walking along roads( Luke 24:13-32) and even through burning bushes and MOST PROMINANTLY ON A CROSS…

And so the question is – WHO ARE YOU GOD? - The God who abides ever elusively or are you the one who continually calls to man, even hunts for him? The one who has broken every barrier to get to us, the one who circumvented the spirit/flesh barrier, the life/death barrier – even the sin barrier to reach us, to get into our presence, and to bring us into yours?

This seems to be You? All that I can say to this is “Thank you”

Thank you Jesus because I am so lost sometimes and what I really need is for you to come find me… and you do(Matthew18:12-14)

Thank you God because I get so depleted and what I really need to know is that you love me, and you promise me that you do (Jeremiah 31:3)

Thank you Jesus because sometimes I get weary and I need a friend and you are…(John 15:15)

Be the self defined God of my life… Set me free of my illusions and let me see you through your own description of who you are!

Because you are magnificent, glorious and great! The God who went through ALL THE TROUBLE OF SENDING HIS OWN SON - and for what?!?

For you and for me... Can you accept that today? Can you receive that today? That God has chased you... Called you... Wants you? He does you know... He loves you... and you can't change that... Thank God - For He has loved us with an everlasting, unending, unfathomable love(John 3:16)