From a Heaven’s-Eye perspective, we must be amusing to The Almighty.
Even while saying all the ‘right’ things declaring our fealty to Him there’s already a litigious part of our brain poring over the fine print, looking for loopholes.
God knows all this. He knows me. More to the point, He knows you. Mm-hmmph. You. Intimately. Reads your mind, heart and knows your spirit.
And still Almighty God, Creator of all that is, Supreme Being in and Ultimate Controller of the Universe places the final choice about you following Him or not in your hand.
That, my friend, is Total Love.
In Exodus chapter 40 and in 1 Kings chapter 8, the same thing occurred when we followers built a place for God to inhabit: His Personal Presence was so potent nobody could even go in to experience it. In Exodus He appeared to the hushed, expectant crowd as a cloud. And in 1 Kings God did it again.
Think about it. All God did was show up.
He wasn’t ‘doing’ anything. No circus train. No parade with marching bands. No red-carpet with limos with rhinestone sparkles and strobing camera flashes.
All God did was answer Solomon’s prayer to inhabit the Temple. Just like He’d done for Moses back when he asked God to inhabit the Tent of Meeting. That’s all.
God. Simply. Showed. Up. And nobody–NObody–could even go in because God’s personal presence filled, FILLED the place to overflowing.
I know this is galling, but we’re no different than those fickle Israelites. We’re much more comfortable making God in our image. If there was an 11th Commandment, it would be. . .
THOU SHALT NOT MAKE THYSELF UNCOMFORTABLE.
It’s a mental game. We all secretly know it. We play it daily, skipping through the hours humming, “I’ve-Got-God-On-A-Leash” to ourselves.
There’s no way we ever pull that off–but we try. Making God in our image is a WHOLE lot more comfortable than us stepping out of our, um, comfortable, predictable boxes and letting Him make us in His.
SO. What do you think might happen if, Sunday morning, we all showed up to wherever we worship – our Temple – with a single thought, just one real prayer on our minds and hearts:
“God, please fill this whole place to overflowing with Yourself. Buildings, rooms, worship center, storage areas, offices, bathrooms, parking lot—fill this whole place to overflowing with Your Personal Presence.”
Okay, now that you’ve kind of digested that one, here’s one a touch more radical:
“God, please fill this car to overflowing with Yourself. Fill my heart and mind to overflowing with who and what You are. Fill my work space, my cubicle, the area around my desk or workbench to overflowing with Your Personal Presence. God, today I want there to be an unmistakable—Something–in and around me that honestly reflects You in my life and my walk. Lord, let whoever needs you see You in me today.”
Nobody will have to say anything. Today and tomorrow and Sunday, nobody will need to say a word. We’ll all sense the difference. Our teachers and our pastors will all sense the difference. So will our workmates. And bosses. And those who work for us.
“Wait–you said ‘tomorrow’. . .”
That’s right. Because once today is done and you’ve felt The Real Thing, you’re not going to be much satisfied standing there holding an empty leash any more.
You’ll want that same experience tomorrow–because tomorrow will be different than today.
Our world, personal and corporate, desperately needs the God Who Is back in it; and you and I are the key. We’re the ones who say we follow Him. It’s up to us to begin living like it’s so.
“Hey, Lord. . .?”
© D. Dean Boone, June 2014