Some churches (like ours) talk a lot about having a relationship with the living God. We say during worship, “Use this time to connect with your heavenly Father.” We encourage each other to “stay close to God” during hard times. It sounds really spiritual, and people around us in the pews look like it’s working for them.
But let’s just get real for a minute. What if it’s NOT working for you? What if you walk away from church feeling like you’re missing out on something that everyone else has?
You may have wondered:
If God is invisible, if He is Spirit and I am flesh, how in the world do I “connect” with Him?
You are not alone. The desire for a real, tangible encounter with God is built into our souls. The good news is that God promises that "you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13) But what does that mean? How will you know when you've "found" Him?
While God still does show up in dreams and visions and even speaks to people in an audible voice now and then, most of the time the relationship He has with us is more subtle than that. That's why Christianity is called a "faith". But that doesn’t mean it’s boring or intangible.
You see, God knows you better than anyone else on earth. And once you start pursuing Him, He’ll show up in very tangible ways. Like when He played my favorite song every time I got in my car… and then even played it when I went into several different retail stores. I didn't notice it at first, but He's patient. Eventually it dawned on me that it couldn't be a coincidence. God was saying something to me.
How did He get a Christian song on the playlist inside TJMaxx? And why on earth would He bother? Because He loves us. During that season of my life, I really needed the message He was sending: “I love you enough to surround you with reminders of My presence, everywhere you go.”
And I’ve never forgotten it. Knowing He cared even about such a little thing transformed my relationship with Him.
QUESTION: Do you believe God when He says that He’ll show Himself to you, that He’ll “dwell with” you and “be in” you? Or does that sound just like so much churchy mumbo-jumbo?
CHALLENGE: This week, ask one of your Christian friends how they have experienced the reality of God in their life. Decide if this is something important to you, and if it is, ask God to reveal Himself to you in tangible ways.
P.S. Did you really think we would resolve the biggest question in the human experience in a 500-word blog post? Nah, you knew better than that. God used the entire Bible to illustrate how He interacts with people. Stay tuned and you’ll hear plenty more about it.