16th Dec, 2017
It’s a journey we’re on here. This one about the King, the Son, the Spirit…it’s a journey; one that starts when we receive Christ and goes on into a DAILY walk in the Spirit. It’s one whose end we know but whose in between is really about taking each day as it comes and living each moment to the best – something I have really come to appreciate.
God really really desires relationship, connection, engagement and intimacy with us, even in our frailties, doubts and failures. He is constantly pursuing us and in pursuing us, He at times asks us questions. Why would an omniscient God ask flawed man questions? He already knows everything – our hearts, our thoughts, past, present, future…everything! It all comes down to the relationship that He desires to have with us. He asks us these questions because He wants to engage us in what He is already doing within us. He doesn’t ask us because He doesn’t know but because, often times, we don’t know; and we need to know. That there, is a God who so lovingly speaks our language and comes down to our level that He may interact with us as we best can handle and comprehend.
Side yet crucial note: He wants intimacy with YOU. Not who you wish you were or act like in front of spectators. You. True, bare YOU.
In Genesis 3:9, we see the first of God’s questions to His creation. A question He asked Adam right after He had messed up more than his guilt could take. Adam pulled Eve into hiding; physical hiding in the bushes, yes, but I see a greater inner turbulence that fueled the compulsion to go into hiding. His own mind couldn’t take what they had just done. Guilt has a way of inspiring denial and fleeing. Then God asked Adam, “where are you?” God knew where Adam was but Adam didn’t know where Adam was and God wanted Adam to know where Adam was so that He could pick it up from there with Adam, in mending what Adam had soiled. Now switch places with Adam and let this divine inquisition land on your existence.
Where are you?
You have somewhere to go, but any accurate route to your destination begins with your present location. I can’t help but think of the Google Maps analogy (a personal favorite when it comes to journeying with God). We go onto the app and key in where we want to go, but Google Maps demands that we switch our GPS on so it can track our current location and map out the route for us, from where we are. It’s about where you are at that moment – not where you wish you were or where you apparently ought to be; but where you are presently, regardless of whether it’s a good place or you’re completely lost out on the whole idea. Spiritual location, in this context.
For any given question, we can only get the best out of an answer if the given answer is honest. The effects of the excursion of responding to God’s questions to us never go beyond our honesty. They go exactly as deep as we are true. If we are not completely honest with God and ourselves about where exactly where we are, there is only so much that can be done to get us to where we should be. This is a powerful question that God asked Adam. He wasn’t asking about His physical location as it seems, but the place of His heart at that very moment when He had fallen into the trap of the enemy. Adam needed to be fully aware of what He had done and the implications on his life and his relationship with God. Not so guilt and shame could eat him up, but so that the process of healing and restoration could begin.
Many a times, we avoid the very questions that will empower us to come to a place of wellness and wholeness. Sometimes it’s because the wounds we need to heal are too ugly and painful that we’d rather not go back there in the first place, and so we leave our wounds open. With time a scab forms, the pain lessens and we assume that that’s it for dealing with our dirt; until something scratches the scab off and we’re bleeding all over again, this time worse. Questions that cut deep into our bruises are fundamental to how far we go and how well we sail through life. God impressed it in my heart not to leave out this part of this piece – some of us are really hurting, and only until we answer this question in utter honesty, will healing and restoration commence. It’s time we stop packing up pain and hurt and face our giants. Ignoring your Goliath doesn’t get him out of your way. You’ll never be settled until you get down to what’s stealing your joy and peace. Give God the right answers that He needs to work with.
Where are you? In a journal, write to God describing where you are presently in your life. If you’re in a relatively good place, tell Him about it. Get specific like you would with your best friend who cares for you and rejoices with you always. On the other hand, you may be in a bland, monotonous place; everything is so plain or a momentous painful, lonely and difficult place..tell Him about it. Describe where you are with complete freedom of speech to God. Tell Him the complexities, the incomprehensible, the inexpressible, the awkward, tell it to Him all!
Truth be told, maybe you’re reading this and wishing you could as God this same question, “Lord, where are you?” “Where have you been recently?” “Where were you when…..?” Perhaps you know the answer biblically and theologically – He is always there, He never leaves us nor forsakes us, but your heart currently feels like He is nowhere to be found. You can really ask Him where He is, or if it pertains to a previous season, where He was. You can tell Him all about it in all contrition and sincerity. Let Him know how much your soul yearns for His presence. Believe me, it does something for your relationship with Him.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me,
Your right hand will hold me fast.
I love these words of David. God is present always. In our high moments, our deep downs, our shameful scenarios, even when we do not want Him near our mess. He is ever there and He desires for us to be with Him too – attentively heeding to His nudging and going by what He has mapped out for us.
I pray the best for you, even as you make plans for the new year that will be with us in a few days.
I feel like this is such a timely message. It was for me, hope it’ll be for you too.
Love and blessings,