I spent a lot of my life chasing God.
Wondering where he was.
Wishing I could hear his voice better.
Questioning if I was in his best plan for my life.
Trying to figure it all out in the space between my ears.
It took me a long time to learn that my head will never understand the things of God on it’s own.
The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah’s question, “Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?” has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (The Message)
This is why you see people mock the legitimate things of God.
Usually it’s not because they are out to get you, but because they can’t understand.
This is why when Jesus was hanging on the cross, Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.” (Luke 23:34)
Flesh is born of flesh and spirit is born of spirit.
This is the cause of many a confused Christian.
Trying to live a spiritual life from someplace in the land of gray matter. It’ll never happen.
Okay, so how the heck do you live a life that flows from the spirit.
That was the question I should have been asking all along.
And the ironic thing is, deep down we all know the beginning of the answer, because we have the Spirit of God inside of us.
We just don’t always know how to articulate it.
I have been chasing after the presence of God since I was fifteen. Like some crazy storm chaser, desperate for just one more glimpse of God.
I wasn’t chasing after signs and wonders and the next big conference.
I was chasing God.
Chasing the presence of God is sensing that touch of God, that tangible feeling when God is in the room with you, and following him where ever he goes.
Drug addicts have nothing on this type of addiction.
This is a God-type addiction.
I get the jones when it’s been a couple of hours without feeling his presence. I am not speaking metaphorically at this point. I seriously get crabby when I’ve gone too long without the touch of God.
And I am convinced that we should get a little crabby when we can’t feel the touch of God.
We were created to live in that euphoria of God’s presence all the time.
That was part of what the death and resurrection of Jesus did for us.
Allowed us to dwell with God again.
And here’s where it gets really good.
The Holy Spirit is the infilling of God within us.
So chasing God is now a little easier since I know he is always with me, stuck to me like super glue the way I’m stuck to him because he says he will never leave me nor forsake me.
But if God is living on the inside of us now, how do we access that place of his presence?
It’s there, like the sun on a cloudy day – usually you just need to clear the clouds away to enter that place of rest found in his presence.
Clouds of fear, doubt, anxiety, worry, hate, unforgiveness, etc.
I’ve started using this as an internal gauge for my mind. Because my mind will allow those clouds to roll in if I don’t keep it in check and then, like I said, I can’t feel God’s presence and then I get cranky.
And when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!
So really, it’s a public service for me to remain in the presence of God.
Okay, so what role does our gray matter play in all of this?
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
When I don’t feel God’s presence tangibly, I stop and do an honesty check on my thoughts. There are 3 questions I have learned to ask myself.
1. Am I afraid, anxious, or worried?
2. Am I walking in love?
3. Is my focus on God or the cares of this world (which translates: being focus on problems)?
There are things that we have to take care of in this natural world. Paying bills, taking care of family and friends, work, etc. Yep, and we should do those things. But God wants us to do them from a place above the clouds.
To live life from a different place.
Chasing God has now become more of a game of hide-and-seek.
And he’s always there in the same spot, waiting to be found behind the clouds.