Don’t let the title fool you. God is not a giant slot-machine; we submit our request and pull His arm and He dispenses a blessing. Nor is He a kind of magic eight ball, maybe it’s your day for a blessing and maybe it’s not – hold your breath and see.
The subject of pursuing God’s presence has been on my heart so deeply lately. I’ve been learning that there are some aspects of God’s presence we simply cannot experience apart from adversity. That’s right, I said, cannot experience apart from adversity.
Our culture preaches comfort, ease, excess, the accessibility of every accoutrement one could desire. In the pursuit of these things, we unwittingly remove ourselves from experiencing the God of miracles; the God who never leaves us or forsakes us.
When we pursue God, we experience Him on a deeper level. Sometimes, difficult times in our lives drive us to God and sometimes God drives us into difficult seasons, but each can open us up to a new understanding of His grace and the opportunity for Him show His faithfulness to us.
God wants to have access and influence in our lives. He is a good Father and while some don’t have a good concept of fatherhood, usually from personal experience, a good father provides for His children, dotes upon his children, enjoys time with his children and loves the opportunity to bless them.
In order for us to fully experience the goodness of God, we must have a good perception of a father. Though dark times in our lives are never wanted, when we learn to trust God to get us through them, we learn a new aspect of His goodness and we grow in our walk with Him.
Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NKJV).
God wants our relationship with Him to be experiential, not just something we read about. I don’t know about you, but I want to be one of Gideon’s 300 that went up against the 100,000 and won, not just the guy sitting in the stands reading about it. The miracle Gideon experienced happened on the other end of the story, having gone through the difficulty.
I want to be David, who, in faith, ran to the battle against Goliath and won, not one of the guys on the sidelines that day who, after seeing the victory, thought, “I wish that was me out there.” We can so shelter ourselves from trouble that it stunts our growth in Christ. It is so important to remember that God sees us as the apple of His eye, we are His sons and daughters, made in His image.
God wants to have a deeply personal relationship with each one of us. I believe He cares not only about the monumental problems, but the seemingly insignificant, every day issues we face as well.
I encourage you to pursue God’s presence more than ever before. I believe there is much to experience with Him and we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.
“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13).
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Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.