Sunday morning alter call. An invitation is made, earnest prayers are offered. When response occurs, salvation ensues and a miracle takes place that very often escapes the natural senses and is thereby diminished in many minds for the truth of its grandeur; an event that causes Heaven itself to pause in celebration and angels to erupt in praise. Eternal death and separation is purged and eternal life bursts forth transforming the spirit. For us so often bound by a handful of sensory perceptions, minutes pass as platform music ceases and we await an exit prayer to resume the remainder of our day.
Or perhaps no one responds and the question is simply "how many know Him as Lord?" Often hands are raised, not in celebration or in exuberant ownership of adoption into His eternal living family, but rather out of an obligatory response where we'd prefer not to be perceived as having problems in our faith-walk. (Litmus test - try keeping your hand down next time the question is posed and witness where your pride takes you.)
Mid-week; is He in your car on the way home? In your office, next to you while you hold the tools of your trade, or firmly in your thoughts as move through your day with children in tow? Where is your God? Do you feel his presence at all? Or do you have Him neatly compartmentalized in morning quiet times, evening meal prayers, and bedtime devotions? Surrounded by people passing through this plane towards eternity, do you walk through your days in mental isolation as you formulate plans, tasks, conversations and correspondences? Do you move through your days until it is time to pull the covers in darkness only to repeat the process again? Where is your God?
To the external observer, is He alive in you and through you or is He a ritual, a rite of afterlife salvation that is practiced with regularity to avoid hellfire? Church attendance, charitable works, contributions, and even a reigning in of your tongue all noted by others - you have become yet another devout follower of religion. The world has many with little power to transform or rise above the chains that shackle the flesh.
Or does your God revolutionize the way you touch your world, walk through it, relate to those within it? Does He empower you to move beyond your own limitations and strengths into something far beyond you, your flesh and your capabilities? Do you walk in joy when hell is erupting around you? Are you capable of reaching out to others when wave after wave washes against your foundations, trying to pull you down into the current? Are you able to persevere when others abandon? When friend and family turn on you, do you know in your heart of hearts the power of a Father who states "I will never leave you or forsake you"?
There is a continual call for intimacy laden throughout His Word. God yearns for us to enter into deep relationship with Him; the kind where moment by moment we are in touch with His thoughts and person.
"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT
"Never stop praying." Prayer; the simple act of communication. "But how can I seriously continually talk to God; continually be in contact with someone I cannot see?" In a society where phones and mobile devices are set to chime with every social network update from friends and family, is continual communication such a difficult concept to grasp? Do we stumble over the mental roadblock of formulating just how we could possibly spend the entirety of our day in fellowship with the One who is far more interested in us than any one person on our "friends" list and who knows us far more intimately than any family member or spouse.
"At that time you will ask (pray) in My Name; and I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf, for it will be unnecessary. For the Father Himself tenderly loves you because you have loved Me and have believed that I came out from the Father."
John 16:26-27 AMP
His wish is that we would desire to step beyond knowing about Him and come to know Him, personally, with similar passion. But our careless and nonchalant irreverence towards this greatest eternal love affair is often what keeps us from witnessing the miraculous and truly wonderful in our own lives. It has always been His goal that we become so energized by the life we have in Him that we cease being entangled by the eternally trivial that weighs down most who walk this plane. This does not mean storms do not arise or that need is never present.
"The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance to the full, till it overflows."
John 10:10 AMP
"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."
Matthew 6:33 NLT
This is the relationship that empowers, it is this pursuit of person that energizes and brings life into death transforming worlds and spheres of influence. This is the beacon that shatters religion and makes a mockery of man's institutions of ritual. It is the force that draws men to Him; the believer living out the love and life of Christ, literally Christ in us, for the world to see. When others witness hell erupting and God's life pouring forth from you, the paradox fascinates, draws, inspires and tugs at the hearts and minds of a world desperately searching for substance. All too familiar are the gods of self-appeasement and ritual that change little in the human condition. But in witnessing God in action through His children's lives, they will know that you do not serve a dead, but a very real, living, and powerful God.