It was a weekend to remember. It had nearly all the elements that bring our hearts to fulfillment. We had each other and our children with us. The weather was amazing in a place that truly raises our energy to euphoric. As we looked around, we had spectacular mountains that were still partially snow-capped and gorgeous blue skies. Also, we had long-time friends that had recently moved to be closer to the lifestyle that Colorado offers and to us as well. There were fields of wildlife as we shared meals and drinks. There was a lot of laughter and even some drama to remind us that life is a battle between good and bad. We were being pursued!
We love camping and being out in nature and go almost every weekend during the summer. Our family enjoys the views, weather, and mostly the distance from the busyness of life. It is good to unplug from the matrix. And, being with our closest friends laughing, telling jokes and stories makes our hearts happy.
When we experience joy like this it would be helpful to ask a simple question that is meant to disrupt our view of God. Is it possible that this is the kind of relationship that He longs to have with us?
The answer should be an obvious yes, but the painful times in life tend to cloud our judgment.
A reading of the Gospels show us that this is the kind of relationship that Jesus was able to have with his friends. Sitting around a campfire at night after a long day and enjoying a relaxing evening with friends over a meal. They shared mutual respect and passion for their common interests. The obstacle Jesus has to overcome in us is our internal self-driven and consuming sense of shame for our sins that causes us to (falsely) believe we can’t have deep intimacy with God. Shame causes us to fear God.
We start here because we are the pursued.
There is a quote by Simon Tugwell that says, “So long as we imagine it is we who have to look for God, we must often lose heart. But it is the other way about – He is looking for us.”
There is a difference between religion and relationship. Christianity is said to be about relationship and that is true. But it in no way stops at a relationship. You can have a relationship with a technician that regularly comes to your home to perform a service like clean your home, service your appliances, eliminate unwanted pests or even tend to your lawn. God is after so much more than a relationship with us. He wants us to be his friend (John 15:1-17, James 2:23). He wants intimacy. God created a partner for Adam because relationship was so important to Him. He wants that with each one of us. He wants your heart.
We will discuss what prevents us from experiencing this with God and how to overcome it and embrace the abundant life Jesus promised we could have next week so you don’t want to miss it!
Have a great week!
~Shannon and Jake