Friday, July 10, 2015

How Can Someone's Flesh Cry Out for God?

Most of my writing is for the benefit of those who are already Christians. And that makes sense, since part of the purpose of this ministry is assist them in answering questions and learning about what we believe. But I also want this to be a place where people who are not Christians can come and learn something about the Bible, too.

Follow this link to Psalm 84 and give it a read. If you are not a Christian, chances are this will not make too much sense. For one thing, depending on how much of the Bible you already know, you will be wondering how I can make it a statement about Christianity. It was, after all, written many centuries before Jesus was born.  Well, I can answer that if you like, but it is incidental. The more important point (and if you allow it to be, the more striking one) is the question of this psalmist’s desire for the presence of God.

If I had to venture I guess, I would imagine it seems strange to you. Who could want God so much that he feels faint as a result? Whose heart and flesh would cry out for that? Church might be nice for being with other people, but who feels this way?

That’s the point, though. I do. And other Christians do, too. I’ll admit, I don’t feel it all the time. Life gets in the way. But as I move forward, things weigh on me and I just find myself reaching out to God, wanting to connect with Him and sense His presence. Whenever I do, I know He is there with me. It is not just a feeling, but a true knowledge. I am never alone.

That is what Christianity is all about. Beneath all the strange habits, the confusing language, and the unfortunate hypocrisies is the belief that we are loved by God. Each one of us was made to seek Him. Also, He has made it so that we can find Him.

 In the Bible, we see what God has done for us. In spite of ourselves, He desired to restore our relationship with Him. Importantly, it is truly in spite of ourselves. We wander away from Him in all the ways we act selfishly, but He refused to let that keep us apart. He lets us seek what we think is good, but He offers us a better way.

Jesus Christ, who has always been and always will be God, chose to be born as a human being, to live like us and with us. Then, after teaching us how to follow Him, He was executed even though He was innocent. He had never done anything wrong, but they killed Him because of His message.

And He allowed it to happen. He allowed it because He knew a price had to be paid for all our selfishness, which is what sin is. He suffered the punishment for our mistakes so that if we choose to accept His forgiveness, we will not have to suffer. Instead of being separated from God, we can be united to Him through what Jesus did. He died so we could live.

Then, He proved it by coming back to life three days later. And that is just historical fact. Jesus is alive, and that means we can live, too, live forever. It only takes admitting your faults and accepting what He has done. Trust in Him, rather than your own goodness or your hope that He isn’t real. Because you and I can never be good enough. And He is real, whether you care to admit it or not.

At some level, the longing is Psalm 84 might seem strange. But at another, it seems like the most natural thing in the world, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, you can admit it. It is not as if we are face to face, or anyone else is around. It is just you. And don’t you feel the pull of it? That innate desire to reach out to God? It is in each of us. And thanks to Jesus, it can be done. In another part of the Bible, it says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). The longing in your soul can be satisfied. You do not have to be alone.

I hope my regular readers are encouraged by this reminder, both of our fellowship with God and our responsibility to share the news of it. If you are not a Christian, though, I hope it was meaningful to you, too. Maybe you came across it randomly, or maybe a friend shared it with you. Take it as a sign that God is calling for you.

 He wants you to come to His home. The welcome is available. Don’t pretend you have never done anything wrong. But do know the stigma of it can be taken away. Jesus died for the love of you. You owe it to Him, and to yourself, to find out more. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I do not have all the answers, but I started this site to help people find as many as possible. I look forward to hearing from you. We can walk to the house of the Lord together. 

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