GPS

FINDING GOD WITHOUT A GPS (PART 2)

Sometimes, making sense of what God is up to in difficult situations can appear awkward. For some, it could be likened to looking for the colours of the rainbow on a monochrome painting or seeking out the rays of the sun on a dark stormy night. But I want to assure you – and please take this from me because God said it – that God’s love is everlasting and His faithfulness is eternal. So regardless of what you see or feel, His attributes and thoughts toward you remain unchanged.

This is what I have learned…

Don’t stereotype God. Sometimes we try to compartmentalise God and fit Him into a particular mold, possibly based on what people around us have presented as their own view of God. So we expect Him to behave or respond in a certain manner. When we relate with God that way, it is easy to get disappointed, anxious, or impatient. We can also miss God’s movement when He acts. In I Kings 19, we read of God’s revelation of Himself to Elijah the prophet. God told him to stand on a mountain before Him. There was a great wind, then an earthquake, then a fire before a small voice. Elijah might have expected the fire, quake or wind to be markers of God’s presence as He most likely had heard or experienced before. Remember He had just seen God come in a fire to consume the sacrifice on Mount Carmel. This time God chose to come in a whisper.  As you progress in your walk with God, you actually find out that the more of Him you know, the more of Him you realise you don’t know. Of course, He is God. He is infinite and cannot be completely known by a finite being. If your mind is fixed on seeing the hand of God in a certain way, you can easily miss out when His hand shows up in another fashion. I have learned this on so many occasions leading me to appreciate the diversity of God. You get to know that really, God ain’t boring. Have a mind that is open to the multi-faceted demonstrations and instructions of God through His Spirit. A lot of the workings of God may go against the traditions you have held unto or even stories that have become doctrines in some churches.

Be mind-full of God. I have heard my pastor, Kola Falayajo use this phrase once and again. God reveals Himself to those who seek Him. Those who have God in their thoughts can more quickly spot a touch of God in any situation than those who give little thought to God or who only think of His presence or absence in the ‘pit’ moments. This is not about being in the church auditorium every day of the week or at every service – which is not bad in itself – but about living a God-conscious life every second of the day, 365 days a year. As we carry on with the business of life each day, what role does God play in our decision making? Is he at the back of our minds or on the front burner? Even for the simplest of choices, decisions or actions, we should bring the influence of the God we know to bear. When your thoughts are about pleasing God in all you do, you would see Him manifest in more ways than you can imagine. When there is a consideration for what God thinks about what you are about to do or say, you endear yourself to Him and you see His signature on everything about you. And even when the dark moments come and you are wondering what role God has played or not played, finding His help is easier because you have a mind already conditioned to seek Him.

Feast on His Word. Now, my premise for this point is that it is a settled fact that the Bible is the Word of God.  John 1:1 says, In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. From this scripture, we can infer that if we find God’s word, we have found God. More specifically, a revelation from the word of God is a revelation from God. I encourage people to read their Bibles and know what God actually says. A lot of folks are content with receiving a ‘word’ from their pastor or prophet but seriously, get the WORD from God by feasting on the word. Make a conscious and deliberate effort to take out time to ready the Bible and seek to get an understanding from the Holy Spirit about what you are reading. Have a culture of just reading the Bible at any time, not just at your quiet time or prayer time. It helps build a good support for a God-conscious mind.

God works in very ordinary ways but He doesn’t act randomly. He is quite deliberate in His dealings with us.  I pray that you would be overwhelmed with His goodness, love and faithfulness as your eyes and heart go after Him.

Amen.

Still in His grip.

FINDING GOD WITHOUT A GPS (PART 1)

Recently, I travelled with my family to a city I wasn’t very familiar with. I had a car to move around with but I needed help getting around to the places I wanted to visit. Fortunately with Google Maps on my phone and with the aid of the Global Positioning System (GPS), I was able to navigate my way to those places. Even when I missed a turn, it was quite reliving to see the app automatically re-plot and display the next suitable route to my destination. But interestingly, Google Maps didn’t know every place I was going to and I had to use the nearest identifiable location and figure out the rest of the trip. It was still a decent helper anyway. With such levels of technological advancements as we have today, could we possibly someday, find God by some form of technology, maybe by the GPS?

One established fact is that God is not searching for us. He sees us and knows our location every time. He is omniscient and omnipresent. He can reach out to us at any time. And because He is God, He can choose to manifest Himself to us in a new way at any time. The question is, ‘Would we recognize Him when he reaches out to us? We might be looking out for the miraculous or some physical show of unusual powers, because we think that is what we need and that that is what would indicate the touch of God in our lives.

People think a supernatural manifestation would change their situation. They look forward to some ‘light, camera, action’ sort of display from God. Folks want to see the dramatic, eye-popping and jaw-dropping… to be convinced of the workings of God. Interestingly, God Himself knows that not all spectacular displays of His power draw people to Him. As we see around us this days, such displays for so many people produce a momentary high before they are back to where they were before. In Luke 16, Jesus told a story of the rich man and brother Lazarus who both died and went to different places – one to hell and the other to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man wanted Lazarus sent back to preach to his siblings, expecting that a revival would occur because someone had come back from the dead to preach to them. But father Abraham told him that if Moses and the prophets who they had with them couldn’t help them, neither would a resurrected beggar bring any change.

God might reveal Himself in a supernatural way and He can also decide to reveal Himself in very ordinary circumstances. Some times when we pray, we ask God to demonstrate His power as if a failure to do so would put a dent on His reputation. We say such things like, ‘show your power in my life so that people would know I serve a living God’ or ‘change this condition of mine so that my faith in you is strengthened’. But the truth is that God has nothing to prove to anyone. He owes no one any explanation for what He does or doesn’t do. God is not on trial here. He is not in the dock.  He has a pedigree that outlives eternity. There is no event or circumstance that can smear his reputation. The heavens already declare the wonders of God and the skies show what He has done. He is God and He calls Himself I AM. This name represents all our finite minds can visualise about God and much more.

The kind of relationship God wants to have with us is one in which we love Him more for His person than for His acts. Such love keeps our focus on Him and helps us know Him better. So whether He comes with the brightness of the sun or wrapped in a cloak of darkness, we can still recognize Him and walk with Him.

In the concluding part of this writing, I would share some tips I have learned on finding God without a GPS.