God Invests in Encounters With You (or “For God so loved the world, He gave His ONLY begotten SON…”

note: I wrote this a week ago, but am just now getting it posted.

I was reading this morning in a book called “The God Catchers” by Tommy Tenney.  It’s a great book about true worship.  Not the worship that is just singing songs and getting all worked up emotionally.  Its about living a life of worship.

Mr. Tenney refers to the story of Zaccheus, a small-statured man, who climbed a sycamore tree to get a glimpse of Jesus as He passed by.  However, something amazing happened.  Jesus stopped, looked up into the tree and told Zaccheus to come down, the He (Jesus) needed to stay at his (Zaccheus’) house.

Tenney then goes on to talk about how God intentionally planted that sycamore tree so that Zaccheus could have the opportunity to encounter Jesus.  He talked about how he (Tenney) could just see God planting angels there to guard that tree as it grew, creating an opportunity for Zaccheus to engage and partake in the presence of Jesus Christ. (I’m paraphrasing, of course).

Fast-forward a few minutes to my shower. (Get your mind out of the gutter.) I tend to let my mind wander while in the shower. A lot of times, God uses that time to reveal things to me: things I need to work on; people or things I need to pray about, etc.  This morning, I used that time to pray and just talk to God.  Here’s how my conversation with Him, this morning, went:

Me:  “God, I know you love me.  I know you love my husband and my son. After all, you give us daily provision and protection. I know you love my family and my friends–and each person on this earth—whether they know YOU or not.  But God, I’m tired.  I’m weary.  I’ve been–my family has been in this valley for alongtime. Isn’t it time for a blessing yet?

God:  My child, I bless you every day.  You just said yourself that I give you daily provision and protection.

Me:  Yes, I did–and You do.  But I feel like I’m praying and praying and getting nowhere. I feel neglected.

God: Now you know how I feel.

Me:  oh. (deep sigh)

The realization hit me that I neglect my God–until I need something from Him.  Or I neglect my tithe because I’m almost broke, but I don’t trust Him enough to make a way, even though He has proven to me, time and again, that He will.

Why should God do anything for me, when I neglect Him and His Word so much?  Sure, I read my Bible every day. However, do I really take time to study it, pray about it and ask God to give me revelation for my life while I’m reading?  I am sad to admit that too many times, I don’t.

But after reading that passage about Zaccheus from “The God Catchers”; and then my conversation with God, I realized He is very intentional about setting up ways for me to meet with Him.

This valley that my family and I are in?  That’s an opportunity for me to meet with God.  That article I read about a popular news anchor developing another disease after beating breast cancer?  That’s an open invitation to get into His Presence and intercede on her behalf.  That moment whe my twelve-year-old said he was putting more than “10%” into the offering plate? That’s a welcome mat for me to go to the Father and praise Him for the wonderful gift of my child.

These opportunities…I noticed them and acted on them. However, how many of these planned, intentional encounters from God and with God, do I miss throughout the day–just because I’m so self-absorbed?  How many times do I miss out on loving on God?  Because that’s what He wants…our active love.

If you’re a parent, think about that.  Don’t we do things for our children so they will know we love them?  So they will show us love in return?  How disappointed are we when they barely acknowledge our outpouring? Or worse yet, when we get that “Stop, you’re embarassing me”…?? Ugh!  That one is like a punch in the heart.

Oh how our Lord must feel when we do the same to Him!  Especially when He has done so much to orchestrate an encounter with us.  His ultimate action, to have interaction, with us came in the form of His son, Jesus.

John 3:16 says that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son; that whosoever would believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  Now THAT’s an intentional encounter!

Yes, God does hide Himself from us at times. But its so that we will seek Him and be found!  He wants us to want to be with Him!  Living a full life of worship in Him…for He is in us, with us and works through us!  Be on the lookout for your God-encounter today.