We've all wanted to sense God's touch at some time in our lives.
Maybe we were down and wanted God's help. Or maybe we just felt grateful and wanted there to be some one above to thank.
We have wanted our prayers to be answered. We have wanted a sense of God's presence with us, of his love and protection.
We have wanted to know that he's real, that he sees us and knows us, that he cares about the details of our lives, that he will help us in times of need.
We know that some people experience these things, or at least say they do. But we pray and nothing seems to happen: our prayers seem to go nowhere.
If there really is something more to be had, how do we get it? How do we get connected to God? How do we experience his touch?
Connecting to God is scary.
God is entirely good; we're not. God is completely truthful; we're not. God is unfailingly loving, and we, well . . .
So we shy away from the idea, wanting to keep God at a distance, pushing him away with our doubts, with our self-righteousness.
We tell ourselves that we don't need him, that we're good enough as we are. But in reality, we are afraid that we're not. We are afraid that we will have to change.
We're almost right about that. We aren't as good as we could be, and we will be changed, but only because we want to be.
Whenever God and man touch in the slightest, man is changed, but always for the better and only by man's own choice.
God doesn't whip us into submission. He loves us into being able to see who we really are. And then, surrounded by his love, we decide for ourselves that we want to be better, and God helps it happen.
God never forces -- although some religious people will. God never condemns -- although you'll hear that from Christians sometimes too. We're all flawed. Christ isn't.
Our part in all of this is to recognize that we're not the most important thing around, and that there is a God who is.
We need to learn to look beyond ourselves, beyond our lives, beyond nature, beyond social and political systems.
We can't force God to come to us, but we can make ourselves available. The way to become available is by using the means God has given us: the church, prayer, the Bible.
Insisting on finding God using techniques you've made up for yourself just says that you're not yet ready to admit that you're not the one in charge.
Self-importance is the heaviest luggage there is. If you find yourself carrying it, set it aside.
There is no importance greater than that which God gives us when we stop trying to do it for ourselves.
Read on . . .