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004 The God's Finger Challenge

At the end of this message, I'm going to challenge you to participate in what I'm calling "The God's Finger Challenge." But first I have to explain what that is.

All through the Easter season I've been hearing people praying from a posture of humility: "I know I do not deserve your grace. Thank you for dying for us, and including us in your plan." And so forth. And that's all fine.

The problem is, we make it sound a little like we've wanted to be part of God's plan all along, and that God did us a favor when He deigned to include us.

The truth of the matter is that we had no idea that we were missing God's plan. He begged us to come along, and we refused. He would say, a hundred different ways, “What you really want is Me,” and we would respond to each other,“Did you hear something? Must have been my imagination.”

We still do that. Even as far as each of us has come in God, we are still resisting His call in ways we do not even realize. He is inviting us to come up further, to go deeper, and to draw closer to Him. We're pushing Him away.

I was praying “Lord, we want to draw close to you” with friends in my living room when it struck me that God wanted to draw close to me a lot more than I wanted to draw close to Him. It occurred to me that if that were true, then it must also be true that whenever I am not in God's presence, it's because in some way I don't want to be. He didn't leave me; I left Him. The blockage is always on my end.

After all, intimacy with God was what Man lost when he fell into sin in Eden. When that disaster struck, it was not God who dove into the bushes to hide, it was Man... and we've been hiding from God ever since. And as we all learned the hard way, life without God is death and hell.

So, let's find a way to let God further into our lives. Let's all pray that God put his finger on exactly one thing that each of us does to block Him out.

Pray like this:

"Lord Jesus, please identify exactly one area where I deliberately, systematically block you from my life. And please give me both the will and the power to surrender that one thing to You."

And then, go about your life, and wait for Him to do as you asked. Please trust me when I tell you, He is more eager to do that for you than you were to ask Him. He will certainly do it. You'll see.

Don't prejudge what He's going to point out, either. The barrier that you're constantly fretting over is probably not the one He's the most concerned about. In fact, your worrying about that thing is probably a bigger barrier than is the thing itself. But let Him have His say. What He picks will probably surprise you.

And if you happen to flub whatever He points to, don't sweat it. Just ask for more grace to change. After all, you've been blocking Him out in lots of ways for longer than you can remember--and He brought you this far in spite of it. He's not going to quit just because you balked a little. This is what He does. Trust Him to do it well, and to continue to do it so long as you're breathing.

Relax and live at peace until next time.
 

Phil Weingart

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