Have you ever gone on a God Hunt? A God Hunt begins when you teach yourself to look for God’s hand at work in the every day occurrences of your life. Here’s one of my personal God Hunt Sightings:
Alan Jones writes, “Christianity is a love affair beginning with the gasp of astonishment with which all love affairs begin.” Indeed, God has fallen in love with you and can’t wait until you turn your full attention His way.
Unfortunately, most of us do not regularly reciprocate God’s passion. Instead, we behave like the spouse who dutifully makes love (has to be coaxed into it, actually), then rolls over in bed with a sigh that the exercise is finally over and falls asleep.
Most of us have no idea how far away we have been traveling from the heart of God or for how long. The signposts are all telling us we are journeying in the wrong direction. Preoccupied with our own affairs, we just haven’t been paying attention.
Our neglect and unfaithfulness grieves our Lover. Indeed, many Scripture passages record God weeping over a defiled betrothal covenant, a carelessly discarded engagement ring. “Where are you?” He cries throughout history again and again. Look at this reaction to the tragic betrayals in so many Old Testament passages. We see His actions as pronounced judgments on the two-timing Israelites who sneakily cuckolded the Divine Lover, but they are really the wail of a brokenhearted, jilted lover. Even knowing how Judah and Israel deserve all the awful events that occur in their national history because they have gone whoring, God’s soul waxes between longing and rage. Hosea 11:8-9, set within the context of a prophet married to a whore, captures the painful ambiguity:
How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I treat you like Admah?
How can I make you like Zeboiim?
My heart is changed within me;
All my compassion is aroused.
I will not carry out my fierce anger,
Nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim;
For I am God and not man—
The Holy One among you.
I will not come in wrath.
With regularity, given this yearning of God for us, we need to ask, “How far have I wandered from this startling passion? Who has abandoned whom? When it comes to infidelity, who has created the triangle? Who is it I really desire? Whose touch do I long for at the end of the day or whose embrace when circumstances are difficult? Whose breath do I wish for at the back of my neck when I am resting? Who do I think of first thing when I wake? Whom do I call on the minute, on the hour? How much joy swells my being when I hear the sound of the Lover’s voice? Do I make a point of disciplining myself to seek Him whenever my mind has a moment of repose? Better yet, is He always, always, at the back of my consciousness?”
If you find that you are the one who is unfaithful in this relationship, perhaps the following prayer, breathed in variations throughout time, will be helpful:
Lord, I want to want you.
Give me the desire.
Fill me, please, with a longing for you
That only you can satisfy.
May you know that gasp of astonishment once again. And, when you do, pause and gratefully exclaim, “I spy God!”
Award-winning author Karen Mains has long had an interest in spiritual formation and the obedient Christian walk. She has written about the God Hunt in her book by the same name, The God Hunt: The Delightful Chase and the Wonder of Being Found. A hardback copy can be ordered from Mainstay Ministries for $10.00 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to autograph a copy for you.
Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags, Africa bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. They are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.