Jesus TLC – A God-Hug…ever have one? Worship

My church has been doing a series of studies on worship and this morning, talking to a close friend of mine (*grin*), I was inspired to write this devotional.

First I’ll start off a bit controversially.

Does anyone out there believe in people being possessed? Strange question to start off a devotional I know… but bear with me. Like in the Bible when Christ came upon people who were possessed and He cast out those demons….

Well my question to you this morning is if the devil can pull off possession sometimes, and all he is, is a counterfeit, then I ask you this morning to ask yourself what’s the opposite.

And no its not “not being possessed”. In the same way, the opposite of hate is not love. Its forgiveness. Also the opposite of sin is not righteousness, its love. Sin began cause Lucifer was full of himself. God responded by sacrificing Himself, because of “His great love for us”…”behold what manner of love, that we (sinners) should be called sons and daughters”. Ok I’ll put that down cause it should preach itself. If you’re confused or wanna chat about it mail me offline.

The opposite of possession, of forced closeness, of enslaved worship, invasion of vulnerability and privacy……spiritual and emotional rape…sorry to use strong words…

…the opposite of possession….is intimacy. Deep, all consuming, all-needing, all-thirsting, intimacy. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst, for they shall be…..filled”. See the opposite of possession now? Both fill up. One by force. One by invitation. “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone will open…I will come in, and sup with them”.

Anyone out there ever been deeply or madly in love? Especially those happily married. I’ll speak to the ladies first. Whats it like when “he” has been gone for a long while. I mean think back to when the relationship was really really sweet. And adoring and gentle and fulfilling.

If you been married a long time and its not like that still…i’m sorry. Shame…God ordained cleaving. Leave his father’s house (exchange one form of intimacy for another). Exchange “my boy!!!”…for “my man!!!”…gentlemen??… Ok i’ll leave that there.

For it to be anything else but oneness between you two is not cleaving. Lack of intimacy…holistically not just sexually, is just not cleaving. You’re living outside God’s ideal.

If you’re satisfied well then stay there. If you’re not, then fix it. Cause believe me when I say “abundance” is what we were meant for. I don’t see the Trinity ever getting bored of each other LOL! SO then why are you two bored? We’re human. We fight. We get fed up. We walk out in a huff. We don’t talk sometimes for days. Or we argue for days.

But those are moments or seasons. Not trends or legacies.

And if you have children, shame on you twice, cause they’re looking at you and learning that marriage is exactly what you’re displaying to them. I’m tired of meeting people who have a really low self-esteem and poor self-image and on top of that poor or skeptical or “turned-off” opinions of marriage. Normally my first question I ask is if they’re parents (if they’re still married) are happy and they go….no not really. Some people are in families where parents have re-married but are now happy. But the kids are still not looking forward to marriage or having kids. Why?! Cause when they were little, the damage was done. “Teach a child when he is young, and when he is older he will not depart from it”. What you think that verse applies only with the good stuff? Some of you couples are remarried or are divorced and hoping your kids will have a better future but all you get from them on the topic of family and marriage is apathy or even bitterness. By the apathy is worse than bitterness. It means theres still left over energy for hurt. Apathy is emotional death. Couples…if your child one day has a skewed or bad opinion of marriage, sorry to say this, but its predominantly you’re fault if you and youre spouse are NOT in a happy fulfilling marriage. You have taught them well. Too well. Pray over them. Cause they may never unlearn what was diligently passed on. Generational curse making sense to anyone out there? Intercede thoroughly and repentantly. Because without intending to, you may have condemned you’re child to unhappiness or mediocre relationships. They only hope they have is Jesus. Cause the strongest example, deepest example, best teacher they had when it came to love-relationships of all kinds….let them down.

But now back to what I was trying to say. Ladies…he’s been gone a while. And you walk into your bedroom and you lie down on his side of the bed and smell his scent on the pillow…and it makes you go “ouch!” inside? Some of you curl up on your sheets or wear his shirt. By the way curling up, foetal position, is a natural psychological response to someone trying to fell safe, loved cared fore like when you were an unborn child in your mothers womb :-). Maybe you even phone his phone to hear his voice-message. Ah…Andrew stop being sentimental LOL…shame if that’s not you well then leave me in my naïveté then. When I’m gone, trust me she’s gonna miss me. A much! Not just a lot! Hard LOL. Ok i’m done. Lots of shames today.

Now the guys turn…she’s been gone a while. You love this woman. She’s IT bro! I mean its not funny. When you think of her you’re chest pushes forward, you body fills out and your arms tense. You can take on the world. You hear her lingering laughter! I’m talking love- you-tender-voice-goes-deeper-when-she-puts-her-hand-on-your-arm kinda love. Then you’re out there somewhere like in a mall or in the office, and you turn a corner you pick up the scent of her (your) favourite perfume….and just for a moment…just a moment….you’re heart does the “SKADOOSH”-thing and the thump thump thump thing and just for a moment you turn left and right. Looking for her! You’ve done it, don’t lie. The woman is off somewhere thousands of miles away. Some woman around you is wearing “your wife’s perfume” lol. Get it..see how you personalize it and own it?! As if only you’re wife has that perfume. Or something happens during the day and you pick up to call, then slap yourself when you remember “Man!…she’s away. Cant call!” Then you say things in your head or under your breath that Christians shouldn’t say (mail me, I’ll send it out to the prayer list 🙂 coz you need help child of the Most High)

Anywho, by now you get the picture. So here’s my second controversial question. Think of the sweetest moment of your relationships. That most intimate moment. Think of the joy and fulfillment. The sighing-contentedness. ( O heavy lightness! serious vanity! Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms! Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!..yes I had a bri’ ish education. Thanks mom and dad! Patch milele na milele – if you’re kenyan or you speak swa you’ll get it. The rest of you, I’ll explain another time)

Think of the completeness you felt. The companionship. The intimacy. Think of those never-ending moments. Eternity capture in a second. The space between heartbeats. Then think of a perfect all powerful God, capable of …wait for it….SCALING HIMSELF DOWN into a human being. I said scale down on purpose. From Maybach to S-Class Mercedez. Notice both are luxury cars. One is extravagant luxury. The other is just very luxurious. Maybach – extravagant. S-Class Merc – very.  Human beings are the S-Class. God is like the Maybach. Both cars. Both exquisite. Both glorious. One is just scaled down. “Let US make man in OUR image”. That’s like those moments in your life if you’re a parent when you look at your son or daughter and say to yourself….”woah! Wait a minute…thats me!!! I just saw myself” or “did he/she just say that? This kid is imitating not just the words I say but THE WAY I SAY THEM”. Father…S(s)on. Get it?

So take that deep, needful, heartwrenching, soul-crushing pang you feel when you’re loved one is gone….and UP-SCALE ITback to God. And even then, no matter how pure you imagine it, no matter how beautiful you think it is, no matter how much you multiply it…it doesn’t come close to how God feels about you. Yes, God has “loved you with an everlasting love, and lovingkindness has He drawn thee”. How powerful is that. Each minute each second each hour of everyday, God’s love-volume has been on full, since BEFORE YOU WERE BORN. “I have surnamed thee, though you did not know Me”. Same chapter of Jeremiah 33. Ever have a loved one nick name? Or give you a pet name? Ever have a friend give you an endearing nickname? Or your parents?. Now purify it, upscale, and now imagine God doing the same to you and you’ll just be scratching the surface.

How bout physically? Has God ever hugged you?

“Ah wena Andrew! God is Spirit…and God is in heaven…He doesn’t hug people!”, you say…

Here’s another “shame”. So you mean, you worship an all-powerful God, who through out the Bible appears in various ways to variuous people just to make “announcements”. Think about it. Announcements! And yet this same all-powerful miracle-performing water-walking, death-conquering, disease-defeating, star-breathing (Isaiah 40) God cant send the Holy Spirit to cover you till you feel it physically? Cant make His presence felt in your livingroom or bedroom, but He can do that on a mountain top just to show off, or in the Most Holy room of the temple to receive sacrifices? Oh how unfortunate for you! How pitiful…that the first time you’ll be touched by God will be in heaven! How either cowardly, complacent or ignorant you are to not dare ask God to touch you. To hold you close. Why should you experience more intimacy between you and another human human being? Two small, imperfect, dust-like creatures. And yet we have a God who is calling for intimacy? Lol, maybe you think there’s a price and you’re not willing to pay it. Only price I recall when Jacob wrestled with God was building a temple and a limp. No human being will ever boast such a thing again. Is that too high a price for you? Or what Jacob, a thief, liar and swindler is closer to God than you? Who maybe have never stolen someone’s birthright, twice…in your life and may never do so! God can come down to wrestle with someone that deep in sin, who had hurt so many people, but you, who are just trying to be a good person, a good Christian. You try not to lie steel or kill, but God cant even just say make Himself feel more closer to you at least let alone physically appear?

You allow the devil also to occupy your “world-view” and influence your “opinions of possibility” and we make movies left right and center called excorcist or “excorcism of so and so” etc etc. Even if you don’t watch them, you’ve heard ppl talk about them and they freak you out. WHY…cause you believe there’s some level of truth to them…..but you’ve never stopped to ask God… “Father, will you not fill me, hold me, hedge me, touch me, carry me, talk to me, show me…Your glory?!“

I think its about time some Christians out there (me included) were to start taking the word of God literally. Like a baby. Like a kid. The other day I was playing with a friends daughter and getting her jump off a ledge with her eyes closed. This little girl. I mean little. Trusts me. She didn’t just jump. She ran and jumped. I wish I could do that with God. I remember the one time I got stuck on a garage roof and couldn’t get down. Dad came to get me. “Jump” he said. “I’m scared”, I screamed. His response… “Ah Andrew come on, you cant fall when I’m here, now come! Jump..and you have to run, because there’s a ditch down here so down be scared. Do you think I can drop you!”…See what he did? He made about his power as my day, not my ability to jump. So…i ran (adrenaline) and jumped as hard and as far as I could. I’m writing this email so you know that I survived, with all my faculties and appendages in place. Dad…maybe that’s why I like speeding, cause even as I type I can see it again as clear as day and I can remember how it felt. “Ah Andrew come on, you think I can drop you?!”

Oh I forgot to say, that when he said that, he had this sort of stern or angry look on his face while he smiled and chuckled with a deep voice. I swear to you I felt ridiculous for being scared. Sp I ran and jumped. Do you know why you think the way you do? Its because, sorry to say, you don’t have enough of the word of God hidden in your heart. I’m not saying you’re not reading enough or at all, although some of you arent. I’m saying, you don’t ask God strange things cause you don’t know God, why cause you read without jumping in your heart. Preaching to myself now.

I’m saying…you memorise  “the words” he said to you that day when or she whispered to you way back when. You can remember the time, the date, the outfit, the place. The first kiss, the first time they held your hand. The look on your parents face when you brought them home. And yet, you cant put such “heavenly treasure” in your heart? Man cannot live by soapies alone, but needs every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

I know I’ve had moments with God. Both when I was sinning hopeless and shameless out of intimacy with God but not out of His reach. He was lost to me, but I was not lost to Him. I’m blessed. I thank God that I have people who pray for me. A mother who wept over me and a father who warned me, chastised me, for her tears. But even more so, because of grace, I thank God, He took His time to catch me in those places of darkness I was in, high off whatever I was on at the time to say “Andrew, you can run, but no matter what corner you turn, you cant run from Me, when you’re ready, I’ll take you back”. Clearly, pleadingly, like a voice in my head while I was outside the Carnivore back home in Kenya 1st year of varsity. Lol. Yes I hear voices. Its called favour. Think about it, why should God plead with me? A sinner? Who am I? Dust, grass, living today, thrown in the fire tomorrow. Vapour, vanity. “Hebel” in hebrew. That’s grace! There are times when I worship alone in my room and I I just lie on the floor and I cant get up and I just find myself be a mess in His presence. Quietly. Weepingly. No talking. No praise. No tissue till after. Tangibly. And only after I feel the Holy Spirit leave the room, leave me (and that hurts!!!!!! Cause I;m like stay a little longer!!!) Only then do I have enough strength to get up and wipe my nose and face and say “Oh thank You Jesus”. Its called broken worship. Its called being “in the presence” of His glory. A visitation. An encounter.

Ever watch a UFO movie? What happens when the spaceship breaks through the cloud cover? Cars crash and people don’t care, they just get out and look up. Everything and everybody stops. Mouths open. Jaws agape. Eyes in startled shocking stares. Necks craned back to take in the behemoth mammoth shape and size of this “thing” that’s just come down out of the sky! And then all hallelujah breaks loose and people run. Some cry the end of the world has come. Some faint right there in the street. They just crumple and fall. Or ever seen a concert for a super star! The fans go crazy wild! Trying to throw themselves at the artist. See, sometimes, not all the times, worship can be like that. It can rob you of thought and power. Only difference between that and God, is God has to help you come back to your senses and its not as chaotic. And where as in movies or concerts people run to……humans in the presence of an awesome God CANT run. They LOOK AWAY. Like the angels who cover their eyes mouth and feet. God is “stunning”…see where we use the words? God is AWEsome. He is majestic. Can you see the words we use for mere humans? Now UPSCALE THAT.

God is not waiting for you to get to heaven before you experience intimacy with Him. Face on the floor worship. Or moments when you say something wise and go “wait, did I just say that, that wasn’t me”. God is waiting on you to let Him be God, be Himself to you. Glorious! Majesty-ic. Terrible! Room-filling. You-filling. No intimacy or relationship of any kind is capable of outdoing your relationship with God. “Approach the throne boldly”. Why? Cause even though “commoners like us getting an audience with the queen is life-changing and awesome. Prince william the next king of England (like we are the next princes and princesses of heaven) William can walk up to the queen and be like….can we talk…in private…i feel like we havent been spending enough time together. What’s going on with you? Have you ever asked God “Lord, what are You thinking about? What is on Your heart? What’s breaking Your heart, giving You joy. Now its not about me. I just wanna focus on You for a bit. Talk to me Father.” We say silly things like “sharing is caring” and we reverence-out the realness and Abba-ness and familiarity God intended. Yes there’s a time for awe and fear. But there’s also a time to “suffer the little chidren (you and me) to come unto me”. There’s also a time to sit on His lap. You’re missing out!!!

And one final thought (sorry to be so harsh). I suspect for some of you…you’ve used your human relationships…especially the ones you had such high expectations of and got let down, to define how you relate to God. Romance. Parent-child. Friendships. Siblings. If they’re not happy and fulfilling and uplifting. Lemme use that word again. FULL-FILLING. Or here’s one straight outta scripture so you have no response “the JOY of THE LORD is my strength”. What is God’s joy? Do you know or have joy? If they arent. Read more of the word of God and I charge you to fix them. Simple as that. Stop compromising. Quit the mood swings. Stop with the self-defeating attitude. Jump more into God. Hide more of Him in your heart. Fix them. “as much as within your power, live with your brother in peace”. If you cant fix them cause they are in your view permanently broken (pray about that)…then pray over them and for the other person. Intercession draws God close like nothing else! When the self-centered human, sacrifices personal comfort even their own lives, for another person God celebrates and visits. Your name will be sung through out the ages of an eternity of eternities. A prince amoung princes. A princess of princesses. Able to exhibit the character of God’s heart. You will teach angels of redemptive love. What a privilege. Others will be playing catchup 🙂 shame. (one more time)

SO I’ve posed some insane questions.
I’ve proposed a few even more insane ideas.

Now…i’ll let the word of God speak for itself.

Exodus 40:34Exodus 40:34
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Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. [The tangible presence of God fills up all space. It leaves room for nothing else. Are you struggle with something in yourself? Maybe you want change? Maybe you’re problem is you don’t see yourself as a temple. All the glory of God wants to do is fill places of worship. It seeks out temples. Then it doesn’t peak in. Its doesn’t put one foot in. It fills them. Lord I know I need to be a temple. Help me!]

Psalm 145:5Psalm 145:5
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I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty,And on Your wondrous works. [When you see God for who He is, worship is a natural consequence. Take some time every once in a while and just compare the creation week with the passion week. Creation and the Cross. All–power then All-sacrifice. ]

Psalm 77:12Psalm 77:12
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I will also meditate on all Your work,And talk of Your deeds. [Doesn’t this sound like a teenager in love who just cant stop talking about this person they’ve fallen for? Gushing…when’s the last time you were gooey and gushy over what the Most High is to you?]

Ezekiel 3:14Ezekiel 3:14
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So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.

Ezekiel 3:23Ezekiel 3:23
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So I arose and went out into the plain, and behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, like the glory which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face. [sometimes God’s presence is so strong it deflates you, steals your strength, and only God keeping you alive at that moment keeps you breathing. I’m not there yet but I hope to experience this one day.]

Ezekiel 11:5Ezekiel 11:5
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Then the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said to me, “Speak! ‘Thus says the LORD: “Thus you have said, O house of Israel; for I know the things that come into your mind. [sometimes when the Holy Spirit comes on you powerfully, you cant talk, so He has to tell you”SPEAK!” God’s presence is overwhelmingly powerful sometimes]

Luke 2:25Luke 2:25
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[ Simeon Sees God’s Salvation ] And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. [prophecy and ministry]

Matthew 12:18Matthew 12:18
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“ Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen,My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased!I will put My Spirit upon Him,And He will declare justice to the Gentiles. [Does God love Christ more than He loves you? Is God’s soul well please with you? Do you want Him upon you?]

Acts 1:8Acts 1:8
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But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Acts 11:15Acts 11:15
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And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning.

John 14:23John 14:23
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Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. – [my favourite remember the opposite of possession is intimacy…by the Trinity]

Psalm 38:10Psalm 38:10
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My heart pants, my strength fails me;As for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me. [ my second favourite…so you can miss her till it hurts, or miss him till you cant even eat…but you cant miss God? Man we all don’t get it! Me included. We need Christ for real]

Shalom
Me

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Order the Magazine out now – facebook page: ActivatedJesus
or email us: evangelism@mad4christ.co.za
Keep up with the latest MADness. Visit our homepage at http://www.mad4christ.co.za/
Shalom devotionals http://mad4christshalom.blogspot.com/
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MAD Youth Team – Make A Difference for Jesus Christ
e: andrew@mad4christ.co.za
ch: Sandton Church , 6 Malindi Road, Sunnginghill JHB, South Africa
skype: andrew.adar
GT: andrewadar
FB: Andrew Adar

Shalom (shalom… It means first safety, then peace, health, long life, prosperity, increase …and finally in this epoch, the free grace of John 3:17John 3:17
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– Christ came to save not condemn… So shalom on you and yours)
—————————————————————————————————————————
Order the Magazine out now – facebook page: ActivatedJesus
or email us: evangelism@mad4christ.co.za
Keep up with the latest MADness. Visit our homepage at http://www.mad4christ.co.za/
Shalom devotionals http://mad4christshalom.blogspot.com/
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