God in Cutoff Jeans
Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it . . . Haggai 1:8
I’m a sensation seeker (google it to learn more). I want to feel. I need to experience. Aimed in the wrong direction, this can be catastrophic. Sensation seekers often turn to high-risk behavior (e.g. drug use) in an attempt to experience everything life has to offer.
Aimed in the right direction however, this can be a good thing. For me, my relationship with God must be more than just knowledge. I need to experience God. For it to be real, I need to see and feel him in my life. I don’t simply want to know about God. I want to know God.
This Haggai said, is also what God wants. In today’s passage, Haggai, told his people that God desired that they put some work into their relationship. He asked that they put forth the effort to build the temple, God’s dwelling place among his people. God found pleasure in the Israelite’s pursuit of a very real, tangible relationship with him.
When in treatment for chemical dependency, I began working at this relationship. In an effort to turn from my self-destruction, I began seeking God daily. You may laugh, but it has helped me dramatically to visualize my daily conversation with God.
Every morning, when I get up to pray, I see myself sitting on a bench with Jesus, overlooking the ocean. Again, you may find it silly or irreverent, but in my imagination, he looks like a middle-eastern hippie, always wearing cutoff jeans, an Orange Crush t-shirt, and flip-flops. I don’t know why he wears that, but that’s not the point. The point is, every day, I show up and make the effort. I read his word. I meditate on it, and I simply spend time in the relationship.
The Bible, from beginning to end, describes how God created us to live in community with him. Because of Christ, we no longer need a temple. God now desires simply to dwell in us. If we want to know God, recovery, and the life he intended, we must daily take the time and effort to pursue our relationship with him.