Friday, March 7, 2003
I don't know how it happened, but my wife and I somehow ended up with the smartest and cutest granddaughter in North America. Great - now I'm going to hear from grandparents all over the continent, contesting what I just said. But, look, I'm just being a granddad, right? Our little darlin' when she was just a few weeks old, oh man, she was really checking out her world. Now, of course, she was only beginning to understand what her fingers are for and how they work. But even then it was obvious what she wanted to do with those fingers. Initially, she was just feeling our fingers when we held her. But then she started reaching up with her infant coordination and reaching higher because she loved to touch the face of the person who's holding her!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Getting Up Close and Personal."
Even babies seem to know that there's something about touching a person's face that is especially intimate. Psychologists tell us that they're right, and that even in romantic affection, touching the face is one of the most meaningful levels of physical intimacy. It's no wonder babies know to seek our face.
I love the fact that what Jesus has given us is not a religion but a personal love-relationship with God - who tells us to call Him and know Him as Father. The tragedy is that many people who belong to Him never experience what it's like to be really, really close to Him because they don't seek His face.
2 Chronicles 7:14 is not only our word for today from the Word of God, it's also one of the clearest formulas for spiritual revival in all of Scripture. God says, "If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
Ultimately, our prayer should be the kind that, like a little baby or a child, seeks to touch the face of our Father.
It's not that we don't seek God at all. But we usually seek His hands to get Him to do something for us. Or we seek His mind - we're all into learning the theology and the verses about Him. Both of those are right and good. But they're not enough. Not enough to satisfy our thirsty souls. We were built to sit in God's lap, to rest in His arms, to just enjoy the love and the closeness of our Father - not just as Someone we want to learn about or Someone we want fixing things for us. Just to, as Paul described as his lifelong obsession, to "know Him." (Philippians 3:10)
To touch His face you have to linger when you're with Him. You have to listen for His response in your heart, not just allow time for Him to listen to you. You have to unlock to Him your deepest - and even scariest - feelings, and ask Him to help you get beyond just the theology and the constant analysis, and things that you do for Him, and to get to touching Him ... just experiencing Him.
David tells us to "Look to the Lord and His strength; and seek His face continually" (1 Chronicles 16:11) - not just when we're in church, not just when we're having devotions in our little God box, but continually. Maybe you've been missing God Himself while you've been busy serving Him or studying Him or asking Him for things. And He's the real treasure in this whole thing we got when we got Jesus!
I've watched a little baby do everything she can to touch my face. And I want to be like her, don't you? Doing whatever it takes to touch our Father's face.