The God who is unseen, but not powerless

We want a God who is obvious, don’t we? We long for the sign, the grand miracle, the writing on the wall. Show us, God, and we’ll follow, we say. Be obvious to us!

And yet the Invisible God chooses to be unseen. Read through the Sermon on the Mount – Jesus says over and over again, “our Father who is unseen.”

It is on purpose that God is unseen. It is an attribute.

But why would anyone want to worship a concealed God? What use is it to us?

First of all, do not mistake God’s hiddenness for powerlessness. Consider instead that his choice of unseen-ness is for our benefit.

God has a bent, favour, for the victim, the needy, the poor in spirit, those who are unseen themselves. His focus of attention is on the meek, the mourning, those who are out of sight behind doors, barriers and masks, hiding in corners and closets. These are his people.

Remember that the invisible God is a pursuing God and he finds us in the hidden places. A hidden God is moving through the byways and alleyways and jimmying back doors. Might we run away from an obvious God, should he come to us in a flash and a bang or in his heavenly fame and accompanying entourage? In our need, shame and despair, we don’t want to be pulled onto a stage, we want our wounds to be tended.

The God who is unseen sees us.

What a precious thought this is – that he would cloak himself in pursuit of us!

But, you say, I’ve been hidden for so long!

Be found – stay right where you are. In fact, move to your hidden places. Go to the closet and behind the closed door to pray – these are the prayers that are rewarded by an audience with God. Open your heart to your own shame and sorrow that you might see God right there.

Be seen by him. He’s with you as we speak. Be blessed by this poverty of spirit, for yours is the kingdom of heaven.

And then what? God is not altogether secret. He outsources his glory to those who have been found! He affirms our value and purpose by giving his radiance to our faces, by contracting his goodness through our lives. His power is on display through the stunning transformation of those who have been found by him.

YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. Jesus said it himself.

You no longer live in darkness, but in his light. You no longer belong to death, but to life. He has moved you from hiddenness to a spacious place.

Now, let’s make God obvious – in our lives, unseen Father, be glorified.

Activism as Worship

A word of freedom to believers: activism is a type of worship.

We love God by standing up for righteousness in hostile places.*

Few people want to lose friends, influence, or privilege, so we subdue our voices instead of speaking up for justice. But this is the risk of effectively following Jesus. Some won’t understand and will reject you; others will be freed by it. There will be sorrow and great joy in siding with freedom.

For some of us, activism is a temperament. For others, activism is obedience.

Be challenged to consider your role in loving God in this way and BE FREE to do so.

“Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?”
Proverbs 24:11-12

Free people free people.

*Quotes from Gary Thomas’ Sacred Pathways – learn more about activism as a worship style/way to love God by reading this book and/or consider the examples throughout scripture: Moses, Elijah, Elisha to start.

The Day After

This past weekend we tried hard, didn’t we?  We looked around us and we found things to be thankful for within easy reach, like shelter over our heads, food in our bellies and family in our hearts.

Today #thankful will stop trending on Twitter and life will return to normal.  Today we might even retain the happy hearts we had on the weekend, but most likely with a proviso.  As thankful as I am, I would prefer things a different way.  If I’m honest.

The sign we post on our refrigerator door which is completely ineffective. Continue reading