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Where are we looking for God?

July 26, 2008

I saw this news story on Fox News yesterday and it gets my vote for the most entertaining news story of the week with any UFO stories tying for 2nd.  The story is about the flood of random religious artifacts that have garnered unbelievable attention this year.  These pictures – from left to right – are Jesus’ face found in a baking pan, a fish-stick Jesus, an image of Mary burned into a piece of toast that sold for $28,000 on eBay (sadly, yes… you read that right), the head of Mother Theresa found on a honey bun, and two crucifixes discovered in a potato.  All of them were huge news items.

Now, my first reaction was to laugh at everyone that bought into the craze.  My second reaction was to realize I do the same thing in a different way.  When I’m going through dryness in my relationship with God or I’m just plain getting lazy in it, I’ll make excuses for myself.  All of a sudden, I’m looking for God during the hike in the park or I’m relaxing in the morning to recharge my spiritual batteries instead of spending time in The Word or I’m watching a movie with a “spiritual meaning” and looking for Him… when I should be looking first in the Scriptures.

I’m guilty.  Mine are walks, a cup of coffee, and movies.  All of them are good, but none of them should become first.  Where are the wrong places you tend to look for God.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Seth Massa permalink
    July 29, 2008 1:16 pm

    Not to say you are wrong, but just posing a question. Is there ever really a wrong place to look for God? I mean, if you are truly looking for God, He can reveal Himself any way He chooses. If I don’t have my Bible with me, and I’m out walking in nature (I believe that’s where C.S. Lewis did most of his looking for God–based off the Screwtape letters) God can reveal all sorts of things to me. Now it’s when the walk itself (or the honey bunn shaped like mother Theresa) is more important than God and what He is trying to say to you–that’s what I think the real problem is. And yes God has given His word to us in book form already (so that is definitely a good place to look), but it doesn’t mean God won’t speak to you in other ways.
    God knows how many hairs are on our head, so He knows the best ways to speak to each of us. For a musician, God may speak through music notes more than through reading the Bible. That doesn’t mean stop reading the Bible, but it doesn’t mean stop playing or listening to music either.
    Wow, I just wrote a blog as a comment.
    Anyways, tell me about the Bridge (I know absolutely nothing).
    I hope all is well.

  2. howertonjosh permalink
    July 29, 2008 1:31 pm

    Seth – I’m wrong a lot so I wouldn’t take too much offense if you blasted me.

    I see that too and have found incredible value in things like God’s revelation of Himself through nature – especially that one, nature. I think God reveals himself to us in story and song and art… a LOT. Sometimes for me though, I’ll let those things supplant the Scriptures as the primary way that I’m trying to seek and know God. That’s when I think I’ve made a wrong turn. I read The Bible as talking about 3 tiers of God’s revelation ascending in clarity – Creation, The Scriptures, and the “exact representation” of God in Jesus (can’t wait to see him!). I definitely see God in Creation, but am always fighting the temptation to let that dethrone The Bible as my greatest meditation… because I’m a dirty sinner.


    PS – congrats on your first blog comment! I’m honored!

  3. Seth Massa permalink
    July 30, 2008 10:46 am

    Ah, I think I see. So what should happen (instead of the walk with Nature being used to seek God instead of reading the Bible) is that your walks in nature should be increasing your desire to seek even more detail (which is found in the Scriptures); and both of those should actually push you to seek and desire the “exact representation” (I personally don’t think you have to wait to see him–Moses spoke with God Face to Face).

    I really hope I’m not coming across as an annoyance–I always feel like I am becauase Cesler turned me into a Devil’s advocate. LOL. I guess it’s better to think of it as iron sharpening iron. I like posing questions (at least lately) that make people stop, listen, and think about things more.

    So in the end, all these things should work together to bring you closer to God. If the image of Mary burned into a piece of toast brings you closer in your relationship with God, great, but let that be alongside His Word and His Presence (not instead of). Cool. And it still might sound crazy to most people (but if it works it works).

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