Acts 3:11 They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon’s Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John.
This verse refers to the guy that was placed out in front of the temple to “beg for alms and hold out his palms” but as the kid’s song reminds us, Peter said to him, “silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And of course he does. He walks and leaps, and praises God but what I find especially interesting is that he is clasping hold of the disciples that healed him.
I wonder if it is because, when you really know, like, really perceive the full reality of a healing or a rescue, you simply never want to leave that person’s side. I remember once when I was little, I think about 5, I got lost in a crowd at the royal show. I’ll never forget the feeling of when my dad found me, the sense of being rescued is amazing. I never wanted to let go of his hand after that for the whole day. Meanwhile this beggar has met someone who changed his life, rescued him from a life of begging in a faceless crowd and now, just try and get him to part from them.
The more I reflected on this the more it revealed to me a disturbing truth. So many times in my life, I have come to God, seeking and answer, seeking peace, seeking a resolution, seeking forgiveness or even simply a touch of his Spirit…..
And received it…..
Only to moments later be so easily distracted or drawn to the next task in my schedule.
For a precious moment one morning, I saw myself from God’s perspective as the prodigal son saying:
“Hi Father, I need this, I need that, and could you sort that out and answer this question,”
(God releases the blessing)
Me: “Cheers, gotta go!”
Isn’t that disgusting?
I find that we often talk about how going to God in prayer resolves things, it makes us feel better. But the more I think about it, the more I believe that we can find out who we really are by asking ourselves this question: Who am I when things get better?
Do I give a cursory “thanks God,” (if he’s lucky!) and then return to my lifestyle? Or do I say to myself: “Yes, there are other things I could be doing right now, but I just get the sense the creator of the universe just spoke to and blessed me through his Spirit and I just want to suspend whatever schedule I might have just to cling to him for a while.”
When God resolves our spiritual needs and even wants, how fast are we to get up and get on with the day?
Of course, sometimes we have no choice but to get cracking, but you’d be surprised how many times we have 5 minutes more than we think.
I’ve noticed on facebook recently that there’s so many little verses of encouragement which people post up all the time, which is fine, good even. But what if so often we enjoy quoting verses about God’s plan for our lives and how he is with us, not because we’re really wanting to love God for who his is but because we love God for what he seems to do for us? That is, his love and promises are allowing us to continue our little lifestyle. Have we decided somewhere that God gives his ‘stamp of approval’ to our lifestyle?
This why worship is so important. Worship must compliment thanksgiving. It is totally possible (this is scary) to live a life of thanksgiving for secondary things that God has done/given and yet be completely spiritually dead.
But Worship is adoration of God because he’s God.
This is why circumstances have no bearing on whether we worship or not because we’re not actually thanking God for anything other than the reality that he exists and who he is.
I know when there is a lack of worship in my life, when stop enjoying God’s presence just for God’s presence. I thank God that he revealed my cavalier attitude to me regarding his blessings because a return to true worship begins with repentance over our lack of it.
We do not repent to get grace, we repent because we have received grace.
So what have you been praying for? What if tomorrow, God answered your prayer in a big way? How fast would you get off the couch? How quickly would you get back into the daily grind? Or would you take a moment (or many more) just to cling to him, even if it’s in front of a crowd, just to cling to him……..because he’s God.