That’s a pretty intimidating title. Seriously. Who starts off a post like that?
One of the most interesting things I’ve experienced is an intentional effort to arrange a trap (an ambush, actually) to catch God. Granted, that sounds about as whacky as the title, but it is actually the most biblical mandate you could ever receive. Tommy Tenney phrases it as being a “God chaser.” You see, Abba (that’s God; in fact, it was Jesus’ favorite way to address him), is wildly enthralled with us and actually planned and orchestrated ALL of creation centered around, and for, us. We are his centerpiece, his masterpiece, the “apple of his eye” (Psalms 17:8). That phrase is actually one of the most important theological concepts that you’ll ever run across. “Apple of his eye” is viewed as being quaint, antiquated and not given much credit for really meaning anything. It’s use in the English language refers to someone who is cherished above all others. The Hebrew for the idiom is ‘iyshown ‘ayin (אישון עין), and can be literally translated as “little man of the eye.” It is a reference to the tiny reflection of yourself that you can see in someone else’s pupils – Abba sees himself reflected in us! That’s pretty heady stuff!
But, back to the ambush.
Abba is like an adult, a dad, who wants to play with his favorite daughter or son. His child wants to catch him, to have him pick him up, but he enjoys the mutual game of “catch,” intentionally side stepping the child’s attempts to catch him. At first the child likes the game, but quickly arrives at the point of wanting to be held by daddy and begins to cry when he can’t catch him. At that point the dad stops, allows the child to “catch” him and swoops him up with wild abandon to the delight of the child. Or, the dad plays “hide n’ seek” with the child and when the child can’t find him, he does something obvious to let the child “find” him; this always makes the child deliciously happy!
Why we don’t see this relationship with the God of the universe when he states it repeatedly in his Word is a bit of a mystery. It doesn’t change the reality of the truth of the matter, but our blindness tends to make us believe that it just ain’t so.
This is where the ambush comes in.
We think we’re distant from God; or rather, that he is distant from us. We hold our hands over our eyes and proclaim, “I can’t see you” and that becomes proof positive that he’s nowhere to be found. Sometimes we have to sneak up on him, lay a trap that he’ll unintentionally intentionally step into, and catch him when he isn’t looking. Then he’ll have to swoop us up into his arms and love on us. An Encounter with God is just that – an intentional ambush to catch him when he’s “not looking.”
The Message laid just such a God-trap this past weekend. And the interesting thing is that we caught him!