Summary: Every Day. Routine. Take it or leave it. A dime a dozen. Do we treat the rare like the regular? Do we mistake the extraordinary for the ordinary? Do we overlook the incredible for the common?
Pt. 3 - Tag!
We are afflicted with apathy. We are so overcome by it that we treat God as if He is "a dime a dozen", ordinary, optional, routine, or common! So I have been challenging our approach to Him. If we reverence Him appropriately then we will approach Him, prepare for Him, and treat Him differently.
One of my favorite childhood games was tag. I know there are several versions of tag such as freeze tag. But I am referring to the purest, the highest level of just straight tag. There are a couple of different ways to play tag. You could be cautious and hang out on the fringe and avoid being caught but never really enjoying the adrenaline rush of the chase. The second way to play, and my preferred method, was to take risk. I would use my amazing, mind boggling quickness and get as close to the person who was it as I could and then right when they would attach their attention to me I would outrun them to saftey. One of the intriguing aspects of tag is the role reversal that can take place in the game. The person who was "it" could go from being the chaser to the chasee in a blink of eye simply on the basis of a reach or a touch. One of the wrinkles of the game was the skill that many of us honed in touching back. We developed the ability to quickly reach back and touch the person who touched us. So we had to often adopt a "no tags back" rule. Otherwise a person could never get free of being "it".
All of that to declare that we are caught in a lifelong game of tag. However, this game of tag is unique in that our "opponent", if you will, is God. What I want to draw your attention to is the role reversals that take place in the divine game of chase.
To give you a backdrop From Scripture let me draw your attention to two of David's statements. The first is found in
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
One version says "Where can I go to avoid Your Spirit?"
So David captures the idea that God pursues us! He is after us. He is chasing us constantly. In fact, David recognized there is no base. There is no safe zone. Anywhere I go He can, will and has found me.
Some of you thought you could escape Him and He has proven time and time again that He will chase you down. You have intentionally tried to escape. You have done your dead level best to offend Him so badly that He would avoid you. You have used every dodge, every duck, every juke that you have fine tuned and perfected in your tag playing career and yet through distancing choices, delaying decisions, tag avoiding words and habits you discover that He corners you with His love, His grace, His touch, His call. Simply stated, "You can't get away!"
You have been tagged.
God has chased you. He has done everything He can to get to you. He begins the chase. No man comes to the Father unless the Spirit brings Him. He initiates. Fortunately there is "no tag backs" rule in this game. There will be moments when He chases you down and tags you with His touch and due to the struggles of your life, sickness, broken relationships, hurt, pain you will reach out and tag Him back and His presence will come after you again! When you have no strength to pursue Him He will run after you. So as I confront apathy towards God if your honest self examination reveals that your lack of pursuit of God has nothing to do with lack of care or desire but is a result of injury or exhaustion then the good news is He will pick up the pursuit again.
David understood the idea of being the object of chase. However, David also experienced the role reversal that takes place in this game. You see the change in
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
So now the roles have reversed. David is not being chased he is the one chasing. He has discovered that he is now "it". He longs for God. He thirsts for God and is ready to chase Him down. He must chase. He must pursue.