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Object Permanence

One of the most fun things to do is play peek-a-boo with a baby. I know that for our kids it was the first time I could ever get them to laugh, and I don’t know if you’ve realized it or not, but getting a baby to laugh at you is one of the most gratifying things you can possibly do. I bet you didn’t know that playing peek-a-boo with a baby is actually healthy for the baby. I learned this when Brooklyn was little, our pediatrician told us about Object Permanence, when you hide your face, a baby thinks because she cannot see you, that you have actually disappeared! Playing games like Peek-A-Boo help the child develop Object Permanence which tells our brain that, “Just because I cannot see you, I know that you’re still there”

I wonder if sometimes we lack object permanence when it comes to God. The moment we can’t see God, specifically during a challenging time, we start to question if God is really there. The times we’ve seen God move in spectacular ways have faded, we can talk ourselves into believing that miracle that happened last year was the result of an incredible coincidence so on and so forth. But I want to challenge us tonight about developing our spiritual minds well enough to know and understand that even though I cannot see God, I know that he is still there.

So how do we do that? How do we build a relationship with God when we can’t see God or feel him? Look at Hebrews 11:1-6, I’m going to read the whole thing but I want us to focus on verses 1 and 6,

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. 2 Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. 3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. 4 It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith. 5 It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

How do we build a relationship with a God that we sometimes cannot see or feel? Thats a tough but very fair question to ask we learn from that passage in Hebrews that God cannot be pleased without our faith, so when we have faith in God and we believe that he not only hears, but answers our prayers, then we ideally would spend more time in our Word, and more time in prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Paul writes, 16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Get in your mind and spend time talking to Jesus. When you walk with Jesus all the time, little things that tick you off just aren’t as big of a deal and they seem. This is where I can speak to you on a personal level. In fact I’m like bipolar when I haven’t been as Paul writes praying without ceasing. Little things that shouldn’t matter do and I end up being a person that I don’t want to be and much more I end up being a person that God doesn’t want me to be. The same is probably true for you as well.

So here is my encouragement for you tonight, stay faithful in prayer. Never stop praying, even (and especially) when you don’t hear from God. The temptation that every single person reading this blog, is to stop communicating with God because we think that He isn’t listening or that He’s not responding. God is always at work, but we sometimes miss it because we don’t have His eyes and His heart. Stay disciplined to keep praying, and in the times that you’re not seeing God at work, ask God to show you His heart and His eyes.

The best thing about God is that it’s okay to mess up in your pursuit of God, He’s still going to love you. In fact here is a prime example of a bible fail brought to us by our good friend Peter in Matthew 17:1-7,

Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. 2 As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. 3 Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus. 4 Peter exclaimed, “Lord, it’s wonderful for us to be here! If you want, I’ll make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.” 6 The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground. 7 Then Jesus came over and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 And when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus.

I crack up every time I think about this passage, the best part is in verse 5 where it says, “But even as he spoke” Thats Bible talk for God interrupted Peter because Peter was talking nonsense. But at the end Jesus picks his disciples up off the ground and tells them don’t be afraid.

Pour your heart out and don’t be afraid to say the wrong thing to God. The truth is we’ve all done it before. There is no other way to connect with God aside from a personal relationship with Him, and relationships mean that you see the good the bad and the ugly. Jesus knows all about that in our lives and yet like a best friend He is always there for us.

Be Faithful in Prayer

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