10 Short Days and God’s Fingerprints
As I look back on my ten short days in Ireland and Northern Ireland, I can’t help but to compare the amount of vast untouched beauty the island holds to the amount of structure and intricacy that the people have brought to the land. The larger cities were full of people from all over the world and structures (like the Spire) which I’ve never seen before; the smaller towns were full of character and a unity I haven’t seen in a long time; and nature was just that, natural, green, and full of God’s fingerprints.
Finite Religion vs. Intimacy with the Infinite
Not all man-made structure is beneficial to society though, as religion is one of those constructs. It seemed both Dublin and Belfast, though open to conversations about God, had no real grasp on the character and love God has for them because of the religious concepts they were taught growing up.
Maybe as a subconscious way of countering that attitude, the prevailing thought amongst the team in our devotional times was the intimacy that our relationship in Christ can be filled with. Paul describes Him as the bridegroom and us the bride in Ephesians, marriage being the most intimate relationship humans can comprehend while on the Earth. And again in 1 Corinthians 6:17, we are joined unto the Lord as one spirit.
Religion is a trap we set for God that we always get caught up in ourselves. It’s an easy way to put finite brackets around an infinite God. But in Psalm 91:3, the psalmist tells us that God will surely deliver us from the snare of the fowler (even if we are the fowler). He’s waiting to show people caught up in religion just how intimate He can be in their lives, to give them mercy in Proverbs 28:13 and Jeremiah 3:13-16, to convince them they are the children of promise in Galatians 4:31, and to fill their longing hearts with love in Romans 5:5.
Who will guide the lost?
So, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and every saint belonging to the Body of Christ, I’ll leave you with one provoking question to see if God stirs your heart (I pose this question to myself as well). How can men and women of Ireland and Northern Ireland understand the true nature and character of God and what they read about Him unless someone should guide them? Lost people desire that you would come up and sit with them in Acts 8:31, so what are you waiting for?
by Mat Gehret, student of MBCS