Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


God’s been chasing me on something for a few months. It has come up all over the place for me. It came up in some conferences I went to. It came up in books I’m reading. It came up in a retreat with our guys in the desert. It has come up in my own teaching and preparation several times. It came up in a devo I did for our staff last week.
It’s the reality that I do not want to live my life “near God”. I want to do life “with God”.
This has lots of implications.
THEOLOGICALLY: I believe God is omnipresent- everywhere. I do not have to travel somewhere to go find God. (ie: Psalm 139:7-12) God is near me all the time. But near me, and with me, are separate things. God can be “near” a drug deal, but it doesn’t mean God is “with those doing it”. God can be “near” a church service, but it doesn’t mean those teaching or those listening are doing so “with God”.
PRACTICALLY TODAY: I think in our internet and electronic driven world we live in today… we think we can do life “with people” who we are never truly “with”. I do this from time to time. But there is no exchange for real, hand-to-hand, life-on-life, with one another kind of living. I think there are those who read this blog or follow my facebook posts or twitter updates and think, “man, I feel like I know Brian” because I update those things fairly regularly and they choose to read them regularly. But the truth is, that connection a reader experiences is something… but it is not “with one another”. I’m not saying it’s bad to read a blog or follow someone on facebook. I’m just saying we shouldn’t mistake the feeling of intimacy we feel for the real life value of being truly “with” one another. Sometimes distance makes it impossible. And facebook is a nice way to minimize the distance and to talk and to connect, but facebook will never replace the value of my real presence somewhere. I can’t coach soccer from facebook, or hug my kids, or love my wife, or give a shoulder to a hurt friend to cry on. It is what it is. But it is not “with” one another.
PERSONALLY WITH GOD AND I: I think I can make this error with God though too. I can get content with following God at a distance. With sort of a voyeurism of faith where I observe and watch and even follow God, but I’m not doing life hand-in-hand, heart-to-heart, WITH GOD. I do not want that to be the summation of my life. I don’t want to settle for anything less than life with God.
Anyway, I had forgotten that this was also the subject of a devo I did for Youth Specialties on their podcast. It was just posted today, but I recorded it a while ago. So I watched it “fresh” for myself today since I did not recall what I had said then. Like a voice from inside my soul, calling me back to what is important… it was good for me to be reminded today by my own voice from the past, that the with God life is what I really want.
O God, may it be true of me what was true of Noah: “Brian walked with God.”

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