Same old story: Mom had two sons who were driving her crazy. She had read all the parenting books. She had tried every disciplinary strategy imaginable. Her kids weren’t children; they were uncontrollable force of nature.
One day she was bemoaning the situation in an over-the-fence conversation with a neighbour. Her friend said, “I took my son to the pastor, and he hasn’t given me a problem since.”
It didn’t should like much reason to get her hopes up, but Mom had tried everything else — what did she have to lose? She marched her two sons to the car and drove them to the church, where they had an appointment in the pastor’s office.
The clergyman worked like a good police detective: He separated the two suspects for interrogation. The younger one waited outside while the older one faced the somber, robed minister alone. Without so much as introducing himself, the pastor stared into the eyes of the frightened boy and began his interrogation with this thundering question: “Where is God?”
The boy was speechless.
The pastor repeated, “Where is God?”
The young lad looked away, searching the room as if the answer might be found on the shelves or in the framed picture. He still kept silent. The thunder sounded closer as the minister demanded for a third time, “Where is God?”
This time the boy leapt to his feet and fled the office. In the waiting room, he grabbed his brother and shouted, “Let’s get out of here! They’ve lost God and they’re trying to pin it on us!”
Have you ever lost God? Have you ever felt as if the folks at church have lost God somewhere? In my household, when something is lost, someone usually asks, “Where was the last place you had it? For many of us, maybe that’s the right question. Where was God when I lost Him? Where did I leave Him?
And as we reflect over these questions, we usually come to the conclusion that the last time we had God, there was a certain something in the air. There was a feeling. There was an energy. Perhaps the right word is passion. Somewhere in the course of doing life, we lost the art of feeling God. The passion drained away, and the emptiness became palpable.
The idea of losing God is a terrible one. As a young believer, I was given a copy of a remarkable book called Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret. I remember writing out the statement that seemed to be the very secret promised by the title. Hudson Taylor wrote: “I saw Him, and I sought Him, and I had Him, and I wanted Him.”
Those fifteen words carry the whole story. All the ingredients of the conquest of life are held in those four clauses — to see, to seek, to have, and to want. That last part addresses this issue of losing God — will we keep wanting Him once we’ve found Him?
Isn’t that what losing our spiritual passion is all about: losing our desire for God? And, how can we explain the idea of not wanting God? How can we acknowledge such an awful truth?
A.W. Tozer wrote that the great people of the Bible and Christian history have had an insatiable hunger for God. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with so many of us He waits so very long in vain.”
Here’s my point: Desire for God is that spark that can ignite into flame (passion) or, when untended, fizzle into ashes. As we grow in the Christian life, we understand more and more that it’s a fire that must be fed. Coming to know God and realizing that He wants to be wanted does make the flames (passion) leap within us. Think about the first time you fell in love and the object of your affection loved you back. There were two elements: your wanting and the other person’s wanting to be wanted by you. It makes a world of difference, doesn’t it? If you find that your feelings are not cherished, neither will your love last.
In the same way, we come to a place where we not only desire God but feel His pleasure. His yearning for us. Every one of us wants to be wanted by someone. As a result, there is no heart in this world that will not be touched by the realization of being wanted and cherished by the Creator of the universe. It feeds the fire of our passion, and we want him all the more.
If you have lost God, turn around as He is right there. He wants to be wanted! Ask Him to rekindle your love and your passion for Him. That, is a prayer that He will answer immediately. Guaranteed.