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Lent 2017 Devotional—March 4

Lent 2017 Devotional—March 4

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
Genesis 3:8-9

All of the religions of the world are about humanity seeking after God, trying somehow to reach up to Him. The Bible reveals a radically different vision of God seeking us, moving heaven and earth to connect with us, coming down to us in the God-Man, Jesus Christ. From its first page to its last the Bible shows God making the first move towards us, taking the initiative in our relationship with Him.

Today’s Scripture is a portrait of prayer showing God coming down into the Garden for fellowship with His creatures made of dust, made in His divine image. It is a lovely scene where the Creator comes to His creatures “at the time of the evening breeze.” This was a time of day counted as special in the hot ancient Near East. It is starting to cool and the day’s work is done so that it is a time for stillness and relaxed conversation.

This is a story cloaked in mystery and wonder; the form in which the Sovereign Lord appears to Adam and Eve is not revealed. But He does come seeking, wanting communion, longing to spend time with those created in His image for fellowship with Him.

The text hints that God coming down for communion is something He does regularly. He talks and they listen; they talk and He listens. There is mutuality, dialogue, give and take, reciprocity. It is the stuff of life.

On this day God initiates, beginning with a question: “Where are you?” It is obvious that the all-knowing, omniscient God is not seeking information as to whereabouts. God knows where Adam and Eve are: they are hiding. But God wants Adam and Eve to know where they are, to name what they are doing. They are the ones hiding, not God.

Today, God comes seeking communion with you, longing to share lives together. And God comes asking: “Where are you?

PRAYER RETREAT

  • God is asking you today: “Where are you?” There are few questions more important than this one. Where are you in relationship with God today? Where do you see yourself in your journey? Is there a sense in which you are hiding from God, holding back? Have you been avoiding Him? Name where you are.
  • Now, imagine Jesus right beside you (He is, you know!). Talk with Him about where you are. Conclude by talking with Jesus about where you would like to be.

“We must lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us.”
C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

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