Pursuing Pokemon

 

"As the deer pants for streams of water, so I long for You, O God. I thirst for God, the living God." Psalm 42:1-2

 

Even old guys like me have become aware of the current Pokemon Go craze. I don't pretend to understand all the nuances of the game, and I'm not going to elaborate on the very real spiritual dangers involved with it, but as I posted on my Facebook page, "Oh that we would pursue Christ with half the fervor we pursue Pokemon."

I saw a newsvideo report of hundreds of people running towards a site where a Pokemon character was supposed to be. Many of them were leaving their cars in the middle of the street to do so. Another report said that Pokemon Go has as many daily hits as Twitter. Elementary school age, teens, and young adults have wholeheartedly joined in on the pursuit. Most can be seen going about fixated on their devices, playing the game. They are giving themselves in part, or whole, to the game. With what "game" are you and I doing the same?

 

If who and what we pursue owns us, then we must be confronted with the question of just who and what does own us? Whether we're aware of it or not, and whether we try to hide our tracks with it or not, we leave a spiritual "paper trail" as concerns our heart pursuits. We are all like the deer of Psalm 42. Our hearts pant and thirst for something, for Someone. In what direction is that thirst taking us? Towards, or from Him?

I've seen Psalm 42:1-2 quoted and used countless times in the church. I confess, I have seen its reality far less often. I include myself here. I make no judgement and I do not speak condemnation, but how many of us enter into each day thirsting for the Living God as the Psalmist did? How many of us have hearts that cry out for Him? Anne Graham Lotz wrote a book titled "Just Give Me Jesus!" Her point being that nothing and no one but Jesus Christ will do for her. She yearns for Him above all else. Again, do we? Does He own our hearts, or have we given ourselves over to so many other "side" pursuits? Pursuits that in time will and do become our central ones. Do we come into our corporate gatherings hungering for Him, for His Presence? Or, do we just want some good music, good ministries that take care of us? Even "good preaching" that tells us how we can be very happy right here, right now? What are we really pursuing in our Body Life?

A very good friend of mine once described the sensation he had about a church here in Virginia when first he attended. He said that the Presence of God was so powerfully upon that place that you could "feel" Him when you first came near the property. A presence so strong that people were drawn to Him from everywhere. A Presence we cannot create, market, or exploit. It's His doing alone, but He reveals Himself to a people who wholeheartedly pursue Him. We make much of being sensitive to those who are seeking Him. Dare we give attention to becoming a people who are a Holy Spirit sensitive body of believers? No one can seek Him apart from His Spirit drawing them, and where He is being sought wholeheartedly, He will draw all that seek Him to Himself.

 The experience my friend spoke of was nearly 40 years ago. I wonder, does the Presence that marked that fellowship then, mark it now?.... I close with the same earlier question. If what we pursue owns us, who are we pursuing? Who owns us? What does your paper trail say?

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

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