Addicted: Understanding the purpose of God’s touch

I am a child of the 80’s and early 90’s. My parents wouldn’t let me listen to secular music, and for the most part I didn’t stray away from the Contemporary Christian Music scene. Anyone who grew up in the church back then listened to one of the greatest Christian storytellers of all time: Carman.

You never knew what to expect on a Carman album. There’d usually be one great story like “The Champion” or “A Witch’s Invitation.” Though his music is considered contemporary, Carman is versed in many styles of music. And he proved it with the song, “Addicted to Jesus.”

It was a venture that a few other CCM artists would bravely dive into with mixed results. Partnering with growing sensation DC Talk, it involved adding a hip hop, from the street feel. We were called to this positive addiction, obsessed with the Son of God, the Word of God, and in prayer.

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There is nothing more amazing than feeling the power of the Creator of the universe touch your life. God created us with a desire in our hearts and souls that can only be satisfied by Him. No amount of pleasure or treasure can fill that hole. So when that hole inside of us actually connects with the one true God, our lives yearn for it to happen again. But can we go too far? Can we be addicted to Jesus in a bad way?

As individuals and churches, many of us continually try to recreate our most powerful experiences with God. We want to hear a favorite preacher or sing a favorite song. Maybe if we go to this building or that campground everything will be like it was.

Our pursuit of God is not about growing in our knowledge of God, but of remembering what we already know. We don’t seek to grow in deeper relationship with Him, but rather hope to relive one moment of relationship over and again. And we make it sound spiritual while we do it. We just want to be with God.

Is this why God touches our lives? Is His greatest desire for us the daily or weekly recreation of one moment of time? Or is the purpose of God’s touch completely different than the satisfaction of my addiction to Jesus?

The Gospels tell us how one person reacted to the power of Jesus moving in her life. She didn’t seek to be touched again by the power of God or to seek some new miracle in her life. Look at how she reacted in Matthew 8:

When Jesus went to Peter’s house, he saw that Peter’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a fever. Jesus touched her hand, and the fever left her. Then she stood up and began to serve Jesus. (Matthew 8:14-15 NCV)

What was Peter’s mother-in-law’s response to the touch of God on her life? She served. This doesn’t mean she became a follower of Jesus. As the NIV puts it, she “began to wait on him.”

God doesn’t touch our lives so He can become a feel-good, healing and providing machine in our lives. God touches us so that we can serve Him and others. We aren’t meant to sit and recreate what has passed. God sends us out to be the ambassadors of Heaven and the instruments of His grace and power in a world that desperately needs Heaven’s touch.

But we get distracted when we get “addicted to Jesus.” We don’t delve deeper into the Bible to learn and grow and discover God’s great plan for our individual lives. We are addicted to the goosebumps, the whoops and hollers, the feeling of the touch. We see the touch as the point of it all instead of the beginning that launches us toward all of the rest God has prepared for us.

A revolving door is supposed to make it easier for people to enter and exit at the same time. Goosebump addicts never exit. They enter the door and have an incredible experience. When they find themselves heading back to the door, they keep spinning until they are back inside. They never make it out the door.

Has God touched your life? Than recognize what it is. Is the first day of a new existence founded in the power and reality of the Creator God, Who loves, touches, and seeks to draw all men unto Himself. It is the laying of a foundation, so a life of service can be built on top of it and stand strong in the midst of pain and adversity.

Don’t be addicted to the feeling. Love God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength, most definitely. But don’t love the touch more than the One who touches. Don’t try to relive the past when the future awaits. You were touched, not to keep on receiving, but to serve and share from what you were given.

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