GOD is with you?

yesterday we had a guest preacher at our church who made the following state:

a while back i was walking through a park and a saw a young couple being overly affectionate. i stopped and asked them, “would you be doing the things you are doing with each other if your mom was in the backseat of your car watching?”

the young man responded “no way!”

i then told him that GOD was always watching over him. that’s one of the lessons that our young people most deserparetly need to hear – GOD is always with them.

now before i say anything else i need to add that i love the guy who said this. he is one of those guys that you can listen to for ten seconds and simply know that he would be a terrific grandfather. though i love him i couldn’t disagree with him more on what he said. his point was basically that we should teach our teens that GOD is always with them so that they will feel guilted into not doing certain things. i don’t think that “immanuel” (GOD with us) is about making sure that we have a “big brother is watching” mentality with GOD. i deal with enough teens (and truthfully their parents) who walk around all day long thinking that they are scum and worthless. most people know exactly how evil they are. i believe that what most people need is someone to point them to the ONE who proclaims them to be valuable and precious.

while i disagree with the preacher’s motive i would atleast partially agree with our speaker on his main point – that kids need to know that GOD is with them – but i would do it for an entirely different reason.

the day i turned 16 i took the test to receive my alabama driver’s license. it was important that i passed the test because we had a
twirp” dance that night and having an early birthday i was the only one of my friend’s old enough to be the driver (“twrip” stands for “the woman is required to pay”). i had to passed this test or our parents would be driving us to the dance. being the ace student i am i easily passed the test and then decided to drive around to my friends’ houses to show them my new license. i drove from friend to friend showing them my license and making them jealous. i know my dad reads this blog so he can back me up on the next part. when i got home my dad sat me down and began to detail out everywhere i had been and when i had been there. i sat there in fear of my future – my dad had eyes and ears everywhere. i would never be able to get away with anything. what my dad said next still rocks my thoughts. my dad said:

robert, i know people all around this town and i want you to know that if you ever get into trouble or have something bad happen i’ll hear about it quickly and i’ll be there to help you.

my dad’s presence (or perceived presence) around the town was a great source of comfort for me. i had someone who was watching my back. that’s what i think GOD’s presence with us is like. it means we are not alone in this hostile world. there are times when we should feel guilty but that’s not why i want teens to know that GOD is with them everywhere they go. i want teens to know that they never have to worry about leaving GOD behind because HE will go everywhere with them and thus already be with them when they need HIM most.

[Listening to: Blessed are the Peacemakers – TreeFinger – (4:38)]
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