Encounter: Find a quiet space outside where you can sit in nature. Take some deep breaths and begin to be aware of God’s creation around you. What do you see, hear, smell? Now slowly read through Romans 1:18-25 & Matthew 7:7-11 TPT in The Passion Translation. You can also take a walk or hike and listen to these passages on the Bible app.
“We never expected to be doing this. Neither of us grew up in the church. In fact, for most of our lives—we lived far from God.”
Laura and Jason van Dyk, share on their website how they founded God’s Fingerprints, with the mission to declare the truth of God’s Word through artwork.
But God had a plan for us. Shortly after we became Christians, we started to create Scripture Art in our spare time. We both had a background in art and design, and we wanted to use our gifts to declare this newfound truth.
Scripture Art reminds us of God’s faithful promises. It helps us meditate on His Word. It can spark conversations about God with friends and family. It can plant and water seeds in the hearts of those we love.
Although they create many different art prints, their most popular is actually called God’s Fingerprint and two years ago Jack surprised me with one for my birthday. God's fingerprint has one verse from every book of the Bible. Each line of the fingerprint is a different verse of Scripture. It starts on the bottom with Genesis 1:1 (In the beginning..) and finishes with 'Hallelujah!' in Revelation.
Every book of the Bible is represented in between. Jason came to realize there are 66 lines in a fingerprint which made him think about how the Bible has 66 books and how he could connect them in a way that would show that God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature was revealed through what looks like an engraving of God’s love. Among billions of people, there is not a fingerprint that is the same. The way God creates each human being so uniquely, speaks from the Apostle Paul’s words, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.
Yet even with this evidence before us, there are times when we feel that we are losing Jesus amidst our own doubts and questions. Our own experiences in life can have an altering effect on who we understand God to be and how he shows up in this world and in our lives.
Like detectives finding a person’s identity, location and reason for being in a certain place, it seems we have Jesus figured out most of the time and our expectations are set. But all it takes is a life altering storm that sprouts new seeds of doubt to make it feel like God’s fingerprint has been wiped clean and He is not to be found. Like the rare cases when some people are born without fingerprints, we lose the trace of who we have always known God to be.
But this doesn’t have to scare us away from our trust in who God is. Times like these can be part of enlarging our faith, maybe we will even find ourselves “doubting our way to a better faith.”
Brian Zahnd in his book Everything's on Fire writes, “We have Jesus, We lose Jesus. We seek Jesus. We find Jesus. We rethink Jesus. We grow. I don’t think it can be otherwise.”
The deep fear behind every loss is that we have been abandoned by the God who should have saved us. The transforming moment in Christian conversion comes when we realize that even God has left us. We then discover it was not God, but our image of God that abandoned us. This frees us to discover more of the mystery of God than we knew. Only then is change possible.
Idols don’t move. You can always find them where you left them. But the living God will occasionally abscond from familiar confines. We can never retire from being a seeker. So if it feels like you’ve lost Jesus, don’t give up; keep searching. Seek for him in the places where Mary found him. Look for him in the temple; the new temple made of living stones. Look for him in the houses where people gather to hear about the kingdom of God. Look for him in new movements if you have to.”
When you come into the Sanctuary on Sunday, you will see God’s Fingerprint displayed at our prayer station up front. Consider taking a moment to ask God to reveal his fingerprint where you need it the most and then leave your prayer there. Remember to wait patiently. The day will come when your faith will find its home in Jesus once again.
Reflect: In your faith history, are there times when you had to “lose” Jesus in order to find the “real” Jesus? Take time to write down some characteristics of who Jesus is and what you had to lose to get there.
Encourage: Is there someone in your life who needs to hear that its ok to question or to have doubts? Take time to remind them that its part of their journey and encourage them to meet with an EPIC coach, Pastor Tammy or Pastor Matt to reflect on their journey.
Gather: When you gather with your Life Group, discuss the scripture passages and questions - praying for one another to have patience in the process of deconstruction. Pray over one another to discern what to hold on to from your “theological house” and what needs to be remodeled.
P.S. If you need a few reminders of God’s goodness towards you, you can begin by reading the 66 scriptures written into God’s Fingerprint. I’ve listed them here for your reflection.
God’s Fingerprint verses:
Old Testament: Genesis 1:1, Exodus 15:2,3, Leviticus 19:18, Numbers 14:18, Deuteronomy 33:12, Joshua 1:9, Judges 6:12,14, Ruth 2:12, 1 Samuel 16:7, 2 Samuel 7:8-9, 1 Kings 2:1-3, 2 Kings 2:9, 1 Chronicles 29:14,17, 2 Chronicles 16:9, Ezra 7:9-10, Nehemiah 8:10, Esther 4:16, Job 1:21, Psalm 37:7, Proverbs 1:5, Ecclesiastes 2:11, Song of Songs 2:10-12, Isaiah 53:5, Jeremiah 17:7-8, Lamentations 3:22-23, Ezekiel 36:26-27, Daniel 12:2-3, Hosea 14:4-5, Joel 2:12, Amos 5:14,24, Obadiah 1:15, Jonah 2:8, Micah 5:4-5, Nahum 1:7, Habakkuk 3:17-18, Zephaniah 3:17, Haggai 1:9, Zechariah 7:9, Malachi 3:7
New Testament: Matthew 6:33, Mark 8:34-35, Luke 23:33-34, John 14:6, Acts 2:37-38, Romans 12:1-2, 1 Corinthians 13:4,7-8, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, Galatians 5:6, Ephesians 6:10-11, Philippians 3:7-8, Colossians 3:15-16, 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13, 2 Thessalonians 3:5, 1 Timothy 2:3-4, 2 Timothy 2:3, Titus 2:11-12, Philemon 1:25, Hebrews 4:16, James 1:27, 1 Peter 4:10, 2 Peter 3:8, 1 John 3:16, 2 John 1:6, 3 John 1:11, Jude 1:22, Revelation 19:6