Friday, January 06, 2012

Thirsty For Greater Thirst

There’s a great line from an old Steve Taylor song that says, “Don’t you know by now why the chosen are few? It’s harder to believe than not to.”

As I’ve been re-reading A.W. Tozer’s classic book, “The Pursuit of God” these last few weeks I’ve been challenged to go deeper in my walk with God. Maybe “challenged” isn’t the right word. It’s more like being enticed by the Holy Spirit to explore the boundless magnificence of Jesus. And as I’ve been slowly pulled into this ever-growing vortex of God’s irresistible love, I’ve started to notice something strange; It’s harder than I would have ever imagined to keep Jesus at the center of my heart.

This truth sobers me, and confounds me all at the same time. I’m sobered by this realization because it makes me realize that up until now I’ve probably not been living my life with Jesus at the center. I thought that I was. In good faith, I’ve tried up to this point to follow Jesus and to listen for His voice and to obey. But, perhaps this is simply a season where God is turning up the volume a bit more. I’m not sure. I just know that there is more of Jesus to know than I have known so far, and I know that I want to know Him better.

I’m confounded by the difficulty of keeping Jesus at the center of my heart because it shouldn’t be anything new for me. Why is it so much harder now than it used to be? Have I allowed other things to creep into my heart and take hold? If so, how do I overcome this grip and restore Jesus to His rightful place?

Fasting seems to be in order here, because it allows me to cut off the source of worldly distractions and, at the same time, to open up my bandwidth to dial in more of the Master’s voice to my internal receiver.

Right now there are several stray thoughts and feelings that are floating around my heart like wisps of willow on the breeze. One thing I’m aware of is that it’s entirely possible for me to get lost in all the glorious beauty of Jesus. I want to get lost in Him. I realize that the veil around my heart that separates me from Him is paper thin. If anything, this is both exhilarating and terrifying. The Holy One is just inches away from me. I could take one step and be near Him. In fact, if I draw nearer to Him, He will most certainly draw nearer to me. We are closing in on one another like binary stars locked in a terminal orbit. It is inevitable that He and I will become one in spirit and purpose. My heart beats a little faster at the thought of breathing His breath, at the idea of thinking His thoughts, of hearing His whispering voice in my ear.

So, why is it difficult for me to keep this ever-approaching Jesus at the center of my heart? Why would I ever need to fight to keep someone so glorious and exquisite in my mind at all times? This is my conundrum. I am becoming aware of something inside of me that resists His will. Something outside of my control that constantly attempts to eclipse the beautiful light of His face. What is this? How do I stop it? Why is it there?

In the most simple terms, this thing is me. It’s the part of me that has yet to submit to His will. It’s the dark creature of sin that runs wild in the overgrown forest of my soul. The monster is me. The distraction is me. I want to look away. I don’t want to see that face, but it’s too late. I’ve already seen it before and I know it too well. It’s the same as the one in my mirror each morning.

So, what can I do? All that remains is to continue my journey towards His light. In Him I know that this dark flesh cannot thrive. The nearer I come to Jesus, the weaker this beast becomes. This is why it fights me. This is why it begs me to look away from my Lord. It wants desperately to live. So, it reminds me of all the candy-coated pleasures of this fleshly existence. It sings, it dances, it shouts, it pleads with me to slow down, or to stop and rest on my journey towards God. “What’s the hurry?” it says. But, I cannot let it distract me from my Lord. I must keep pressing onward. It burns. It bleeds. It struggles. But even as it fights me, I know it is condemned to lose. The hammer is already in His hands. The nails are already being pressed into my flesh. Together, my Lord and I will crucify this thing. We will endure this brief torture for the joy set before us when it is gone and nothing else could ever stand between our hearts.

God alone has the power to drive those nails. My part is only to confess my desire to desire Him more. I can only ask Him to give me the faith to want more faith so that I may become thirsty enough to cry out for more thirst for Him and His righteousness.



"Let us remember: when we talk of the rending of the veil we are speaking in a figure, and the thought of it is poetical, almost pleasant; but in actuality there is nothing pleasant about it. In human experience that veil is made of living spiritual tissue; it is composed of the sentient, quivering stuff of which our whole beings consist, and to touch it is to touch us where we feel pain. To tear it away is to injure us, to hurt us and make us bleed. To say otherwise is to make the cross no cross and death no death at all."  -A. W. Tozer; The Pursuit of God.

1 comment:

Tovah said...

That’s it! What a great post! I think that ALL believers should be somewhere on the path of the journey you describe.

There used to be a time when this was considered normal Christianity. Now it seems foreign to many or only for “special holy people”. I think part of reason believer’s find this foreign, or even unnecessary, is that many of us go to CHURCH…in America. Modern American Christianity has explained away the need for relationship. NOW God just wants us to be rich, happy and successful. These are the new indicators of a “blessed life”. Even those of us who have “left the building”, so to speak, still drag with us some of the ideas with which we have been indoctrinated. It permeates our religious culture and it’s hard to break free.

We’re afraid, but we needn’t be. The fire of God only burns up the things we don’t need.

Thank you so much for so openly, honestly and humbly sharing this part of your journey. I pray that others will be provoked to Godly jealousy and cry out to Him for more, myself included.

I believe that God is moving by His Spirit. He shaking and awakening us from our slumber. Those that would say that they have been awake are DEEPENING their relationship with Him. He WILL have a people after His own heart.