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Monday, May 16, 2011

Pursuing God

Today I'm reading Acts 17:22-28a (The Message)

So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them. "It is plain to see that you Athenians take your religion seriously. When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, to the god nobody knows. I'm here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you're dealing with. The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn't live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn't take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don't make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near. We live and move in him, can't get away from him!

One of the classics of Christian devotional/theological reading is "The Pursuit of God" by A. W. Tozer. It's one of those books you can read over and over again and never digest it all. All of Tozer's books really push you toward deeper love for Christ, so this week I want to reflect on some of his writings as we pursue God together.

From The Pursuit of God: "To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul's paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily-satisfied religionist, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart...We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our soul, closer than our most secret thoughts...God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which he must work. Only to know this is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves."

Tozer hits the Christian paradox right on the money. We found God (or been found by him), and yet we are still looking for him. Pursuing God is part of our everyday life. But that's what makes it a living relationship, not an academic subject. We can't know all of God's limits. He is always beyond us so there is always more of him to know. Plus, our tendency to drift means gaps appear in our knowledge/experience of God - and living in a sinful world often means we're wandering around in a fog. So, just like all love, we love God but we seek to love him more. The wonderful thing to remember is that there always enough of God to go around for all of us. Tozer puts it this way: “An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others.”

Be aware this week that God desires to give all of himself fully to you! Are you ready?


Today's prayer:

My Savior Jesus, Oh, I am so often tempted to act rather than pray!

I am so often tempted to sin and neglect You.

I am so often to imagine that I can live here forever and own everything in this world.

Forgive me for the busy, distracted life that I often live outside the bounds of your Word and Your voice.

I choose today, to seek You first.

First before self saving actions,

First before urgent voices that pulls me out of Your presence,

First before the opinions of others,

First before my hungers to be seen or admired.

Your Word is faithful and true. You are my foundation, my light, my direction, and my hope.

Help me not to follow my heart. You lead my heart!

You loved me even though I am wretched and sinful.

Help me to make the conscious choice to love and not to look for love based on feeling.

My life should be all about You and not about me!

Remind me that I shall soon pass away like a vapor that appeared for a little while and then vanishes away.


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