March 9, 2004

the test

I have been reading several books. I read a little of each one each week. The books that I am currently reading are listed on the right side of this page.

One of those books is The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. And even though it was written quite awhile ago, I have found it to still be quite practical, and relevant for today. Just recently I was reading a chapter called "The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing" which is the same chapter that I did a post called the treasure in the field. (If you check the dates on these posts, you can see how slow I am reading this book.) This whole chapter is about how you can't pursue God and other things. It is very convicting. He pleads with us to renounce all other things and pursue God.

Through the process, he brings up the idea of testing, an idea that is familiar to all of us, and he makes these statements:

"If we would indeed know God in growing intimacy, we must go this way of renunciation. And if we are set upon the pursuit of God, He will sooner or later bring us to this test." And I would say tests! Not just a one-time testing, but an ongoing process of testing. Maybe daily, sometimes hourly testing. Bringing us to the choice again and again. Jesus says to us to take up our cross daily, and come and follow him! "At that testing place there will be no dozen possible choices for us -- just one and an alternative -- but our whole future will be conditioned by the choice..." or choices "...we make.

Even though I believe that this is an ongoing process, and that we are tested daily, I also believe that we can have some real doozies. You know what I mean. Those whopper tests. The ones that really put who we are on the line. The choices that we make during those tests can alter our lives in ways that we couldn't imagine. Tozer uses the example of Abraham and his son Isaac. Imagine how much different his life could have been if he wouldn't have been willing to offer his son upon the altar.

Check out the book, The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer.