May 4, 2004

Receptivity

As you may have noticed, I am reading several books right now. I am not reading any of them particularly fast, but I am definitely plugging through them. (If you scroll down the right side of this blog, you can browse the books that I am currently reading.)

One book that I thought would be a drudgery is The Pursuit of God, by A.W. Tozer. But I have found it is one of the most insightful books that I have read in a long time. Since it wasn't written in this decade, it is a little bit more difficult to read. Probably because he uses words with more than one syllable. Nevertheless, Tozer has succeeded in, once again, making a point that I would like to share with all of you.

Right at the end of a chapter about the presence of God, he starts talking about this thing called receptivity. He begins by saying:

Why do some persons "find" God in a way that others do not? Why does God manifest His presence to some and let multitudes of others struggle along in the half-light of imperfect Christian experience? Of course, the will of God is the same for all. He has no favorites within His household. All He has ever done for any of His children He will do for all of His children. The difference lies not with God but with us.


Tozer then gives several examples of Biblical characters and other famous Christians, "whose testimonies and lives are widely known." Why did they follow hard after God, while others just sat there waiting for something to happen? What is different about these people? Tozer offers a suggestion that hits home...

They differed from the average person in that when they felt the inward longing they did something about it. They acquired the lifelong habit of spiritual response.


I love that part, "...they did something about it." I mean, I can't tell you how many times in my life I have been in the middle of temptation, on my way into sin, and I knew the right thing to do... It was almost like there was that still small voice in the back of my head, telling me "Don't do that!" -- "That's wrong!" -- "It's sin!" And even though I knew the right thing to do, and I knew the voice was yelling at me, I did it anyway. I sinned!

That is what separated me from fellowship with God. I enjoyed it when my lips sang praises to him on Sunday, but I acted helpless on Monday. When I knew what was right, I still didn't commit to it.

I can even think of some times when I have turned that voice off. I didn't want to hear it.

I need to be able to repeat after King David...

"When you said, Seek my face; my heart said unto you, your face, Lord, I will seek." (Psalm 27:8)


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