April 23, 2004

But we...

If you look on the sidebar, you will see that I am currently reading more than one book. Now, I don't know what works best for you, but for me it works great to just read a little bit of a book every week. That way I don't get bogged down with the book, and I can also plow through several books at once.

One of the books that I am reading is called The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. It is a relatively small book, but I have been so impressed with it.

I just finished the chapter titled Removing the Veil, and I would like to share a couple of the quotes with you.

"God formed us for His pleasure, and so formed us that we, as well as He, can, in divine communion, enjoy the sweet and mysterious mingling of kindred personalities. He meant us to see Him and live with Him and draw our life from His smile. But we..."

Isn't that always how it goes. God has created us and made it possible through the death of His son to have a perfect communion with Him -- Our Creator! But we step in. Like the prodigal son, we want things our way and we want it now, and if we can't get it... We are upset! Here we are as created beings, and all we care about is the created instead of the creator. And that selfish sin has separated us from the Holy God.

In the Old Testament, the temple was separated into two parts. The outer room was called The Holy Place. The inner-most room was called The Holy of Holies. And in those days it was in the inner-most place that the very presence of God dwelt. The two rooms were separated by a veil. And during the time of the sacrifice the High Priest would enter into the Holy of Holies to sprinkle blood on the altar.

When Christ was on the cross, His final proclamation was, "It is Finished!" At that moment the veil in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. In the book of Hebrews we are told that we can now have entrance into the Holy of Holies. We can have communion with God!

But we block the way.

In many ways self keeps us from entering into that communion. There is still a veil there. "It is woven of the fine threads of the self-life, the hyphenated sins of the human spirit. They are not something we do, they are something we are, and therein lies both their subtlety and their power." Our very being separates us from God. "Self is the opaque veil that hides the face of God from us. It can be removed only in spiritual experience, never by mere instruction. We may as well try to instruct leprosy out of our system. There must be a work of God in destruction before we are set free. We must invite the cross to do its deadly work within us."

This is why Jesus tells us, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me."

Self must die.

"It is never fun to die. To rip through the dear and tender stuff of which life is made can never be anything but deeply painful. Yet this is what the cross did to Jesus and it is what the cross would do to every man to set him free."

But He died so that we might die.

"The cross is rough and it is deadly, but it is effective. It does not keep its victim hanging there forever. There comes a moment when its work is finished and the suffering victim dies. After that is resurrection glory and power, and the pain is forgotten for joy that the veil is taken away and we have entered in actual spiritual experience the presence of the living God."

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