PURSUIT OF GOD
When I first became a true believer in and follower of Jesus Christ, I read a book that fully resonated with my newly born passion to know Him… "The Pursuit of God" by A.W. Tozer.
This book captured my longing to genuinely know and experience God. It put words to many of the challenges that I was facing in my own personal pursuit. And, it clearly expressed my bewilderment and, if I’m honest, my disdain for the multitudes of people who claimed the name “Christian” but seemed to have no personal knowledge of or real desire to know Christ. Though he wrote it nearly 30 years prior to my coming to Christ, it couldn’t have been more relevant to my experience in those days.
Because, (as we find illustrated in the lives of God’s people throughout the Bible and clearly expressed in Revelation 2:4), there is a natural tendency to lose this passion to know God over time… a tendency that I have certainly experienced… I seek to check the pulse of my passion for God by picking this book up periodically.
Recently, I did just that. In fact, it was the day before the 60th anniversary of when he wrote his preface to the book. And yet, with a couple of minor exceptions, it is still as relevant to my life, needs, desires, experiences, burdens, and thoughts as a believer as the first day I picked it up. It still makes my heart beat faster for God. It still challenges areas of lethargy that have crept into my spiritual life. It still makes me nod in agreement over the sad state of heart in the lives of so many self-professed “Christians” and “Churches.” Sadly, there are times that this includes the state of my own heart and that of the church I pastor.
What amazes me is that something so relevant today could have been written 60 years ago. And, even more, that something so alive with passion could have been written by a pastor who was in the twilight of his personal journey and ministry rather than at the beginning.
However, it shouldn’t really amaze me. After all, though it’s certainly not the majority nor necessarily the norm, there are married couples who have more passion for one another after 50 years of marriage than on their honeymoon. Why? Because they’ve pursued each other with genuine love and faithfulness for a lifetime. So, how much more can this be true with God… whose love is perfect and character is flawlessly faithful. When we are genuinely experiencing God, our passion for Him will never diminish. It will continue to grow deeper and more real. When we have a passion problem, it’s simply because we have stopped pursuing and experiencing God.
Of course, nothing allows us to experience God and challenges our spiritual lives more than God’s Word… when we consistently expose ourselves to it and genuinely allow it to speak to us. But, I have to confess that there are times when God uses a person like Tozer and the book he wrote to shake me up or, as in this case, to re-shake me up in and to my “pursuit of God.”
I’m curious… Do you have any books or people that do this for you? Even more importantly, how’s your passion for God these days?