As many of you may know, we are in season of Sabbath and stillness. It is so good to take time to just "be" and give true space for the Lord to fill me up. I'll be honest, it takes me a good amount of time to unwind and settle but I am finally-- after a few weeks-- and finding myself really letting down and experiencing fresh revelations of the Lord.
The other day I was browsing through my sisters book shelf hoping to find a title that would inspire me. I non-chalantly grabbed a book called "The Pursuit of God" by A.W. Tozer in hopes that it would satisfy my craving for a compelling and challenging read (often I am disappointed after a few chapters and stop reading). I am sure some of you are reading this and laughing because you know this classic is all this goodness and more.
To my great delight this book has already, just 3 chapters in, been extremely life giving, challenging to my spirit and stirred up so much passion and love for the Presence of the Lord.
Going back a few months...I found myself feeling a little barren in my soul. It's not to say that I haven't been walking with the Lord and He has surely been speaking and moving in and around me yet somehow beneath it all I still sensed a distance -- a coolness in my passion for the Him. Have you ever been there? There was no "thing" that I could pin point, just a general feeling of stillness in my Spirit.
I am grateful for the words of this Christ follower tonight. They have stirred up such desire and a greater understanding of our Great God. I can already sense Him beginning to uncover new things.
I love that the beginning of experiencing more and more of Jesus is so simple--- desire. I think too often I expect His movement in my life will depend on something I "do" instead of allowing the Lord to work as I draw near to Him.
I have been meditating on the verse in James 4: 8 a lot lately that says "draw near to God and He will draw near to you." So simple and yet so profound. Often I find myself in desolate places because I put forth no effort to come towards Him. But over and over in scripture the Lord says come! And in our coming He responds! Again, the DESIRE is the beginning.
In addition to that desire I have been reminded over and over in my quiet time with the Lord to continually remember His presence is with me and to focus on that in every situation. It is amazing how life changing that has been -- to constantly be aware of the Presence of God in every moment. It changes everything!
Tonight, I was particularly challenged as I was reading, about what hinders our awareness of His endless ceaseless Presence with us. Just as the veil was torn in the temple and the Holy Spirit was unleashed to roam about the earth and dwell in man - - there is still a veil that comes between us and His presence and it is only the light shining on it that will bring it's very existence to our attention. It is what Tozer calls "self-life" and it is so faint and unnoticeable that we often have trouble identifying it -- I know that I do and have.
He goes on to say that "they are not something we do, they are something we are and therein lies their subtlety and their power...self-righteousness, self-pity, self-confidence, self sufficiency, self-admiration...they dwell too deep within us and are too much a part of our nature to come to our attention till the light of God is focused upon them."
I think I was taught to believe it is what we "do" that will come between us and the presence of the Lord in my life not the subtle things that are a part of our flesh and a natural tendency to live for myself. Yet, I am finding it IS my very, subtle, nature that can create the greatest chasm of all. Daily I must die to the "self-life" that comes so naturally and choose to pursue a life in the Presence and for the glory of God. Though that is my true identity -- I must fight for it and be awakened to the gentle veil that arises in my heart separating me from the Holy of Holies.
I desperately want His presence abiding with me, unveiled and unhindered. Afterall, that is what our God fought with for with everything, right? That His presence might return and we might live in oneness with him. I love how Tozer puts it...
"The whole work of God in redemption is to undo the tragic effects of that foul revolt, and to bring us back again into right and eternal relationship with Himself."
What an amazing God to give us another chance for oneness with Him. It is available. His presence is with us always. The fight will be to keep the veil lifted and for our lives to continually reflect and give Glory. Even in writing this I am in awe of how God created us. To be a part in reflecting His glory, all wrapped up in His grace and love with joy and passion shining through. I hope it excites your Spirit as it does mine.
I'll leave you with one last quote and may this remind you of your entire life's purpose...
"Man's chief end is to Glorify God and enjoy Him forever."
May that be the pursuit and desire of our hearts!