Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Longing for the Sweetness of God

It's been a long time since I posted anything to my blog. Sometime life just gets so busy and I must let go of all that can be let go, and this blog has been one of those things. But alas, I think I can make the time now to post something here and there which I hope will bless those who read it. Here is a little article I wrote for our church newsletter last week.

Earlier this week I began re-reading a classic work by A. W. Tozer called The Pursuit of God (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1982). Although the self-educated Tozer penned many works in his life, Pursuit is probably the most beloved of them all not in the least because he literally wrote it on his knees. The book was born in prayer, it smells of the aroma of God, and it will fan into flame the affections of every eager soul who hungers after God.

I first read Pursuit when I was in college and it is no exaggeration to say that the wisdom in this book gave shape to the entirety of my preparation for ministry. And central to that wisdom is the idea that the pursuit of God is about experiencing God himself and not only apprehending truth about him. Consider, for example, this passage from the preface:

“Sound biblical exposition is an imperative must in the Church of the Living God. Without it no church can be a New Testament church in any strict meaning of that term. But exposition may be carried on in such a way as to leave the hearers devoid of any true spiritual nourishment whatever. For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts” (10).

Oh how I love that last phrase and how I long to “taste and know the inner sweetness of God” deep within my soul. Oh how I long for God to be so attractive to me that all my passions are directed toward him. Oh how I long to be so consumed with desire for God that all other things take their proper place in my life and the “things of this world grow strangely dim.”

Do you long for God like this? Do you want to long for him like this? Whatever your answer pray and ask God to help you and in his own time and way he will hear you. To know God is indeed sweet, even if sometimes piercing, and I pray that we as a church will long for God above all other things, comprehending the truth with more depth of insight and experiencing God himself with more intensity of emotion.

Longing for the sweetness of God with you,
Pastor Charlie

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