Thursday, September 16, 2010

Seeking Him who is Here

Here is a devotional I just wrote for our church's weekly newsletter:

We who love Christ are yet sinners, and therefore we sometimes need to be reminded of things we know but tend to forget. Obvious things, important things, profound things, but forgotten things. This is the purpose of the fifth chapter of A. W. Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1982), namely, to remind us of the simple fact that God is present and can be experienced, loved, heard, obeyed, and praised regardless of our location or circumstances. “Wherever we are, God is here” (62).

This, Tozer asserts, we Christians know well in our heads but often fail to experience in our lives. The ubiquitous presence of God is a truth “believed by every instructed Christian. It remains for us to think on it and pray over it until it begins to glow within us” (62). That is, it remains for us to ponder the reality of the presence of God until his glory lights up our souls and melds our hearts to His.

And the thing that will indeed light up our souls is the conscious realization that this truth is really true: “Wherever we are, God is here.” I am writing this devotional at a Starbucks, and God is here. We are gathered for worship in a gym at the Handke, and God is here. Soon we will return to our homes and schools and places of work, and we will be able to say, “God is here.” As the reality of this truth lands on us, our souls will indeed begin to glow within us and something of the holiness of all of life will begin to rise up within us.

But how are we to progress from being people who assent to truth to being people who experience the manifest presence of God? Tozer answers that we must simply and persistently cultivate within our lives what he calls “spiritual receptivity.” Reflecting on those saints who were well acquainted with the presence of God, he writes, “I shall say simply that they had spiritual awareness and that they went on to cultivate it until it became the biggest thing in their lives…They developed the life-long habit of spiritual response” (67).

As with everything in life, we will reap only what we sow. If we sow to the flesh we will reap corruption but if we sow to the Spirit we will reap eternal life, and we know that eternal life is knowing God, experiencing communion with God in Christ (Gal 6:8; John 17:3). Therefore, may we persistently sow into a life of communion with him who is truly life, and may we come to know the glory—truly to know the glory—of the truth: “Wherever we are, God is here.”

Seeking him who is here with you,

Pastor Charlie

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