Once again it has been several months since I posted. Lots has happened over the last year! Our son started college, our daughter graduated from college, and God moved us from the sunny southwest to a new church family in the northeastern United States. The summer has been hot, but I am just beginning to see the leaves in my backyard turn to a bright orange! I can’t wait to experience my first autumn in the northeast. I love the change of seasons as it reminds me of God’s faithfulness in my life. Genesis 8:22 says, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (NASB).
I have just started reading AW Tozer’s book entitled The Root of the Righteous. Tozer talks about how modern day Christianity seems to seek after the “fruit” of our fathers rather than the “root out of which the fruit sprang.” We forget that no matter how successful our efforts may seem to be, “there is no lasting life apart from the root.” In our never ending search for significance in this world, we can be tempted to prioritize results over revival. When we find our significance rooted in Christ, we will see that knowing Him is the most important thing and will always result in personal revival.
Part of the reason our priorities are mixed up is because of the instant gratification society we live in. We tend to forget that spiritual growth takes time just like a seed planted doesn’t blossom overnight. Tozer says, “a thousand distractions would woo us away from thoughts of God, but if we are wise we will sternly put them from us and make room for the King and take time to entertain Him. Some things may be neglected with but little loss to the spiritual life, but to neglect communion with God is to hurt ourselves where we cannot afford it. God will respond to our efforts to know Him. The Bible tells us how; it is altogether a matter of how much determination we bring to the holy task.”
Many times what keeps us from desiring to know God more is a wrong perception of Him. Tozer goes on to say,
“It is most important to our spiritual welfare that we hold in our minds always a right conception of God. If we think of Him as cold and exacting, we shall find it impossible to love Him, and our lives will be ridden with servile fear. If, again, we hold Him to be kind and understanding, our whole inner life will mirror that idea. The truth is that God is the most winsome of all beings and His service one of unspeakable pleasure. He is all love, and those who trust Him need never know anything but that love. He is just indeed and He will not condone sin; but through the blood of the everlasting covenant He is able to act toward us exactly as if we had never sinned. Toward the trusting sons of men His mercy will always triumph over justice.”
“The fellowship of God is delightful beyond all telling. He communes with His redeemed ones in an easy, uninhibited fellowship that is restful and healing to the soul. He is not sensitive or selfish nor temperamental. What He is today we shall find Him tomorrow and the next day and the next year. He is not hard to please, though He may be hard to satisfy. He expects of us only what He has Himself first supplied. He is quick to mark every simple effort to please Him, and just as quick to overlook imperfections when He knows we meant to do His will. He loves us for ourselves and values our love more than galaxies of new created worlds.”
Paul certainly knew the treasure of knowing God when he said in Philippians 3:7-14, “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold if it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Fellow Christian, wherever you are in your walk with the Lord today, be encouraged to PRESS ON! If you have sin in your life, confess it and make it right with Him. If you find yourself neglecting time spent getting to know Him, bring it to Him and make it right! Do you find yourself trying to find significance in anything other than knowing Him and His Word? Take it to the cross. Are you facing an insurmountable trial? Remember that when we kneel before Him in surrender at the cross, we can exchange our inability for HIS ability.
“So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth” (Hosea 6:3 NASB).