A soul thirsting for the living God

Last year I bought A.W. Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God, published in 1948. It’s only about 100 pages so it was a quick read. I knew I would eventually want to read it again to really reflect on it. I have been preoccupied the last few months relocating to a different state. Now my husband and I are settled in our new home and I’m ready to dive back into this book.

In the preface to the book, Tozer addressed a problem he saw with conservative Christianity. Many religious leaders did not see how hungry people are for God. Then, as now, there was no shortage of people who could teach fundamentals of the Christian faith from the Bible. But too often, this teaching did not satisfy a believer’s longing to experience the presence of God.

It is a solemn thing, and no small scandal in the kingdom, to see God’s children starving while actually seated at the Father’s table.

A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

The word of God had been widely disseminated and as a result, millions of people had Biblical knowledge. But Tozer wondered if “true spiritual worship” had ever been lower. As he observed, many churches put on a program every week and people came to church to be entertained. Few people engaged in real worship.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

Psalm 42:2

Tozer said that “the Bible is not an end in itself.” It is a means to bring people into an intimate relationship with God. It takes more than words to nourish the hungry soul. A person also has to “find God in personal experience.”

As a soul thirsting for the living God, I relate to what Tozer wrote decades ago. I’ve sat in the pew many times feeling like I’m watching a program when what I really want is to worship God. I’ve heard good sermons that really touched my heart but I’ve also listened to countless sermons that left my soul unsatisfied. In group Bible studies, I have been frustrated because people seem to care more about learning historical facts than about drawing closer to the living God.

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.

John 4:23-24

The time has come to worship the Father in Spirit and in truth.

Lord, I want to seek you, I want to find you, I want to know you. In every season, in every moment, I will bring my heart and seek you first.

****

First (Lauren Daigle)

Before I bring my need
I will bring my heart
Before I lift my cares
I will lift my arms
I wanna know You
I wanna find You
In every season
In every moment
Before I bring my need
I will bring my heart
And seek You

Ideas for going deeper in your faith

The pastor of my church preached a sermon series on Living Deep and then gave us a list of 14 practical steps to help us go deeper in our faith. I took the liberty of rephrasing a few of them. The most useful piece of advice for me is to look beyond what I can see to the deeper reality of what God is doing behind the scenes.

  1. Trust in God’s loving plans.
  2. Trust in God’s loving protection.
  3. Depend on the Holy Spirit.
  4. Look beyond what you can see to the deeper reality of God’s work.
  5. See yourself through God’s loving eyes. (Examine yourself accurately  based on God’s truth.)
  6. Come out of hiding and confess your brokenness.
  7. Simplify your life and make time with God a priority.
  8. Dive deep and immerse yourself in Scripture.
  9. Remember who you once were and embrace your new identity. (Learn from your history and get wiser.)
  10. Focus on who you are (and can become) rather than on what you should do.
  11. Replace unhealthy thoughts with healthy ones.
  12. Choose the right path each day. (Choose a new direction and start on it again each day.)
  13. Cultivate thankfulness, generosity, and kindness.
  14. Become an everyday vessel for God to use.

And here’s one of my own to grow on:

  • Seek God’s truth and wisdom.