Wednesday, July 30, 2014


From A.W. Tozer's Pursuit of God
Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and to bring him nearer to our own image. The flesh whimpers against the rigor of God's inexorable sentence and begs like Agag for a little mercy, a little indulgence of its carnal ways. It is no use...
...Let the seeking man reach a place where life and lips join to say continually "Be thou exalted," and a thousand minor problems will be solved at once. His Christian life ceases to become the complicated thing it had been before and becomes the very essence of simplicity.
I snapped this picture about a week ago at Canaveral National Seashore, perhaps my favorite beach in Florida because it's National Park status keeps it relatively pristine. Watching children at the ocean is pretty amazing. Fear, wonder, and excitement mingle together in completely unselfconscious exploration. Quinn wanted to watch the fish swim by, dig for crabs, chase a manatee down the beach, play in the sand and waves and water. I loved how he would pick up even the most ugly, broken bits of shell and carry them cradled in his hands like precious treasure to safety. Quinn's first trip into the water was a combination of awe and excitement. He couldn't keep the grin off his face, but his steps were timid and many tiny waves sent him running back up to shore.

Holiness has been on my mind recently. A lingering awareness of the depth of my sin haunts me right now, and the Spirit seems to be opening my eyes to false motives, impure thoughts, and unkind words, so I spent some time looking over my notes from John Owen's Overcoming Sin and Temptation. When I focus on my sin, I'm overwhelmed by how deeply rooted are the currents of my sinful nature. Not content with just leading me into temptation, my own sinful nature tries to deceive me by covering up and excusing my sin so that I might be lulled into complacency, arrogance, and indifference. Owen's first admonitions for overcoming sin are about getting a clear sense of the danger of sin and its offensiveness that one might cultivate a desire for deliverance.

But if I cultivate any more desire for deliverance, I just might explode. I'm realizing more and more, though, that I often desire deliverance from the consequences of my sin rather than deliverance from my sin. I have been whimpering against the the rigor of God's inexorable sentence, begging for just a little more indulgence. So now I need deliverance from my deliverance. Sheesh. Good thing I'm not alone on this endeavor.

But something about this picture reminds me that if I, a broken sinful human, delight in Quinn's wonder as he plays on the seashore, how much more must God delight in me as I play on the edge of eternity. I may build castles that get swept away, store up treasures of little ugly bits of nothing, flee in terror from the tiniest of waves, and chase the shadows of larger wonders down the beach -- but in all of these things, he delights in me simply because I'm there.

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