“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, the prophet
How do we press on to know our God, press on into intimacy with Him? Our God has a personality, and our personalities are designed to interact with His. Pursuing intimacy with Him is much the same as the way in which we pursue greater intimacy with any person. If I want to become more intimately acquainted with a person, I will make that relationship a priority in my thinking and planning. This will lead to spending more time with together. When I discover the interests and pleasures of the other person, I will adjust my activities to include more of these in our shared experiences. Devoting significant time to listening to the other person, so as to understanding his or her priorities and passionate pursuits. Include them in more of my life activities as well as joining in those of the other will be important. Central to all of this is a decision to make one’s living less about self and more about the other.
So it is when we seek to intimately know and understand our God. It begins with a decision to pursue this deeper intimacy, to seek a deeper revelation of Himself to us personally. This pursuit must progress to the point where it rises above all other pursuits. AW Tozer had this to say about the consummate nature of our pursuit of God: “I want the presence of God Himself, or I don’t want anything at all to do with religion… I want all that God has or I don’t want any.”
To decide to not pursue our God, to not become an intimate and confidante of His is not an option. To put off that pursuit “until later” is in fact a choice to not pursue. It is an abandonment of our calling as created beings, and is an expression of spiritual complacency and self-centered thinking. The first commandment of the ten reads thus: “And God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”” By default, to choose to not pursue our God above all is to choose to pursue selfish control and self-serving desires above our God. We become the new “god” in our world, which is exactly the idea of idolatry, and we seek to be the controller of our thinking and living.
There is room for only one God in our living; only one being can be the ruler and controller, the lord of our living. It is either us and whatever false demigods we choose to fill up our thinking and living, or it is the one true and rightful Lord. This is true for those who do or do not consider themselves “Christian.” Many professing followers of our God are acting in control of their living (as much as a finite being can control life), and have substituted the “churchianity,” mentioned in the previous post, for the pursuit of intimacy with the Lord God. The pursuit of our God must become a passionate pursuit, or it misses the point completely. There is only one way to God, the path of single-minded devotion to intimacy with Him. John Piper said it this way: “The pursuit…is not optional. It is not an “extra” that person might grow into after he comes to faith. Until your heart has hit upon this pursuit your “faith” cannot please God. It is not saving faith. Saving faith is the heartfelt conviction not only that Christ is reliable, but also that He is desirable.”
More on choosing to press on to know our God in a future Adventure Blog post.