Monday, January 10, 2011

Turning on a Friend

I am amazed how quickly and easily we can turn on a friend.  With only a word or sentence from a mere stranger, we can totally change the way we think about a good friend.  Take “Social Networking” for example, a few comments about a friend and almost immediately you have changed the way you think about your friend.

About 10 years ago my wife and I were selling our home.  We had sold a few homes over the years and made a good business relationship with a local realtor.  So naturally, when it came time to sell this home, we called him.  For whatever reason, our home wasn’t moving and our date to move was approaching fast.  We didn’t have the luxury of waiting until it was sold as we had to move to another state.  In the 11th hour, we had a mother and daughter that showed up at our door wanting to view the home.  We gladly ushered them through hoping for that last minute sale.  They said they had contacted our realtor and he wasn’t returning their calls.  In fact, they were quite insistent that our realtor had dropped the ball.   I bought it hook, line and sinker.  I was already frustrated that our home hadn’t sold, we weren’t getting the showings, I didn’t see much advertising and soon I would be carrying a mortgage for a vacant home.  When I confronted him, rather accused him of not doing his job, he quickly revealed the truth.  He was doing his job, he was advertising and that couple had never called him.  As a result, our relationship was strained and never returned to the level of trust it had once been.

I am reminded of my failure this morning because I read that I am not alone.  In the midst of a lush, beautiful, breath-taking garden we see Adam and Eve.  Perfect in creation, perfect in setting and the best of all, perfect in their relationship with their Creator.  Their heart was wholly in tune with the heart of their Creator.  Their desire was to please God, simply put, to worship and obey.  But one serpent, spitting half-truths and lies to Eve was all it took for her to doubt the word of her Creator and inevitably to disobey, breaking the cycle of fellowship and worship.  Their mistakes would forever change their lives and the lives of their children.  That broken relationship, although forgiven, would never be the same as they experienced before that fatal decision.  (Gen. 3)

The pursuit of maintaining that pure relationship with God is not an easy task.  We must follow hard after God.  Being made in His image we have within us the capacity to know God.  But living on this earth we under a barrage of lies and half-truths that want to strip us away from any relationship with our Creator.  Jesus said, “This is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3.  Examine the lives of the holy men and women of the past.  You will feel their tears, you will hear their heart, you will see their longing and pursuit of God.  Exodus 33 continues to be one of my favorite examples of a person seeking hard after God.  Moses, who already has the best relationship with God of any living person on the planet (33:11) is still longing to know God more.  He says, “If I have favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight.” (33:13).  Do you sense the urgency of his passion to know God more? 

What are you passionate about?  Tozer, in his book The Pursuit of God writes, “If we would find God amid all the religious externals, we must first determine to find Him . . . we must strip down to essentials . . . put away all efforts to impress, and come with the guileless candor of childhood.  If we do this, without doubt God will quickly respond.”

“O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more.  I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace.  I am ashamed of my lack of desire.  O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still.  Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed.  Begin in mercy and new work of love within me.  Say to my soul, ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.’  Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.”
In Jesus’ name,
[The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer, p.18, 20]

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