To have found God and still to pursue Him is a paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily-satisfied religious person, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux stated this holy paradox in a musical four-line poem that will be instantly understood by every worshipping soul:
We taste Thee, O Thou Living Bread,
And long to feast upon Thee still:
We drink of Thee, the Fountainhead
And thirst our souls from Thee to fill.
Come near to the holy men and women of the past and you will soon feel the heat of their desire after God. Let A. W. Tozer’s pursuit of God spur you also into a genuine hunger and thirst to truly know God.
Read by Mark Christensen.
Listen to our other great, free Christian audiobooks here: https://www.youtube.com/anekopress
Ch. 1: Following Hard after God…9:34
Ch. 2: The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing…28:12
Ch. 3: Removing the Veil…47:20
Ch. 4: Apprehending God…1:15:39
Ch. 5: The Universal Presence…1:35:11
Ch. 6: The Speaking Voice…1:55:33
Ch. 7: The Gaze of the Soul…2:14:49
Ch. 8: Restoring the Creator-Creature Relation…2:39:22
Ch. 9: Meekness and Rest…2:58:53
Ch. 10: The Sacrament of Living…3:13:55
Continue in what you have learned . . . how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:14–15
An outspoken atheist believes it’s immoral for parents to teach their children religion as though it were actually true. He even claims that parents who pass along their faith to their children are committing child abuse. Though these views are extreme, I do hear from parents who are hesitant to boldly encourage their children toward faith. While most of us readily hope to influence our children with our view of politics or nutrition or sports, for some reason some of us treat our convictions about God differently.
In contrast, Paul wrote of how Timothy had been taught “from infancy . . . the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). Timothy didn’t arrive at faith as an adult through the power of his own, unaided reason. Rather, his mother nurtured his heart toward God; then he continued in what he had learned (v. 14). If God is life, the source of true wisdom, then it’s vital for us to tenderly cultivate a love for God in our families.
There are many belief systems that are influencing our children. TV shows, movies, music, teachers, friends, the media—each of these carry assumptions (either obvious or under the radar) about faith that exert real influence. May we choose not to be silent. The beauty and grace we’ve experienced compels us to guide our children toward God.
Reflect & Pray
Reflect on the myriad influences and messages children (or all of us) receive in a given day. How do these forces shape you and those you love?
Dear Father, thank You for the joy and privilege to gracefully nurture children’s hearts toward You.
The world around us is always changing, but that isn’t the case with its Creator. Consider God’s love: It’s not simply a trait He possesses but an attribute, an essential aspect of who He is. Everything He says and does flows from the truth that “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
Since God is unchanging, we can rest in His promises. But that doesn’t mean we can expect life to always be easy. Though we’re sure of being redeemed and, ultimately, raised from the dead, Jesus did say life will involve tribulation. If the cost of following Him seems overwhelming, take comfort in this: You’ll never be alone. When you suffer, He’ll suffer with you.
God is always with us, within us. Even when we think He is absent, He’s right there and always been—it’s just that for some reason, our feelings don’t match the truth. So instead of asking if God is present to us, the better question is, Are we being present to Him?
Think About It
• Of the things God has revealed about Himself in Scripture, which do you find hard to comprehend? Ask Him to teach you more about Himself in those areas.
• If we know it’s true that God is always with us, what does it mean when we say He is “present”?
“They shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” (Exodus 3:13-14)
Moses had been specially trained by God for the task ahead. He had been raised in Pharaoh’s household and had no doubt learned the wisdom of Egypt. Moses was well acquainted with authority, both exercising it and submitting to it. It comes somewhat as a surprise, then, that when told by God that he would be the one to lead his people out of bondage, he both objected to assuming such a leadership role and even questioned God’s authority over the situation.
But when he first realized that he couldn’t talk God out of using him, Moses expressed doubt as to God’s ability to bring this about. He asked God for more proof of His authority over mankind, evidently feeling that merely being “the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (3:6) was insufficient authority. He couched his question in a roundabout way, claiming that the unbelief of the people of Israel was such that “they” would want to know, but this was not the case at all. When Moses first explained God’s plan to the “elders of the children of Israel” (4:29), “they bowed their heads and worshipped” (4:31).
God graciously answered Moses with the wonder-filled declaration “I AM THAT I AM.” He is the self-existent One. He is, simply because He is. No one made Him. He made all else that is, including Moses and the Egyptians. This assurance empowered Moses for 40 years and should be enough to empower us. “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:5-6). JDM
I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
I have been thinking recently about how important my thoughts are. I don’t have to do wrong to get under blistering conviction and repent. I can lose the fellowship of God and sense of His presence and a sense of spirituality by just thinking wrong. God has been saying to me, “I dwell in your thoughts. Make your thoughts a sanctuary in which I can dwell. See to it.” You can’t do anything with your heart—that is too deep—but you can control your thoughts….
Your theology is your foundation. The superstructure is your spiritual experience built on that foundation. But the high bell towers where the carillons are—those are your thoughts. And if you keep those thoughts pure the chimes can be heard ringing out “Holy, Holy, Holy” on the morning air.
Make your thoughts a sanctuary God can inhabit, and don’t let any of the rest of your life dishonor God. See to it that not a foot of ground is unholy. See to it that every hour and every place is given over to God, and you will worship Him and He will accept it. TWE010-011
May my thoughts be a sanctuary, Father, where You can dwell comfortably. Amen.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
—2 Timothy 3:16
The Bible will never be a living Book to us until we are convinced that God is articulate in His universe. To jump from a dead, impersonal world to a dogmatic Bible is too much for most people. They may admit that they should accept the Bible as the Word of God, and they may try to think of it as such, but they find it impossible to believe that the words there on the page are actually for them….
The facts are that God is not silent, has never been silent. It is the nature of God to speak. The second Person of the Holy Trinity is called the Word. The Bible is the inevitable outcome of God’s continuous speech. It is the infallible declaration of His mind for us put into our familiar human words. POG074-075
The Spirit guides us by the Scriptures, by their general principles and teachings and by bringing to us special passages from the Word, either impressing them on our hearts through the law of mental suggestion or by various ways fitted to emphasize a passage as a divine message to our hearts. ISS042
You are The Door But I’m afraid of You! What shall I find If I should venture through?
The door to what?
I’d like to know.
The destination please,
And then I’ll go!
Through You I shall find Peace perhaps, or pain? Through You I may know Struggle, stress and strain! But answers I have anguished To find out Shall be revealed Through You I have no doubt!
The Door to Hope,
To all that’s true,
The Door to God Himself
John Gowans, O Lord!