I have been prayerfully reading through ‘The Pursuit of God’ and was struck by something Tozer said about the role that our ‘senses’ play in being in touch with God and reality.
“With his five senses he engages this real world. All things necessary to his physical existence he apprehends by the faculties with which he has been equipped by the God who created him and placed him in such a world as this.”
The context of this quote is that we are ever aware of the reality of God through the five senses that He has given us. We see, hear, and feel God all around us…all of which leave us with the undeniable fact that He exists. This begs the question, then why don’t we feel closer to Him all of the time?
“The world of sense intrudes upon our attention day and night for the whole of our lifetime. It is clamorous, insistent and self-demonstrating. It does not appeal to our faith; it is here, assaulting our five senses, demanding to be accepted as real and final. But sin has so clouded the lenses of our hearts that we cannot see that other reality, the City of God, shining around us. The world of sense triumphs. The visible becomes the enemy of the invisible; the temporal, of the eternal. That is the curse inherited by every member of Adam’s tragic race.”
Shortly after I read this, knowing that I wanted to write a blog post today, I was having trouble connecting to the internet. So I called Apple and the representative who was working with me put me on hold. And so while waiting I decided to resume my daily Bible reading (yes I know I have an issue with multi-tasking). While on hold, the background (elevator music) came on. It was then that the background music took me on a trip back in time as I heard Bob Dylan singing, ‘Hey Mister Tambourine Man’.
In that instant I connected with what Tozer was saying. There I was reading the Word when my sense of hearing, listening to Bob Dylan, was intruding upon my attention to hear from the Word. It was then that I realized how many times this must happen in the course of a day, “the visible becoming an enemy of the invisible”. We get so used to those interruptions that we think, for some crazy reason, that we can’t live without them.
We live In a day and age when everyone is seeking to understand reality. Every time we turn around, there is another ‘reality television show’ that is so far from reality it is laughable. I mean let’s be honest, how real could anything be with a camera crew following you around everywhere you go.
In everyone’s heart there is a quest to answer the question, “What is reality?” It is the question that haunted Pontius Pilate, the governor of judea who declared Jesus Christ to be innocent, only to cave into political pressure and give permission to have Him crucified.
What is reality? A.W. Tozer answers that question, in his book ‘The Pursuit of God’, as well as I have ever heard it answered.
“What do I mean by reality? I mean that which has existence apart from any idea any mind may have of it, and which would exist if there were no mind anywhere to entertain a thought of it. That which is real has being in itself. It does not depend upon the observer for its validity.”
Take some time to let Tozer’s words sink in. Read it over and over again, and let the Holy Spirit direct you right to the feet of Jesus. Bow your hearts before Him for He alone and all that flows from Him is reality. By His own words, He is the truth, the way, and the life…and there is no way to heaven, no way to God but by Him (John 14:6).
When was the last time you waited for someone you love? This thought came to my mind this morning as I was reading ‘The Pursuit of God’ and I began to meditate upon it.
“A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here waiting our response to His Presence. This eternal world will come alive to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality.”
As I read these words, the word ‘waiting’ jumped out at me. Oh how my heart longs to know the Lord more intimately than I currently do. I long to experience the ‘spiritual kingdom’ which Tozer speaks of. I long to have the eternal world come alive to me. “Why don’t I?” I am sure that I know. I don’t take enough time to sit still, to wait, and reach deep within my heart in order to respond to ‘His Presence’.
I know that He is waiting for me to recognize spiritual truths. I know that He so desires for me to love Him and know Him more intimately than I do.
When my wife and I were dating, I never would have thought about making her wait for an extended period of time. Why? Because I was as excited to be with her, as she was to be with me. It would have been impossible for me to experience the joy of knowing my wife had I kept her waiting and not spent time with her, seeking to know her heart.
And so it is with God. I cannot expect to understand the deepest things of God, unless I answer His call to know me.
Lord help me to respond to Your Presence. I long for the spiritual world to come alive in me. Help me to reckon upon its reality as my heart cries out to you.