My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.—Psa. 63:8
I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain. - AW Tozer, “The Pursuit of God”
We need to wake up. All is not yet over in this uncomfortable season that we are in. As AW Tozer wrote over 50 years ago, God is waiting to be wanted. In this season, is He waiting for us in vain?
What are we waiting for? For things to go back to normal? For routine? Eating out? Socializing? Entertaining? Attending events? Traveling? Shopping? All life activities that are normal, but in no means necessary. Have you replaced some of that time with a fresh pursuit of God?
What if our pursuit of God played critical part of transforming brokenness into God's glory?
2 Chronicles 7:14- if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land
Humbling ourselves. Taking initiative. Our soul following HARD after him...
Yesterday I started the day uploading a podcast I had recorded the day before. Then after, I went for a walk using it to spur me on for the day. I spent 45 minutes listening to God’s word, proclaiming God’s word, praying God’s word for myself and others. Before you think I am patting myself on the back, wait for what happened next.
I went home and ate breakfast. I changed clothes, and headed out for a simple task to get my vehicle inspected because it was due. Yes, I waited to the last day of the month. However, my check engine light had been on for weeks and I was hoping it would go off. When I had gotten into the Jeep that morning it was off! So just in time! Just in time for a spiritual test...
What I thought was going to be an easy task, ate up my whole day. For the first place I went, 3 bays were opened with cars in line. I was one of them. After about 15 minutes, I noticed a bay on the end, the only one that had a BIGGGGG banner across it that said "NY state inspections". Since it was an oil change place, I figured that they had that special bay just for inspections... so as to not interrupt efficient flow of getting cars in and out for oil changes. So I moved from my position; and went partially into that bay to ask. No sooner do I do this, and a man with a stern look comes into the bay and starts waving his arms in upset for me to leave the bay. I open my window and attempt to tell him I just needed an inspection and he barks out, “Get in line with everyone else.” I told him that I was in line before; but since there was a sign on this bay for inspections… He talks over me, cuts me off and says “unless I own the building, I should not be driving into the bay without first being ushered in”. I was shocked. Clearly he took great offense at what I had done, and refused to listen to my reasoning. He stayed intense, and began motioning with his arms, using airplane controller type movements to silence me and get me to back out of the partial entry I made into the bay.
Well. I could not believe how rude he was! So I thought, “Forget you. I’m leaving.” I didn’t want to be serviced there. I took offense at him taking offense. So off I went to find another place and the next places required appointments. So much for trying to stay close to home. I decided to go to my normal place 20 minutes away. Upon arriving, same backlog of cars for bays. I was told it would be a wait of a couple of hours. Okay.
Long story short, 3 hours pass, during which time I leave and walk across to Wegmans. I come back when its finished, only to check out to be wrongly charged for something they were to do (tire rotation), but didn’t do, but said they did. I see my paperwork on the seat, read that they didn’t do it, bring back my receipt for a refund and the confusion ensues for an additional 10 minutes. In the confusion I find myself short-tempered with them for arguing with me when they themselves typed the note into the system of not completing the work, which is also clearly on my paperwork.
The manager admits he forgot it, which I do believe was sincere. But then they couldn’t figure out how to refund the money. At this point of the day, I have lost my patience and let them know I cannot continue to stay, to please figure it out and call me when it is done.
Why am I detailing all of this? Because this was a wake-up call to me. I spent a good portion of the previous night in a 1 hour prayer walking session, then an hour interceding for the nation later on, then waking up to another prayer walk for an hour. I was very disturbed with lack of Spirit led response.
I knew that I did not extend grace to the manager who was being kind to me, but he was just overwhelmed with how busy they were. He was clearly the one trying to help, apologizing for the mistake, and even though he couldn’t figure out how to refund me, was indeed trying to resolve it. Plus, I knew that at the time I was leaving they had about 10-12 cars lined up in 3 bays all waiting for hours. He was under tremendous pressure, and I knew it was like this for them all day.
So I dealt with myself. I had a good talking to myself and with God. I was not a jerk to them, but I was impatient and had let the earlier situation get me stewing and upset. I had opportunity to speak and act in a way to reveal Jesus; but didn’t.
Just as soon as I was finishing up talking to God about this and evaluating myself, the manager calls and says he worked it out reversing the incorrect charge. I had a much different frame of mind after repentance and was kinder, and expressed empathy. He ended the call by adding he would not charge me for the inspection either because he felt badly about the inconvenience and time. And invited me to come back another time, so he could look at my tires for free, and figure out how to get the stuck lug nuts off and complete the work.
Again, why do I tell you all of this? Because folks we are in different times. And people are easily set off; and as a Christian we must have a spirit of self-control and a grace and mercy that stands out. If I am in prayer all that time, yet letting the fact that things happened that ate up my whole day, and then snuffing out my light, how great of a witness am I? This is not a time to be stewing within. It's not a time to be demanding. We may have to take some hits. We may have to be like Jesus right now. Yes. It's time. Let's be like Jesus, no offense. I am saying that to myself and praying for the Spirit's work in me.
He answers. More time in prayer, more time with God makes us much more self-aware. Why? The Spirit is answering our prayers to make us more like Jesus. If you want a "less of me, more of you" exercise, try episode #84 podcast from last week. Found at this link, just scroll down to the episode.
Anybody who would have observed me yesterday might say, “What’s the big deal? Anyone would have been annoyed.” That’s not the point. The point is revival within. I'm not to be anybody. I am to be a reflection of Christ. And it is so desperately needed in me, it is so desperately needed in you. It is a time to walk with the peace of Christ and reveal Him.
As we approach the elections, you can be sure more chaos is around the corner. Chaos and anarchy have not yet subsided really. It is still abounding in some cities. Murder rates are rising at alarming rates in New York, Chicago and other areas. Lawlessness is breaking out. 30 million people just had their unemployment benefits end. People are on edge and easily perturbed like I experienced at my first stop yesterday.
We need a wake up call to the times still. Would you say Christians are awake? Are we in revival mode? Or are we just in a mode of frustration or complacency wanting for things to go back to normal? It’s not going back to normal. And in it all, God is waiting to be wanted. He is waiting for a fire in our belly to burn for Him.
He can intervene. He can heal. He can turn things around. He can revive us. But it begins with you. It begins with me. Non-essential activity vs essential activity. Strip down to essentials…
“If we would find God amid all the religious externals we must first determine to find Him, and then proceed in the way of simplicity. Now as always God discovers Himself to "babes" and hides Himself in thick darkness from the wise and the prudent. We must simplify our approach to Him. We must strip down to essentials (and they will be found to be blessedly few). We must put away all effort to impress, and come with the guileless candor of childhood. If we do this, without doubt God will quickly respond.” AW Tozer- The Pursuit of God
Give yourself a wake up call. Assess if you are in a mode of revival or not. Is the Spirit thriving in you? Are you in hot pursuit? Is God enough?
If you want to go further in reading AW Tozer and the spiritual challenges he brings to bear, it might help in your wake-up call. You can find it offered FREE from the Gutenburg project at this link- https://www.gutenberg.org/files/25141/25141-h/25141-h.htm
I highly recommend it. I am re-reading it myself.
Otherwise, I have continued to release podcasts Monday-Friday. I will highlight yesterday’s. It is a 10 minute proclamation of blessing that you agree and proclaim. Try using it while walking! Listen to it more than once. Let the truth of God’s blessings penetrate, take ownership of them! Wake the sleeping giant within! He’s waiting to be wanted!
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Into the Waters Ministry is a 501(C)3 public charity. Our mission is to inspire you to linger longer with God, to draw near and know Christ. For those willing, it is a place of supernatural hope and healing. I know this first hand. My name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 20+ year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and receiving His life in greater measure! I've experienced radical healing in mind, body, and spirit and believe God for more! I long for others to position themselves for the same! Into the Waters' resources help you spend quality time with God to enter His rest and receive His divine provision. Let us help you experience more of God! Read the blogs, try the exercises, participate in online sessions! His promises for life and wholeness are offered to all! But you have to say "Yes!"