How can we run from this?

The continuous and unembarrassed interchange of love and thought between God and the soul of the redeemed man is the throbbing heart of New Testament religion. (A.W. Tozer. The Pursuit of God)

 

It’s the throbbing heart of Old Testament religion too.

 

I am stunned again by the heart of God as I listen to Ezekiel while I run at the gym. This God, this one who defies all attempts at description, whose glory shines so brightly he appears as flame, this God is the one who, a few chapters later, declares himself to be Israel’s husband. He has rescued her, nourished and cherished her, made her beautiful with his own beauty. And now he cries out in anger, anger arising from the deep grief of a broken heart: “You adulterous wife! You prefer strangers to your own husband!” (Ezekiel 16:32)

 

The language has become so familiar to us that we scarcely hear it anymore.  We are in him. He is in us. The church is the bride of Christ. We miss the shocking intimacy of the image.

 

Hear it!

 

This God of fire, of passion and life and incomprehensible love, this God longs to penetrate us! He aches with love-sickness to unite Himself to us in the deepest parts of His being and of ours. To live with us and in us in the most intimate of unions. He has given all that He is to draw us to Himself, to make this mystery reality.


Why do we run from such love?


“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 a 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, Amen.”

(A. W. Tozer, “The Pursuit of God”)


Related:

Mid-length and longer quotes from Tozer’s “The Pursuit of God” here and here. The second, longer excerpt is a must-read for all in whom God’s longing stirs a longing to respond.

How He really loves 

You’re not who you think you are

One thought on “How can we run from this?

  1. […] I am known completely. This is a such a comfort when I realize again that I don’t understand the first thing about myself. It doesn’t matter. I am known. (Psalm 139) And in the context of that total knowing, I am loved perfectly, without having to strive for it or earn it or cling to it in fear that the love will let go. I have been chosen forever (Ephesians 1, especially vv. 11-14). And in Christ, I am given fullness (Colossians 2:10). In this world where death and life cling close together in the already-not yet, the fullness is experienced as less than complete, the aching beauty of the intimate now mingled with the longing for final and forever consummation. But it’s a taste that makes us sure: The LORD is good, and we are loved. The invitation is open and the promise given to all who will taste and see. How can we run from this? […]

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