“I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision”
Purpose is the inevitable result of seeing Him. The true Love of God does not leave a life void of passion or purpose. Paul’s presentation of the Gospel made no allowance for a partial pursuit of God. For him, it was unfathomable to love God with a divided heart; becoming more like Christ was the only purpose. He knew in his own experience that the Love of God was the pure power and wonder of Life. Love is the means by which God subdues all things unto Himself. The human heart was created for this: to glorify God and to reveal His wonder, His person and His wisdom to the rest of creation. Continue reading “Vision and Purpose”
“O God, you are my God; I will seek you diligently. My soul thirsts for you…”
The true pursuit of God is a proportional response to our seeing of Him. The diligent seeking of God in the life of David was a consequence of him seeing God in the sanctuary.
“Thus I have seen you in the sanctuary, beholding your strength and glory”
The land wherein David dwelt became a howling wilderness in comparison to the beauty and the glory he beheld in the Holy Place of God.
“…My soul thirsts for you; my flesh longs for you as in a dry and weary land without water”
It is the seeing of the wonder of God that transforms one from being at home in this world into a pilgrim of faith; a sojourner with purpose and a captive of the hope which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. In beholding the Pearl of Great Price men and women are freed from the gravity and pull of this world. His beauty mesmerizes the beholder; it causes an abandonment of all other loves and creates its own quest and inertia. There can be no settling for the artificial and trite for the deep of God beckons His own with the simple cords of Love and Desire.
“Deep is calling to deep at the thunder of your waterfalls…”
The depths of His being calls out to the Christ within. The tendrils of His love grip the soul in the embrace of God Himself. Only the Love of God in Christ Jesus can ignite our hearts into such a pursuit.
“Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it”
“For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images.”
2 Chronicles 34:3
Whenever and wherever a soul begins to seek God in truth, the result will be a purging of unclean things both within and without. Those who declare they are earnestly seeking God but have not this heart, have not yet found God. It is one thing to seek Him; it is another thing to find Him.
“For in the eighth year… he began to seek God and in the twelfth year he began to purge…”
God is not found overnight. He is not found in a few days of seeking. The true in heart set their lives apart to seek Him. It is not a quick and easy process; it takes learning, discovering and an earnest cry within the human heart for Him alone. He is unfathomable, eternal and infinite. The is no end to His Glory nor His purposes for us. One cannot touch Him and remain the same. The life that constantly seeks Him shall surely be filled with the constant finding of Him.
The promise stands sure to all who would find Him.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.”
The secret to finding Him lies in the persistency of seeking.
It is a lifelong pursuit which intensifies in passion because of the beauty that beckons the hungry heart onward. Faith will not be deterred. The human element which seeks for other purposes grows weary in its search; the faithful heart expends itself all the more. The Syrophenician woman would not be dismayed by the seeming rebuffs of Jesus, crying out “even the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs” (Mark 7:28). Jesus responded with great delight at the display of her great faith.
It is incumbent upon us to set our hearts afresh to seek Him and to remain faithful in our pursuit of Him. His promises are sure and those who find Him will speak to the world around them of righteousness and purity of heart. The anointing falls on the life of those who love righteousness and hate iniquity.
“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore, God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness…”
“I long to be filled with divine knowledge, divine wisdom, divine love, divine holiness, to the utmost extent of my capacity. I want to feel that all the currents of my soul are interfused in one channel deep and wide, and all flowing towards the heart of Christ.”
– John Griffith
“Thirsting desires and longings possessed my soul after perfect holiness. God was so precious to my soul that the world with all its enjoyments appeared vile. I had no more value for the favor of men than for pebbles.”
– David Brainerd
“”Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run”
The purpose of the Word of God is to communicate His thoughts and His purpose. They are not to convey a doctrine as it were but to define a “mark”; Paul the Apostle abandoned his life to this (Philippians 3:14). His Word is to portray vision and exhort quest. The Lord spoke to Habakkuk to make plain the vision of God to the intent that men and women would be empowered, encouraged and set aflame to pursue its fulfillment. While many have knowledge few understand they are to “run the race” set before them. “Run” is a New Testament word; it describes the posture we are to have in life. Paul exhorted the Church at Corinth to run. To what end? That ye may attain!
“So run, that ye may obtain”
1 Corinthians 9:24
In other words, there is no obtaining without the running and pursuit of Him. In the minds of many of God’s people “running” is not even a concept. The ministers of the Word of God have failed to set before His people a goal to be reached. The general message is often one of encouragement to support the church, witness when you can and try and be a good person. The true ministration of the Word of God should be one of exhortation and encouragement to “know Him” and to be “found in Him”. The pursuit of Him is that we might attain His likeness.
Make the Vision Plain to the intent That they who have eyes to see ears to hear may Run… with endurance the race set before them
Where there is no true and living vision the people of God will compromise with the goals and temptations of the world. They lose the motivation to run and the empowerment of the Spirit to live a life of passion and single-hearted devotion unto Him.
“Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint…”
We must rise up out of the drowsiness and lethargy of this hour. Let us seek Him alone who can spark the fire and wonder of a fresh vision of God and His purposes. May we be the very flame of God to one another that we might run this race with a new fervor and determination to obtain the prize which is Christ Jesus!
“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
The strait gate and the narrow way that lead unto life in Jesus are, in His own words, found by few. To find a thing precludes that there was effort spent in seeking it. Jesus exhorted us to seek in order to find, to ask in order to receive and to knock in order to enter into the things He has prepared for us.
Much of the preaching of today appeals to the broad and easy way; these lead to destruction. There is very little ministered concerning the “pursuit of God” and finding His purpose for our lives. A gospel which is not costly is a gospel which cannot transform us. The only Life offered us is the resurrected life of Jesus; a life which rises out of our own death to self.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat”
The strait gate speaks of a narrowness of entry; a way that confines the unruly and rebellious heart of the natural man. No wonder it is not a popular message! It is hard to fill our pews by preaching the narrow way. It is hard to promote our programs and agendas when we speak of dying to self, picking up our cross and becoming a disciple of Christ. It is worth noting the context of these two scriptures (Matthew 7:13-14) for Jesus goes on to say:
“Beware of false prophets,
which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves”
It is the false prophets, false teachers and ministers who would present anything other than the strait gate and the narrow way. The disciple of Christ chooses a despised and rigorous way. The way of the cross is the only way into the authentic Life of Christ. The broad way will speak of the life, it will preach about the life but if it does not introduce us to the narrow way of the cross it will remain a theory and a teaching rather than the finding of His Life.
They who seek the narrow way will find it and they who enter through the strait gate have begun the journey into His fullness.
The Narrow Way
The narrow way is the way of contradiction We trade our life for His We forsake our liberty to walk in His We die to self so that we may live We yield our sense of Justice to know His… The Perfect One slain for sinners We receive forgiveness as we forgive others We give up our love to be ruled by His.
May we heed the invitation of Jesus “Enter in…”. It is the heart and call of God to those who have ears to hear.
“You are to think of yourself as only existing in this world to do God’s will. To think that you are your own is as absurd as to think you are self-created. It is an obvious first principle that you belong completely to God.”
– William Law