Friday, May 25, 2007

Pursuing Godliness

It's funny how the pursuit of Godliness can fade so easily when our circumstances change. Summers, it seems, are the worst for people. They are for me. I have to work constantly to keep pursuing God during the summer. Quiet times can so easily fade away - and I have a good pattern of having them already. Disciplined times of prayer can vanish in a heartbeat, though I have long since come to enjoy them regularly. The pursuit of God is not something that we can let up in. It is an ongoing process, a quest that never ends. If we do not feed our faith, it will wither, and eventually shrivel up to the point of death.

As Beven Unrau noted to us at Glorieta in March - we're always only one choice away from backsliding, be that into sin or out of discipline. We can be having fantastic victory in a given area in our lives, yet to slip back into those old, dangerous habits, is very, very easy.

I've noticed that it's particularly easy to slip back into old patterns when we go home for the summer - when we are in an environment that is different than that we're used to, and one that harkens back to a time when we were different. Too, we have to deal with the general relaxation of sorts that comes with summertime - and the temptation to relax spiritually as well as in other ways. That's a dangerous temptation. It's one that is difficult to counter, too, because it's a function of the circumstances surrounding you, rather than simply of your own heart. The two combine to make for a challenging battle.

Seeing it as a battle helps, though - immensely. It helps because it focuses the situation. It makes it clear that it's not just a matter of dealing with a little change in circumstances, but rather part of the grander struggle against our flesh and against the spiritual powers of darkness that seek our destruction.

It's interesting... I've been reading in Job the last month or so. There is so much truth about God's character buried in the midst of the arguments and debates - so much affirmation that yes, He is good and righteous and holy and just: that He is without parallel, without any comparison. That we cannot understand all His ways and purposes is a good thing. As I noted recently, if He were comprehensible, He would not be God.

It is that - the knowledge of Him - that gives me hunger to press on, to continue drawing near to Him regardless of what hindrances might try to raise themselves up around me. Laziness is not an option. Pursuing Godliness requires that we sacrifice. And the sacrifice is more than worth it.

For what compares in any way to knowing God?

May His blessings and peace be with you all.

- Chris


  1. i've found in my life seasons of being sat down and held still ... where God emphasizes His pursuit of me ... placing me back into "my place" ...

    i can get to a place where i'm almost arrogant ... thinking i'm so good b/c i pursue God so fervently ... then God sits me down ... until i'm still and quiet ... and i'm driven on my face before Him ... HIM! and He has once again pursued me ... and revealed to me that everything about my ability to pursue Him is given to me from Him and is nothing of myself but is ALL about Him ALL the time.

    really cool :)

  2. oh, and i like this:

    "when we are in an environment . . . that harkens back to a time when we were different."

    how wise ... amazing what being in places, environments, experiencing smells and textures and tastes ... taking us back to a time and place *when* ... realizing we are not who we *were* ... and yet finding a way to be who we are *now* in a place where we once were . . .

  3. Good reminder. Thanks for sharing it.
    I know the exceedingly hectic pace, to include having many visitors, over the last couple weeks has certainly disturbed my routine for quiet times and prayer times...
    ... and pretty much everything else.


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