"To most people, God is an inference, not a reality. He is a deduction from evidence which they consider adequate; but He remains personally unknown to the individual." AW Tozer in The Pursuit of God
This describes my whole life. I grew up believing in God, but He was an inference, not a reality. A theory left untested. After my experience at Boot Camp, summer 1990, my God became reality to me. This is better than winning the lottery, better than finding treasure, better than anything I could have imagined. It is all my dreams x100 wrapped up in one.
Since then, my life has been a fearsome adventure of attempting to keep my sense of the reality of God. Some days I feel alone, lost and as if God has somehow been a figment of my imagination. Other times (the best of times) He is so real that nothing else seems real but Him. He is Treasure indeed. All my soul's longings wrapped up in one. If there is any battle I am engaged in now (and have been for 20 years) it is the battle described by the apostle Paul in Philippians 3: the fight to know Him better, to apprehend Him more, or rather, have Him apprehend me more. It is a glorious pursuit. I am head-over-heals in love with Jesus! He is the central figure of my life; He is all the world to me.
Don't get me wrong. I have not come anywhere near being a "holy guru" of spirituality. I have not come anywhere near anything actually. It's just that even the small tastes I have had with my pathetic attempts to meet God have exploded my soul with joy and satisfaction.
Don't get me wrong. I have not stopped living a "normal" life. I still engage in marriage, raising children, working a job, enjoying espresso and a good steak, good days and bad days. Sometimes I live for a few hours the way I think life should be lived, then I fail and falter in my walk and do things that are stupid. It's not that my face now so shines with glory that everyone who sees me bows down and tells me I am wonderful and must be God's best friend. Nope, I am just the neighbour out mowing my lawn like everyone else. It's just...it's just that sometimes I glimpse what it is that life is meant to be. A glorious union between us and the One who made us for Himself.
Phil. 3:8-16 (Message)
Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I've dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn't want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God's righteousness.
I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.
I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.
So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you'll see it yet! Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it.