Sylvia Colville

Part 2 – Abiding in Him

Abiding in Him – Our pursuit

In Pursuit of God – A book by AW Tozer.

Within the fold of conservative Christianity, there are to be found increasing numbers of people whose religious lives are marked by a growing hunger after God Himself. They are eager for spiritual realities and will not be put off with words, nor will they be content with correct interpretations of the truth. They are thirsty for God and they will not be satisfied until they have drunk deep at the fountain of living water.

This is the only real harbinger of revival that I have been able to detect anywhere on the religious horizon. It may be a cloud the size of a man’s hand for which a few saints here and there have been looking.

It can result in a resurrection of life for many souls and a recapture of radiant wonder which should result in faith in Christ. That wonder which has all but fled the church in our day.

But this hunger must be recognized by our religious leaders. Current evangelicalism has (to change the figure), laid the altar and divided the sacrifice into parts, but now seems satisfied to count the stones and rearrange the pieces with never a care that there was not a sign of fire upon the top of lofty Mount Carmel.

But God be thanked that there a few who care. There are those who, while they love the altar and delight in the sacrifice are yet unable to reconcile themselves to the continued absence of fire. They desire God above all. They are thirsty to taste for themselves the piercing sweetness of the love of God and the love of Christ, about whom all the prophets did write and the psalmists did sing.

Following hard after God

Ps.63:8 – My soul follows close behind You. Your right hand upholds me.

Christian theology teaches the doctrine of prevenient grace, which briefly stated means this: Before a man can seek God, God must first have sought the man. Before a sinful man can think a right thought of God, there must have been a work of enlightenment done within him. It may be imperfect but it is a true work nonetheless and is the secret cause of all desiring and seeking and praying which may follow.

We pursue God because and only because He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit. No one can come to me, said our Lord, unless the Father, who has sent Me draws him. And it is by this very prevenient drawing that God takes from us every vestige of credit for the act of coming.

The impulse to pursue God, originates with God. But the outworking of that impulse is our following hard after Him. And all the time we are pursuing Him, we are already in His hand.

In this divine upholding and human following there is no contradiction. All is of God. For as Von Hugel teaches us, God is always previous.

In practice however, that’s where God’s previous working needs man’s present response. Man must pursue God. On our part there must be positive reciprocation if this secret drawing of God is to eventuate in an identifiable experience of the divine.

In the warm language of personal feeling, this is stated in Psalm 42, “As the hart pants after the water brooks, so my soul pants after Thee O God, My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?

This is deep calling unto deep and the longing heart will understand it.

Prayer: Oh my Lord, the longing of Your heart is that we know You. Throughout scripture we see that. ‘Love Me with all your heart and mind and strength.’

We know that whatever holds our gaze – also holds our heart.
And where our heart is, there our treasure is also. And where our treasure is, there our heart is also.
Lord, we fix our gaze on You. We ignore the stumbling blocks that the enemy puts in the way of our spending quality time with You by taking every thought captive to the Lord Jesus Christ.

How do I take every thought captive? This is not just speaking about taking the thought captive that just sped through your mind. It is about you and I deliberately taking control over our thought life by focusing on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lord I choose to focus on You. I focus on who You are. You are Jehovah Elyon, the Lord Most High. You are Jehovah Elohim, the Eternal Creator. It is because of You that I exist. The heavens declare Your glory, Your power and Your might. The immaculate, intelligent design behind everything that exists astounds me in its greatness. Who is there like You? There is no one like You.

Thank You. Thank You to the One who upholds me in every single way. You sustain me my Lord. You equip me my Lord. You infuse my life with Your strength. Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit, my teacher, my guide, my comforter – the One who whispers within my spirit and brings to remembrance all that I need to know. I am so grateful my Lord.

Teach me my Lord. Here I am.

Worshiping Him in Spirit and in truth begins with seeking Him first

When we spend time really reading the Word, we are spending time with Him. We are learning to know Him. We are partaking and eating and making sure that we are full of the living bread, continually. Drinking that living water and tapping into the well that is living in you and I. Making sure that we are in communion with Jesus.

The longer you and I take to gaze into the depths of His word, the clearer our understanding and the more you and I know Him for Jesus and the Word are one and the same.

The bride is filled with His light.
Every day that you and I spend with Him in the spirit, we will be stronger in the Lord – because we will be weaker in the flesh and stronger in spirit. This is our journey.
This is about dying to self so that He can live in and through us.

This is not about becoming a monk, becoming cloistered away from life here on earth.
It is about seeing the world through the eye gate of Christ. It is about seeing people through the love and compassion of Christ. It is about reigning in life through the One, Christ Jesus. Short recap on the responsibility of the branch and the responsibility of the vine.

If I cut a branch off the vine it will wither and die. Why? Because it gets its life and sustenance from the vine. That is the responsibility of the vine. The branch has no capacity of keeping itself alive.

In the same way, our spiritual life is the responsibility of the vine. The vine will provide the life and the sustenance we need. Spirit, soul and body. Our responsibility is to stay connected. Make getting into His Presence a priority in your life. It will keep the connection strong and the stronger the connection, the greater the flow of His life into you.

Seek first the kingdom and everything else will be added to you.
It all boils down to this, ‘Does He have your heart?’
Does the bridegroom hold your heart? He did not call you because of your perfect performance. He called you because He loves you and He wants to be the one who is perfecting you. What He wants is your heart. Does He have your heart?

Learning to love Him happens when we spend time in His Presence. In time it will produce a reverence and holy awe and worship is our response. Humility is the result of understanding His majesty and not just His majesty but a wonder that He has been so good to us, so kind to us. Surrender is our response. A desire to do the right thing is the response. This humility that we experience is the very foundation of an obedient life.

All of this is what Jesus is talking about when He warns the loveless church about the state of their first love.

Rev. 2:2-5 – I know your works, your labour, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars, and you have persevered, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. (Is He happy with all of this? YES! Basically, they are fulfilling the second commandment!)

Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love. (He is talking about the first commandment and that in all their busyness He has been sidelined. They have become satisfied/content with their performance. But are unaware that He is no longer the center of their hearts. Where you treasure is, there is your heart also. This can even be applied to your ministry.)

Remember, therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

This is my ministry. There is a God given urgency in my heart to awaken the bride and to draw her into His Presence. To reignite the flame of her first love. To fan the flames of her first love because when you put in the effort to pursue Him, you will be strengthening the connection between Him and you. And the stronger the connection, the more He can birth His nature and character, His life, in you.

Why do I spend so much time teaching on Gen.1:26, the Cross and the gift of salvation? Because if no one expands your expectancy. You will be content to step through the cross and live your normal life without ever fulfilling what He has created you for. And what is that? To reflect His image and be His light bearer.

The bride is His light bearer and reflects His image.

Rev.21:9-10 – Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.

Rev.21:22-23 – But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.

Who is the Light? Jesus.
It is Christ in her that is shining forth from her.

Pursue Him. This is the only thing that will matter at the end.