Wednesday, December 01, 2010

penetrating the veil

over the years, i've had the privilege of praying with some very gifted prayer ministers and intercessors -- the kind of folks who seem to hear the voice of God easily and even to see his face. i'm married to one of them, but there have been a number of others. these are the people tozer once described as prophets -- those who have "gazed with inward eye upon the Wonder that is God" and report what they have seen. in tozer's taxonomy, the foil to the prophet is the scribe, who can share only what he has read. he observed that his generation was overrun with orthodox scribes, but wondered aloud about what had become of the prophets.

for me personally, the comparison stings. i fear that, too often, mine is the voice of the well-studied scribe who knows chapter and verse but has not spent sufficient time in the presence of God. i realize that those are not meant to be mutually exclusive; one should have the latter without neglecting the former. but the question persists: does my soul long for God as the deer longs for the water brooks (psalm 42:1)? are my robes fragrant with the aroma of myrrh and aloes and cassia, out of the ivory palaces (psalm 45:8)? am i abiding in Jesus, the life-giving vine (john 15:4)?

i take heart in the fact that my heart is still hungry for a deeper life with him -- that whatever my spiritual shortcomings, the flame of desire still burns. i'm also grateful that a life with him depends far more on what he has done and yet does than on me.

"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." (from tozer's, the pursuit of God)

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