Mike Pratt, the missionary pastor I serve under, is an avid reader of many books. His diligence has encouraged to pick up a few titles that I have been neglecting. I’ve, for a while, wanted to re-read the Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman. That was a book that Rich Day, my Bible college director, had us read in our Gospel of Mark class. I finished that book about a week or two ago, and since have also read Patient Evangelism by Lloyd Pulley. Lloyd Pulley is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Old Bridge in New Jersey.
The most recent book I started (I actually started it yesterday) is the Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer. Just in the first chapter, I detect a slight hint of what some might call “Christian Mysticism,” but not in a bad way. It’s somewhat refreshing, actually, and challenging to my current mode of life. What I mean by that is that he desires for himself and his readers a personal, intimate knowledge of God. This knowledge is not to be a concept derived from the reading of many books of theological importance, but a real, living relationship of a person. The words he writes are reminiscent of Brother Lawrence’s Practicing the Presence of God.
As a Christian musician, one of my greatest, and yet most fleeting desires is to be able to write my own songs of praise and worship to my Lord. I’ve wondered how others come to a place of ability to write verses that move me so greatly and seem to draw me closer to the throne room of God. I’ve tried going through the Psalms and searching for verses that moved my heart in this way, as I’ve seen other musicians do, so that I could put them to music. I’ve tried just sitting with pen or guitar in hand and waiting for inspiration to come. Neither very often bring any fruit. It seems that the times I’ve been able to write songs to God and really feel inspired were times of my greatest emotional need. At the same time, though, I don’t feel like writing a song every time something bad happens to me.
As I was reading Tozer’s book, I believe I was struck with the key to these expressions of love for God in lyrical poetry. The key to such worship is simple that: worship. It is the pursuit of God.
I’m a young man that likes to be on the move. I love to always be doing something. This, in turn, has led to the temptation and sin of not giving God the time in my life that He deserves. It’s not that I’m skipping my devotion time in the morning or missing church, but I find in myself a tendency to relegate these excellent tools of seeking God to simply experiences contained within themselves. I read the Bible to gain knowledge of the Bible instead of pursuing the One Who wrote the book. I go to church out of routine rather than out of service to the One Who created the people there. Yes, I know God wants me to read His Word (Joshua 1:8) and to assemble with His people (Hebrews 10:23-25); however, if I do those things without the blessed and unconcluding pursuit of knowing Him (John 17:3), what good are they of themselves?
I pray that you are coming to a place, as I am while reading this book, that you are led and drawn to seek the Lord. As with the Kings in 1 and 2 Chronicles, the secret to staying close to God and in His will is seeking Him. Please pray for me in this way.