The Testing Place

Our gifts and talents should be turned over to Him. They should be recognized for what they are, God’s loan to us, and should never be considered in any sense our own. We have no more right to claim credit for special abilities than for blue eyes or strong muscles.
— A.W. Tozer

Loretta and I have added a new book to our morning quiet times together. It's Tozer's "The Pursuit of God." Oh guys, both brutal and beautiful, this book has me trembling to turn each page unlike any book I think I've ever read. It peels away layer after layer of worldly nonsense, stripping away all levels of "self" until you're left with the unavoidable and glorious conclusion that we are here to pursue God and everything that phrase entails. Like I said, brutal and beautiful.

One section that has me shifting in my seat as I type this sentence is 'the testing point." Tozer says that if we would indeed know God in growing intimacy, we must go this way of renunciation. And if we are set upon the pursuit of God, He will sooner or later bring us to this test. We will be brought one by one to the testing place, and we may never know when we are there. At that testing place there will be no dozen possible choices for us - just one, and an alternative - but our whole future will be conditioned by the choice we make.

I have to admit, it's tough to come up for air after being so deep in study in order to deal with things on the surface; the temporary, frail and fleeting flesh. It's almost as if my workouts don't mean as much to me - which is a phenomenon that has been increasingly noticeable over the last few years in my heart - but because we know humble stewardship is a means of praise and obedience, we give it as much effort as God allows and requires, amen? 

But guys, I'm falling more and more in love with Jesus with every rep I can't perform and with my increasingly decreasing intensity, and I just want to know Him and for Him to know me. In one of Tozer's prayers - and I hope it's part of yours - he says, "Father, I want to know thee, but my cowardly heart fears to give up its toys. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival."

Does God have a rival in your heart and mine? Does our pursuit of fitness feel so comfortable that it barges through the front door of our heart, or does it need to be invited in? Let's pursue God together. As much as I want you healthy and as much as I miss my stronger self, I want Him much more. 

- Jimmy Peña