I wish I could say that.
Truth is, life happens. We forget lessons. We get distracted. And what we hope to be great strides are really only baby steps.
So I was excited when Jason and Sarah picked Brennan Manning's book The Furious Longing of God because, while it hits on the same theme, it approaches it from the other direction: God's Pursuit of Us. Plus, I have been wanting to pick Manning up, hearing so much about The Ragamuffin Gospel. His chapters are short, somewhat poetic, and straight to the point. He doesn't craft arguments of logic like Tozer (which appeal to those who are left-brained like me) and instead goes straight for the heart. I know already I am going to struggle coming up with anything to write about as I need to listen to my heart an not rely solely on my head. Thankfully, Manning helps me cheat by providing discussions at the end of each chapter. I'll get to those in a moment.
You don't want to oversell a promise right out of the gate in your first chapter, but Manning does just that. Based on Song of Songs 7:10 which reads, "I am my beloved's, and his desire is for me." (NASB, emphasis added) he promises that when we truly embrace that truth, this furious longing, our lives begin to transform. One way in particular that stood out to me reads, "In a significant interior development, you will move from I should pray to I must pray." This would indeed be a significant development.
It is hard for me to imagine God pursuing me. I can picture God as the father keeping watch for his prodigal son. but I struggle to see Him in furious pursuit of me. Such a love would in fact bring me to my knees.
I'm not a prayer warrior by any means. I know I should pray. I feel it when I need to pray. But I struggle with the words. It's not that I don't believe God hears my prayer or that he has my best interests at heart. It is more that I let life discourage and distract me. I can't furiously pray because I'm typically too furious about something else to pray.
Meanwhile God is chasing after me, like a beloved after his lover. Shame on me for playing so hard to get!
If I took baby steps towards God following Tozer's Pursuit, then God took leaps towards me. This book may still be baby steps for me but hopefully I begin to toddle. And you know toddlers, once they get started, they're off and running before you know it!
So please join me, Jason, Sarah and others as we dig into this book. We will lean on each other, learn from each other, and prayerfully all grow together.
When you read that phrase- the furious longing of God- what emotions or images does it evoke?
"... I should pray to I must pray." How would you describe the difference between the two?