In reading AW Tozer’s The Pursuit of God, each word has felt like a drink from the most satisfying well. It is an absolute truth that in Christ, we have everything. I fear that in the 21st century church, we may put too much of a price on things, experiences, and people to meet that desired happiness. This is addressed to both those inside and outside the church.
Do we really know what we are singing when we say, “Jesus, you are my everything?”
This truth once again settled in the pit of my stomach when reading Brendan Busse’s article, Grace Enough. Busse sat down with actor Andrew Garfield, who recently played in the film Silence. The movie tells the story of two missionaries who travel to Japan to locate their mentor in a land where the name of Jesus leads to persecution.
As Busee and Garfield converse over breakfast, Garfield states, “I feel like I’ve been gifted and cursed with a closeness to some grief…the grief of living, the grief of living in a time and a place where a life of joy and love is impossible.”
Here is an actor in a career that has given him fame, riches and more, and yet, he is grieved by life, searching for something more. A few moments later, Garfield exclaims, “God! That was the remarkable thing-falling in love, and how easy it was to fall in love with Jesus.” As their breakfast continued, Garfield explained that he understood now what he tried searching for through his vocation. In the absence of Jesus Christ, he had been searching for life in other places, but had become miserable in the act of doing so.
It occurred to me. Why are there so many songs, books, movies and television shows about love or the idea of love? I believe we create out of a deep longing for that which we were created for: a love that requires giving up everything, yet then attaining everything in the process. What a powerful revelation.
Tozer writes,“There is within the human heart a tough fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to possess…things have become necessary to us, a development never originally intended.”
Whether that be a relationship, a career, a position of status, materialistic things, leadership in ministry, the list goes on and on, none of these things will bring us joy.
I know it’s so simple, but finding God, truly becoming satisfied in Him alone, will bring us the joy and fulfillment that our spirits thirst after.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith. the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9
There are moments in our lives when we experience loneliness, despair, trials and tribulations of various kind, but in those moments, we find God, truly find Him. We come to understand that everything could be stripped away from us, but even then, we can sing, “It is well with my soul.”
Tozer explains this so perfectly, “The way to deeper knowledge of God is through the lonely valleys of soul poverty.”
Interesting enough, Garfield also came to this same realization. Read more here.
A realization that each of us must come to, that there is a blessedness in possessing nothing, whether that be lack of emotional or physical possession. For in the lonely valleys of soul poverty, your soul will come to understand, find and experience that Jesus is your everything.