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Fix Your Gaze on Christ

Our need remains the same – to see Christ more clearly, so He may be loved and trusted more deeply and really by us.  So that when Satan comes to threaten us with fear to draw back from following Christ, to love our selves rather than Him, to try and preserve our possessions instead of clinging to Him as our treasure, we stand fast and resist him with our hearts free from the love of this world and our eyes fixed on Him who loves us and gave Himself for us.  We need to see Him more clearly so that we cannot help but love Him – this burning love displacing all others.  May He be lifted up and win our hearts to Himself!

This is the most important thing for us – this beholding of our Savior, so you can be sure Satan will make this one of his biggest objectives.  He will try to distract us with a million other things, entice us away with the lure of comfort, lead us astray to another Jesus, or any number of other tricks to drive a wedge between us and our Savior – anything to destroy our confidence before Him and interrupt intimacy with Him.  Satan knows that our strength, our potency, our authority and love come from Him – Christ is working through us to accomplish His good, acceptable and perfect will – but all that is hindered to the degree that our communion and intimacy with Him are hindered by sin in our lives.  ‘How can two walk together unless they are agreed?’

Some Favorite Stuff From Tozer

These are some of my favorite excerpts from “The Pursuit of God” by Tozer:

“When religion has said its last word, there is little that we need other than God Himself. The evil habit of seeking God-and effectively prevents us from finding God in full revelation. In the ‘and’ lies our great woe. If we omit the ‘and’ we shall soon find God.”

“There is within the human heart a tough fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to possess. It covets ‘things’ with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns ‘my’ and ‘mine’ look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant. They express the real nature of the old Adamic man better than a thousand volumes of theology could do. They are verbal symptoms of our deep disease. The roots of our hearts have grown down into things, and we dare not pull up one rootlet lest we die. Things have become necessary to us, a development never originally intended. God’s gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution. Our Lord referred to this tyranny of things when He said to His disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it.” There is within each of us an enemy which we tolerate at our peril. Jesus called it ‘life’ and ‘self,’ or as we would say, the self-life.”

“The ancient curse will not go out painlessly; the tough old miser within us will not lie down and die obedient to our command. He must be born out of our heart like a plant from the soil; he must be extracted in agony and blood like a tooth from the jaw. He must be expelled from our soul by violence as Christ expelled the money changers from the temple. And we shall need to steel ourselves against his piteous begging, and to recognize it as springing out of self-pity, one of the most reprehensible sins of the human heart.”

“It is woven of fine threads of the self-life, the hyphenated sins of the human spirit. They are not something we do, they are something we are, and therein lies both their subtlety and their power. To be specific, the self-sins are these: self-righteousness, self-pity, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, self-admiration, self-love and a host of others like them. They dwell too deep within us and are too much a part of our natures to come to our attention till the light of God is focused upon them.”

“In human experience that veil is made of living spiritual tissue; it is composed of the sentient, quivering stuff of which our whole beings consist, and to touch it is to touch us where we feel pain. To tear it away is to injure us, to hurt us and make us bleed. To say otherwise is to make the cross no cross and death no death at all. It is never fun to die. To rip through the dear and tender stuff of which life is made can never be anything but deeply painful. Yet that is what the cross did to Jesus and it is what the cross would do to every man to set him free. We dare not rest content with a neat doctrine of self-crucifixion. That is to imitate Saul and spare the best of the sheep and the oxen. The cross is rough, and it is deadly, but it is effective. It does not keep its victim hanging there forever. There comes a moment when its work is finished and the suffering victim dies. After that is resurrection glory and power, and the pain is forgotten for joy that the veil is taken away and we have entered in actual spiritual experience the Presence of the living God.”

“The whole course of the life is upset by failure to put God where He belongs. We exult ourselves instead of God and the curse follows. For this God-above-all position is one not easy to take. The mind may approve it while not having the consent of the will to put it into effect.”

What’s on my easel

This is what I’ve been working on lately.  It is a commission piece for a good friend of mine.  The scene is about 30 miles from my house, and is commonly referred to as the “Holy City” – a volcanic formation with tons of wierd spires .  Not done yet… I will add a photo of the finished piece.

It is 24×30 inches, oil on canvas:

Just Starting

I’m just starting this blog, check back soon!