Admitting Our Need
Tozer joyfully acknowledges that some have caught hold of this vision,
Praise God there are the ‘maidens,’ those who will never be content with that shallow logic. They can certainly accept the force of the argument, but Jesus said, ‘Come to me and you will never thirst again.’ This truth has been lost in many of our religious lives, but still, something drives the ‘maidens’ away with tears to hunt for some lonely place and pray ‘Oh God, show me your Glory!’ They want to taste, to touch with their own hearts, to see with their own eyes the ‘wonder that is God.’”
When the young prophet Samuel heard the voice of God calling to him, he had the sense to look to his mentor, Eli, to tell him how to respond. Even with that, it took them three times to realize it was God calling. Rather than ignoring the voice, Samuel finally listened.
The maiden‘s prayer “Let Him kiss me . . .” is the cry of the bride-spirit, drawn out by God himself, “for those God foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son . . . for he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love” (Romans 8:29; Ephesians 1:4).
This cry of the maiden marks the beginning of the true spiritual life that Christ wants to draw us into. It is an inward longing for the Lord himself. It is an end to our attempts at playing church and a drive to find the real thing.
After this maiden accepts this call and pursues the Lord with intense fervor, he says, “there are sixty queens, and eighty concubines, and virgins without number; but my dove, my undefiled and perfect one, stands alone above them all.”
There are all kinds of believers with varying degrees of relationships with the Lord. Unfortunately, most never develop any intimate fellowship with him. However, the “Dove,” the “undefiled one,” the Shulamite maiden in this story, represents those who have cast aside anything that would hinder them. They began to seek the Lord, not because he can prosper them, or do any miraculous things, nor because he has defeated the enemy, but simply because of an appreciation and love for who he is as a person and a desire is to satisfy the Lord‘s heart.
I don’t know who said it, but one writer stated, “He is calling us out and calling us higher; a witness that is ultimately about a ruthless and extravagant love that tore open heaven, dwelt among us, and conquered sin and death that we might all be free. Sadly, only a few answer this call.
What an excellent description of our Lord’s love for us: ruthless and extravagant! In John White‘s book The Race, he describes our calling so clearly:
Our quest must be the quest of a suitor, a suitor too blinded by beauty to descend to calculating self-interest; too intoxicated with love to care about the cost or the consequences of his suit . . .
It must be the love of Mary, sitting at Jesus‘ feet, enchanted by his words and grace, but deaf and blind to the frustration and fuss of her resentful sister (Luke 10:38-42). An enchantment of that sort will not be broken, nor its pleasures denied . . .
It is time we threw spiritual pragmatism out of the window. We come habitually to God carrying shopping baskets and armed with a checklist of needed purchases, when all the time he wants to put his arms around us and draw us to himself. We know no other way. Custom and tradition have drilled us in the art of celestial bargain hunting. It is time we forgot about our spiritual performance and our spiritual needs and gave ourselves up to passion
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