Sometimes when you read more than one book at a time, you get an interesting synergy going on. Awhile back, I posted on my attempts to overcome some sin, which had kept me from a more intimate relationship with God. Then I read this passage from the book Soul Revolution by John Burke:

Sometimes God does seem to miraculously remove a behavioral problem, but more often, he leads us in ways that force us to grow up, to become spiritually stronger, that require our willing cooperation in a more relational, daily way. I’m convinced that if God simply removed the behaviors, we would soon turn back to the same beliefs or practices that formed those behaviors. We’d be no better off than before. Instead, God leads us down a path of growth that deals with the inner disease of constant disconnection from God (sin), not just the outward symptoms” (Burke, 2008, p. 144).

This is so true. How many times did we really appreciate the things in life we were given rather than ones we had to work and earn? Now, before you think I’m saying we solve our own problems, that’s not what I mean, or what the author meant. We need God in order to overcome our sin, and it’s only be connecting with God on a moment-by-moment basis that we can achieve that victory.

Where’s the synergy? I’m also reading God’s Pursuit of Man by A. W. Tozer, and this section stood out to me:

The Christian message rightly understood means this: The God who by the word of the gospel proclaims men free, by the power of the gospel actually makes them free. To accept less than this is to know the gospel in word only, without its power” (Tozer, 1950, p. 27).

This made me think of how lost (and miserable) I was when I was a “church-goer” without the power of the gospel in my life. I knew where I should be, I knew where I wanted to be, but I didn’t know how to get there. It’s only in the last year that I’ve begun to figure out the reasons behind that disconnect…which is also the problem, my disconnected life with God.

God doesn’t want us to remain mired in our old lives. “What was it [the sacrifice on the cross] all for? That He might pronounce us technically free and leave us in our bondage? Never” (Tozer, 1950, p. 27). He wants us free, and He wants us in a daily relationship with Him, but we have to be willing.

— Burke, John. (2008). Soul Revolution: How Imperfect People Become All God Intended. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

— Tozer, A. W. (1950). God’s Pursuit of Man. Camp Hill, PA: Wing Spread Publishers.