Not sure why it took me several months to move from day 4 to day 5 of the Tozer-guided pursuit of God. I’m tempted to think it was the challenging lesson he presents—”The Joy of Possessing Nothing”—but I don’t think that’s it. Probably just one of those I’m-derailed-and-it’s-hard-to-get-back-on-track things. Then again, it could very well be the hard lesson.
I didn’t really piece it all together until last Tuesday night at church. Pastor Scott referenced a discipleship illustration I had heard a while back. It suggests our journey with God ought to have an hour-glass shape, with the top being the grace-filled liberty of our initial conversion experience, which channels us through the most narrow portion of flesh-killing spiritual training and discipleship, and opens into the increasing expanse of freedom found living the God-orchestrated abundant life.
The unfortunate thing here is the truth of Matt. 7:14: “Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Few of us make it through the hour-glass’s midway point. We can’t handle the squeeze and never truly experience zoe.
Returning to this illustration triggered in my mind Tozer’s account of God’s squeeze on Abraham via Isaac. It was a necessary pain to rid Abraham of this “idol of his heart.”
The heart of the old man was knit closer and closer with the life of his son, till at last the relationship bordered upon the perilous. It was then that God stepped in to save both father and son from the consequences of uncleansed love.
God would teach Abraham what it meant to possess nothing, and thus inherit everything. Because he was faithful in offering Isaac, in whom all his future was wrapped up, God poured His everything on him:
In blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and they seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou has obeyed my voice.