A.W. Tozer, the author of The Pursuit of God, said, “There are rare Christians whose very presence incites others to be better Christians. I want to be that rare Christian.”
Years ago, I served on the board of a small Christian homeschool group. The men I served alongside might be considered what Tozer called rare Christians. Imperfect, of course, but with many qualities that I grew to admire.
I witnessed how they dealt with issues that arose in the group. I watched their carefulness as we interviewed prospective members. Even their conversations surrounding the meeting carried an appropriate degree of restraint.
Often when the meetings finished and I headed home, I found my heart stirred to know and serve God to a greater degree.
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).
It’s remarkable how being with people who truly love the Lord impacts your Christian walk. Their lives serve as a mirror revealing areas where there’s room for advancement. Or at least that’s what I have found to be true.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17).
Reverend Tozer said that he wanted to be that rare Christian. You and I have that same desire, don’t we? We would love to have lives that cause other believers to want to be better Christians.
That’s a wonderful place to be.
Or maybe I should say it’s a wonderful place to start. Our worthwhile desires shouldn’t be a park bench where we sit and simply imagine spiritual growth. No, we’ve got to move ahead from there - with God’s help. I find it easy to become stirred, but then fail to follow those genuine stirrings with concrete action.
My dad was a farmer. There was cotton, corn, and a small garden we called a truck patch. There was an artesian well a few miles away just past the Baptist church. That was our one source of drinking water. It was free to anyone willing to go there.
Looking back at life on the farm, I don’t recall our family ever going thirsty. When we wanted water, we always followed through on that desire.
And so it should be for you and me.
We have a genuine desire to be Christians whose very presence impacts others. We can be thankful that God has brought us to that point.
But we can’t stop there.
Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
Apart from the influence of God, man takes much delight in himself. He readily boasts in his wisdom, his might, and his riches; regrettably, that’s only the shortlist.
God is not against boasting; He just wants us to boast in the right thing: that we understand and know Him.
What if we center our attention on doing just that? What if we resolve to make careful use of God’s Word and all the other means at our disposal to explore the wonder of our awe-inspiring God?
Surely the more we learn about our God the more our hearts will be captivated by Him. The greater our desire will be to embrace His commandments and live those out before Him and the world.
Will frequent sitting at the feet of our incomparable God result in us becoming those "rare Christians” that Tozer mentioned? Only God knows. I would like to think so.
I’ve got what I think is a better question for us.
Wouldn’t it please our Lord, as well as benefit our souls, to be among those Christians who consistently seek to understand and know God better? What a satisfying way to spend the rest of our lives. May God help us.
Therefore, David blessed the LORD in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O LORD, the God of Israel our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name” (1 Chronicles 29:10-13).