A.W. Tozer, when questioning why it was he noticed a “lack” or “lethargy” among the younger generation of Christian’s, regarding the deeper things of God; meaning truly experiencing God as He is, in all His gloriousness, in intimate communion with the Holy One, in walking hand in hand in the Garden of God with the LORD, in his generation, during the 1950’s – 1963, when compared to the saints of old who walked with God. He said this: “I venture to suggest that the one vital quality which they had in common was spiritual receptivity … I shall say simply that they had spiritual awareness and that they went on to cultivate it until it became the biggest thing in their lives … They acquired the lifelong habit of spiritual response” (Tozer, The Pursuit of God, 2013, pg. 66, emphasis mine). Now that is insight! He is saying that those who genuinely want the Lord must seek His face intentionally. Below is King David’s response stemming from earnest desire to know God. And what did the LORD say about David? That he was a man after His own heart.
"You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek” (Ps. 27:8, emphasis mine).
The interesting thing is there is not one specific, or “magical” way, to enter the courts of the Most Holy. As Tozer notes here: “Receptivity is not a single thing; it is a compound rather, a blending of several elements within the soul. It is an affinity for, a bent toward, a sympathetic response to, a desire to have … It is a gift of God [thereby there is grace for the true seeker], indeed, but one which must be recognized and cultivated as any other gift if it is to realize the purpose for which it was given … [So, why do so many lack this experience with God today? Part of the problem he says is we have] A generation of Christians reared among push buttons and automatic machines [that] is impatient of slower and less direct methods of reaching their goals” (Tozer, The Pursuit of God, 2013, pg. 67, emphasis mine). Amazing! He is saying, even back in his generation, it was the absence of cultivated space, time, and silence before the Holy throne of God that was the problem. This was the “root” issue. Time had gotten away from everyone. People were too busy with too much on their plate. And later in the chapter he explains that his generation was seeking to “experience” God through shortcuts. That they wanted what the saints of old had. The zeal, power, knowledge, courage, love, joy, and hope. But they were going about it all the wrong way. They were attempting to create the atmosphere, the feelings, the experience of God’s presence through shortcuts of entertainment and emotion instead of cultivating intimacy through honest, vulnerable, repentance; and confession, time, study, prayer, worship, and quiet communion in God’s throne room … daily. Truly I must affirm his statement! For this is what I heard clearly from the Lord a couple of years ago, awhile before everything and everyone was forced to stop. That it was anxious hurry at the root of our lack of “hearing” God. An anxious, distracted, consumed, noisy, busy generation was keeping us from getting on our knees.
Now before I go on, I feel the need to share this verse in opposition to the one above. It shows the message a people who know God but stop seeking Him, over an extended period, end up hearing from Him:
"I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me" (Hos. 5:15, emphasis mine).
Notice the verse has everything to do with seeking, just as the one above does. Now to go on. I know I wrote that anyone who desires to really know God must be desperate enough to make the time and create the space for this. And I know I wrote that it is a “daily” thing. So now if you find yourself hungering and thirsting after the presence of God but find you do not have that kind of time. Then you have a choice to make. If you choose to lay aside the distractions in order to purse intimacy with God, I promise you He will honor you. You will walk with confidence in His leading power, ability, might, wisdom, comfort, joy, peace, hope, love, knowledge, protection, and provision, due to His grace which will be poured on you abundantly. For it is a great freedom and blessing to be smack dab in the center of His will!
So, seek His face. Take the time. Cultivate the beautiful life of “walking with God.” I know no greater joy. Plus, the “secret place” of abiding in Jesus, is where “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3) taking place through intentional communion, and time in His Word.