“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?”
A woman once came to see me who was on a self-described journey of discovery. She was looking for faith but it was elusive. She believed the problems of daily living, difficulties with others and her own faults were impedeing her progress. I asked her to consider that perhaps these obstacles in her life might actually be the means God was using to drive her to faith. Not a generic faith, but to a faith that relied on Christ and His promises. She wasn’t so sure.
The journey of authentic faith must always be a tutorial passage. It’s not so much a passage of willing discovery as it is a passage over which we are driven against our wills. Like a ship that sets sail for one destination and is driven by the winds in an entirely different direction. Those winds are the law of God, driving us in the Spirit from the self-willed destinations of our own choosing, toward the God-willed faith that is His gift in Christ Jesus.
As long as we are in this life, the Holy Spirit haunts us by exposing our failure to fulfill our existence. Our great worth before God demands nothing less. Our sin is so great because our value is so great. The following lines from the poem by Francis Thompson entitled, ‘The Hound of heaven’, tell of this God who relentlessly pursues us in the midst of life.
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”