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Becoming a Christian Realist

If we would rise into that region of light and power plainly beckoning us through the Scriptures of truth we must break the evil habit of ignoring the spiritual. We must shift our interest from the seen to the unseen. –A.W. Tozer, the Pursuit of God (chapter 4)

Faith has been thought of as blind and Christians have been accused of living in denial or a fantasy world. It’s true that some spout off scripture as if it’s little more than a bumper-sticker slogan, but for others find incredible evidence for God and His word is a living, breathing truth that molds, shapes, and changes both their lives and situations.

Those are the realists.

Now, usually when we talk about realists we are referring to those who only take into account the world around them and what they know by the interpretation of evidence and what their senses tell them. The Christian realist takes into account God’s eternal word and the experience of His goodness and presence and interprets the world through His promises and his spiritual senses.

Our interest and energies have to be spent more on the unseen than the seen. Easier said than done, I know. But I like how Tozer states that our ignoring the spiritual is an “evil habit.”

A habit, by definition, is not just a onetime occurrence, but something we do habitually. We have done it so much that it has become part of us. The world, its systems, its distractions–they beg to steal our focus and energy, but we have access to another world in which we are not subject to the whims of popularity or opinion.

It is only known by spiritual senses awakened by His Holy Spirit sort of like the molecular world is only known by way of a high-powered microscope. Without the proper tools, it appears foolish or opposed to “reality.”

We have a choice to make as Tozer goes on to say,

Every man must choose his world. If we who follow Christ, with all the facts before us and knowing what we are about, deliberately choose the Kingdom of God as our sphere of interest I see no reason why anyone should object.

We are too afraid many times to live by godly principles and the leading of His heart because we fear others’ responses or lack of understanding, but the choice presents itself over and over.

Are you a Christian realist? What are your thoughts on this?


Welcome to week 8 of our book club discussion of the Pursuit of God (disclosure) by A.W. Tozer. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it, and to fully digest this book, we’re spending two weeks on each chapter. If you have a response on your blog, add it in the link widget below and be sure to check out the other entries. Also head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for another great take. Whether you’ve read the selection or not, please share your thoughts! We always appreciate a vibrant conversation.

15 Comments

  1. “Our interest and energies have to be spent more on the unseen than the seen.”

    True Dat my brother! Faith is real but in the world it seems “unreal” but everybody puts their faith in something or someone…even in things they can’t “see”. We devote ourselves to a Kingdom more real than anything this world has ever seen (or will see).
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..MarksMy Profile

    • Exactly--it has to be believed to be seen. It’s upside down from the world’s perspective, but He invites us into that intimate knowledge and experience. How awesome is that?! Thanks Jay.

  2. I like that you emphasize “habit”. So many of us have gotten into some bad habits- like going to church on Sunday and forgetting about God the rest of the week (unless we need something).

    A while back I heard a preacher tell us to be “Kingdom minded”. That phrase stuck with me, now when I pray I ask God to help me and my family be about HIS Kingdom throughout the day. The world pulls at our senses and trys to lure us away from God, but when I begin each day by committing it to God, it is easier to see the distractions and turn my focus back to the Kingdom of God.

    • I like that phrase “kingdom-minded” as well. And He has given us the wisdom and authority to overcome this world. As the sons of the Kingdom are manifested, all of creation is being liberated from its own bondage. What a glorious destiny we have! Thank you, TC.

  3. To be a real christian you have to have something I call Flahvor
    A concept the Lord put in my heart. Its means this
    Faith
    Love
    Action
    Vision
    Hope
    Obedience
    Redemption
    That’s what true Christianity is all about.
    andrew singh recently posted..Christmas-Winterland Photo ExtravaganzaMy Profile

    • Solid building blocks for sure as we build on Christ! Thank you, Andrew.

  4. Being a realist causes much contemplation and conviction. Sometimes it hurts….

    Can’t add to this one, I don’t have my book with me where I have things underlined, I’m out of town… Sorry! Enjoyed yours.

    • You’re right, it can be painful, but what’s our alternative once we’ve seen Jesus? No turning back--no turning back. And enjoy your time out of town, whatever you’re doing, Floyd! You add plenty. :)

  5. God is real. Faith is real. Hope is real.

    As real as the air we breathe.

    I choose to follow.

    I am a realist. I realize my reality in the One Real God.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..Believe it or Not, God ExistsMy Profile

    • I heard the quote by C.S. Lewis again recently that basically says, we don’t have a soul--we are a soul. We have a body. The eternal is even more real because everything that we see came from it and remain after everything we see is gone. Thanks Dusty.

      • I wanted so hard to work this into my post and couldn’t! But maybe it fits here…

        Reading this chapter helped me gain a deeper insight into something that I heard right after I rededicated my life to Christ in college. I heard someone talking about how when Jesus came through the door of the Upper Room, to the disciples, after the resurrection, the reason Jesus was able to do that was because He was more real than the door. NOW, I get that. And I love it.
        Sarah Salter recently posted..Becoming RealMy Profile

        • Please forgive typos and muddled logic. I have a crushing headache. :-)
          Sarah Salter recently posted..Becoming RealMy Profile

        • Yeah, that is cool! I like that a lot. Thanks Sarah. And no apology needed. :)

  6. Again some great comments! I really like what Sarah said about Jesus being more real than the door. That’s profound! But I really like what you said about how our interests and energies need to be spent more one the unseen than the seen. The *reality* is that we are only on this earth, in the presence of the seen, for a short time. What we invest in the material is temporary but the spiritual is eternal. Where do we want to leave our legacy? That is where we should be focused.
    Frank recently posted..The Five Spiritual SensesMy Profile

    • I really do believe that in heaven, there are going to be some little old ladies who had shined Jesus’ love and stood fast in prayer who are honored above some of the greatest preachers. I don’t want all my reward in this life, based on my gifts. He doesn’t see things the way we do and we have to choose where our ultimate treasure is stored. Thanks so much, Frank.