The Only Master

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Because I’m prone to the happy hobbit life, I’m often forced to remember that life doesn’t serve books. Books serve life. And as supporting documents for the journey, they make useful and often life-giving guides.

But they make horrible masters.

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Some writers don’t appreciate this distinction and they end up serving their books in many ways. Though their book only has the power over them that they give it, they allow it to become their master.

And they sacrifice much of their lives in their service.

There are also those who believe there is no life in experience. Set-apart from “the world,” they claim the Bible, prayer and a careful, circumscribed existence is the only proper “life.” And from within a bubble of their own making, they believe those outside are lost and dead.

Yet they’ve also given up life to serve a false master.

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The higher purpose for writing is to experience God, both in the writing and in the reading. Yet isn’t God only experienced in real life, in the very act of living?  

Can we experience God while writing?

What if those who serve books and those who serve their safety are missing the very thing that makes the experience of God possible?What if their mistake is forgetting that experiencing God can only happen when we make him alone master and forsake all else?

I’ve been told I must do this or that or the other thing to be a “good” Christian. My commitment has been judged by others’ false ideas as unbiblical, unworthy and wrong.

But if I want to return to finding God in my experience, I can’t let that stop me. As a writer and a Christian, I want to experience him wherever I look, in books and in others’ ideas, regardless of judgment. He is present when I invite him and he’s already there where I need to go next, ready to hand me the faith I need to follow.

Don’t I believe that? 

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My pride wants to defend myself. But in humility, he is my life and strength, the only life needed. Receiving him without reservation, he comes again as he has before and shows his power in new ways. And in each new place, I know him and love him as master and more.

If I’ll just remember and trust, it can be like that again, and even better. Because I’ll be even more awake and aware.

The central task to forget serving anything else is to stop and listen. There I’m reminded that the only requirement is to let go of fear and all conceptions that stand in the way of embracing essential, foundational humility. What do I have that doesn’t come from him? So can’t I decide to wait on him for whatever I need?

I’m speaking to myself, but I’m also speaking to you. Do you really believe he is all?

Are you ready to experience him in your real life today again?

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And will you give him your full self to be all in you today? If you will try, then your daily experience and your waking reality will be infused with him and you will know him in a real and tangible way you never could through books or bubbles.

For when you belong to him entirely, there is no part of life that is not active, awakened, alive. For all of it is in him and by him and for him, through him and about him and because of him.

For nothing in this whole world or in all of life here and everywhere cannot be infused and saturated with him.

 

IMG_5323“His humility was simply the surrender of Himself to God, to allow Him to do in Him what He pleased, whatever men around might say of Him, or do to Him.” – Andrew Murray, Humility

“To such a man God is not a conclusion drawn from evidence nor is He the sum of what the Bible teaches about Him. He knows God in the last irreducible meaning of the word know. It may almost be said that God happened to him.” – A. W. Tozer, Man: The Dwelling Place of God

 

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13 thoughts on “The Only Master”

  1. Understanding this, and knowing that this is at the core of all you are and advise others to say and do, makes you and all of your words eminently credible. Which is to say that, insofar as this is at the core of your world view, I can trust that the rest requires my careful scrutiny.

    1. Now to apply my prayer and effort to doing this more consistently… Thanks, Kathleen, for that extremely kind thought. Oh, may it be true.

  2. Great blog – as a therapist, who writes but also counsels on what is truly important in life, this says it all. We don’t stop to think about how to live the total life that God has given us. Writing may be an important part, but it is only a part. God blesses us in so many ways – in our struggles, our grief’s and losses as well as the good times. Too often we miss those blessings – and in missing them ourselves, are unable to share them with others. The first step in anything is in stepping out with God.

    1. Marlene, I don’t have your training, or experience. But I think I understand the core of your conviction–that our struggles and griefs do become gifts if we will feel them, deal with the pain and truth beneath, and wait for healing. We are nowhere near where we should be in terms of accepting the real pain an struggle of life. Maybe that’s a hidden benefit of trusting the one master more: we know we’re safe and known and seen regardless, so the pain is only in the way and temporary.

      Thanks for the excellent thoughts. -M

  3. Nailed it again. Infused, saturated … flooding … would that our lives would overflow with that kind of grace and mercy. If we could turn off the world and wait on him … what surprises would he have in store? I am an impatient creature of habit, and I like my little hobbit life too. But sometimes there are adventures to be had, dark places to explore and dragons to fight. I wouldn’t dare do that without God. Or the friends he’s given me to count on along the journey.

  4. If i had my druthers, it would be said of me…”Oh look! God happened to Suzee!” That Tozer guy was something. When i took religion in one of those colleges along the way, I couldn’t understand a word in the required reading book by him. I wonder if I might be able to now! You quote him a bunch. Maybe i should give it a go?

    1. Start with The Pursuit of God. It’s still heady, but short. And I do have to read one sentence several times and very slowly. But wow. It’s like what food used to be before we changed it and made it conform to our simpler sweet-addicted tastes.

  5. i’m now thinking ‘cliff notes’! i mean if YOU, mr. wizard, have to read one sentence several times…..oh dear, oh dear. i’m kidding. (sort of) i do like the analogy to heartier food. so true.

  6. Ha! I’m mr. wizard? I like that. I think I’m not, but I’ll let you think it. :) I do like to practice stretching my mind, as you do. Here’s a favorite Tozer quote: “What comes into our minds when we think of GOD is the most important thing about us.”

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