O taste and see. Psalm 34:8
Apprehend means to seize or grasp; to take into one’s possession. Tozer wants us to be aware of how we may grasp God. I would like to bring out here one point before we delve into this chapter. As I was studying, I read Philippians 3:12, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus”. Ladies, we may apprehend Christ BECAUSE He has apprehended us. We love because He first loved us.
Tozer begins this chapter explaining that for most, God is not a reality. Most will admit that God is, but to place emphasis and trust that their relationship with Him is of utmost importance and that He is all knowing, all seeing and able to help in all of life and Godliness is a concept that is hard to grasp for most of the church. As Tozer has already mentioned in previous chapters, this must be aborted by a personal experience which will draw us into His Presence and make Himself a reality to all those who reach out for a deeper life. Because God IS a living being who speaks, loves, works and manifests Himself as His people choose to receive Him.
God chooses to speak to us by our senses. Of course, He would do that because He is the creator of those senses in His children. A few examples from Scripture are, “oh taste and see…”; “all thy garments smell…”; “My sheep hear…”; “blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. We are without excuse to know God. He is all around us in every way. Even those that are blind or deaf are without excuse.
We also must develop our spiritual senses by exercising these daily. This is done by spending time in His Word and in His Presence. We must depend on His Holy Spirit to lead us in our quest to know Him more.
Tozer takes this opportunity to define reality and reckon. Reality, he defines as something having existence apart from any idea any mind may have of it and that would be existent without any mind anywhere which thinks of it. With man’s five senses we engage in this real world we live in. God is the great reality because He is the author of all things. To quote Tozer, “The worshipping heart does not create its Object. It finds Him here when it wakes from its moral slumber in the morning of its regeneration.” Beautiful!
It is faith which enables us to develop this communion with Him. Without faith, we are numb to spiritual things. What looks strange to the world is not faith and without faith, we cannot please God. Faith does not depend upon the observer for its validity. God is reality. Faith is not intellectual. It is spiritual.
Now let us move on to the word reckon. Reckon is not visualizing or imagining. Tozer tells us that imagination is not faith. Imagination and faith are opposite of each other. Imagination uses false images out of the mind and tries to put reality on them. “Faith creates nothing; it simply reckons upon that which is already there.”
God is real as is the spiritual world. We have the assurance of this through faith and through the leading of God’s Spirit. They invite our attention and challenge our trust. This is part of the deepening work of Christ in us. Only as a result of our bad thought habits must our minds constantly be in battle, that is unless we learn to remain in His Presence allowing Him to renew us daily. And as the hymn says, as we do this, the things of this world will grow strangely dim. The spiritual is real. We must believe this, by faith and walk in The Light continuously. Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
Living for God requires us to be other worldly. This should be our most holy longing. Tozer quotes at the end of the chapter from Hebrews 12 about the fact that we have moved from Mount Sinai to Mount Zion. The former was apprehended by our senses but the latter must be grasped by our souls. And as feeble as our senses may have become, the life-giving touch of Christ will aliven us and sharpen our sight and make us more sensitive to hearing. Praise God!