I meet and talk to people all of the time who don’t hesitate to tell me how much Christians suck or how many church-going people have offended, hurt, or cheated them. I fervently hope that no one is saying those things about me, though I admit, at times, they have probably had every right to.

Throughout my years of church-going and calling myself a Christian—and even believing I was a Christian—I have done any of a thousand things that I could and probably should have been indicted for. I have been selfish. I have been hateful. I have been faithless. I have refused to forgive, even when the offense had been atoned for or was far in the past. I have pressed my own agenda and manipulated to work things out in ways that benefited me, even to the detriment of others, while rationalizing my actions. Over the years, I’ve apologized, confessed, and repented of a thousand sins and managed to leave another thousand unmentioned. And each time, God forgives me and makes me just a little cleaner, a little more holy, and a little more His.

In my feeble attempts to overcome my own mess, I hope and I try, on a daily basis to not just do well, but to love well. But the power to do that and to be that just doesn’t exist inside of me. I’m too weak. I’m too flawed. The only way I have found to do well and to love well is to open the veil and channel the God I find behind it—the God who is love. The God who embodies love. I have to all Him to open that veil because outside of Him, the desire and the power to love just doesn’t even exist inside of me.

In this week’s chapter of AW Tozer’s Pursuit of God, Tozer shares a hard, but freedom-bearing truth:

“Self is the opaque veil that hides the Face of God from us….There must be a work of God in destruction before we are free. We must invite the cross to do its deadly work within us. We must bring our self-sins to the cross for judgment.”

Tozer also says, “The cross is rough, and it is deadly, but it is effective.” I have never been a fan of pain. And I have been a wimp pretty much my whole life. So, knowing that letting God change me is going to be a painful process, it has always been a difficult process for me to face, much less embrace. But isn’t it more painful to continue to be a mess? The longer I’m selfish and hateful and faithless and unforgiving and angry and bitter and manipulative, the more people I hurt and the more it’s going to hurt me, too. Once I realize that, I can say, “Okay, God, change me. Rend me. Do whatever you have to do to open that veil that hides Your Face from me.”

This post is part of a weekly discussion co-facilitated by Jason Stasyszen and I. We are currently discussing AW Tozer’s classic Pursuit of God.” You don’t have to be reading the book to participate in the discussion, however, if you have written a response to this chapter, please drop by Jason’s and link up at the widget you will find there. Thanks for coming by! I’ll see you back here next Wednesday for the first week of Chapter 4!

About Sarah Salter


  1. We used the same quote with a slightly different approach. 😉

    We cannot, on our own or in our self, do anything that is needed in relationship to Christ. We need Him to do the work in us… Our role is to fully yield and trust Him to complete it.

    That is not a cop out to stay as we are. That is a challenge to humbly bow to His authority over every aspect of our lives… to endure the struggle of being refined and transformed into His image.

  2. Sarah Salter says:

    Dusty, it’s funny how out of all of those words, we used the same quote. 🙂

  3. I think that is the tough reality. We can be free(r) from the painful process now or we can endure for the better prize which is knowing Christ. To save my life, I have to lose it. To live, I have to die. Don’t get me wrong, I’m with you! I don’t like it either, but my heart longs for intimate fellowship more and more. May He weed out the ulterior motives and competing affections…

    Thanks Sarah.

Speak Your Mind