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IMPORTUNITY, OPPORTUNITY AND PURITY OF HEART
Rev. Dr. Robert E. Donaldson
Published by World Wide Web Witness Inc.
There is a close relationship between eager zeal, as in a hunting dog sensing the moment is near for that delicious experience of going out with the master and HUNTING! and actual opportunity. Thus the master in this case, sensing the poor dog's enthusiasm and potential delight, may be swayed to go hunting, when a moment before he was on the point of dismissing that possibility. Where there is heart, importunity may have much in terms of results! A woman, rightly or wrongly, seeing the intense love of some admirer, and realising the complementarity there could be between them, may at last yield to his importunity, so giving a new family an opportunity.
Where however is the relationship between either or both of these, singly or together, to purity of heart ?
SEEK and you will FIND! is the word of Christ. IF WITH ALL YOUR HEART you truly seek the Lord, He will be found by you, is a message in Jeremiah 29:12-14. Eager enterprise together with actual zeal and intense longing is not without its effect. It is not to be directed at space, or time, or mass, or even a mere crowd, as if buzzing bees make honey by number alone. It is to be directed with the One who can hear, will hear. Yet for all that, if you direct it with presumption, even arrogance and pride, demanding an interview in a way you would never dare to do, even to a Mayor, far less a King, then this may be zeal misplaced. If you continue however the opportunity to realise that importunity is not enough taken alone may begin to be felt. Your prey or quarry, as the case may be, may even advise you to that effect!
Then comes the time for realisation that not only is importunity a need where the uninhibited candour of heart is concerned, but purity of motive. WHY are you seeking what you seek ? For some hedonistic increment ? for some satisfaction of the psyche ? Why on earth should this be granted to you ? If a dog is itchy, does it not scratch ? Yet this is not enough in itself, to stir the depths of heart which might rouse many from a comfortable seat at the fire, to go to the chemist and find some cure AT ONCE!
If you seek truth, you must LOVE it. If you seek peace, you should DELIGHT in it. If you want satisfaction, you should rejoice in making things reach that level through their innermost realities, not through some extraneous device. In short manipulation is mere showmanship or chess, and where the invisible magnitudes are concerned, this is as useless as the stirring of the waves if you want to gain an audience with a king.
Purity of heart, therefore, becomes the necessary aid to importunity in seeking opportunity. Further, it is useless to seek to speak with sincerity with a rogue, for his eye is on the manipulation even of this; you must actually CHOOSE your audience when importunity fires its way into the path of life. For the life of man, God's audience is necessary, and for this, abuse of His truth, the witness of His word to His deeds including the construction of yourself, is scarcely a useful introduction. Lift up your heart and apply your mind therefore with importunity to God where He may be found. Where may a king be found, more likely than at a palace He owns. Where is God most likely to be found but at the PLACE HE CITES!
He has gone to immense trouble to be specific. It is not in Bethlehem, nor even in Jerusalem that He is to be found, no, no in itself in pastures green or in great 'success'. It is where He has made His path with His own hands. Where is that ? It is in Jesus Christ, foretold for millenia, in detail for a millenium, the divine deposit, not a mere agent or organiser, but God's most holy word, eternal in wisdom, actual in reality, not imagined, but given human place by divine grace.
It is THERE that you make the appointment, and the beauty above all bureaucracy is just this: that the 'secretary' is the prince, and the one who gives audience has equal status with the King Himself (cf. John 5:19ff., 8:58, Matthew 11:27, Micah 5:1-3, Zechariah 12:10, Ezekiel 34, Isaiah 40:10, 43:10-11 with 53:11).
Once you know Him, there is the same need of importunity to make opportunity. Consider Nehemiah in Ch. 1 of that work, and his preparations for seeking that God should intervene, or Daniel as in Ch. 9 in the same vein; and their RESULTS!
In this work, we shall hope with the assistance of the Lord, without whom it is little use to seek to talk about Him, to present the threesome, importunity, opportunity and purity of heart in such a way that readers may practically profit, and find blessing; and unbelievers may consider, and seek the Lord, whom to find and to know, even Jesus Christ, is life eternal.
Ch. 1 JOB AND JAMES, in the company of ELIHU
THE VAST SCOPE OF THE DOCTRINE
IN THE BOOK OF JOB
The AURA of PURITY
in Job and Habakkuk,
and the DESIGN for it
in II PETER
WISDOM MADE YOU AND IS NOT SILENCED
IMPORTUNITY AND STRENGTH
OPPORTUNITY AND THE DIVINE INVENTORY
LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION
Cases and triumphs, meaning and method
THE OPPORTUNITY for IMPORTUNITY is NOW