God Chasers Daily Devotion-#32

As Christ was born in a stable, and cradled in a manger, so is Christ in man ever born amidst the animals in man. The newborn Saviour is ever laid in a cradle between the ox of self-will and the ass of ignorance, in the stable of the animal condition in man; and from thence the king of pride (as Herod), finds his kingdom endangered, and seeks to kill the child, who is to become the ruler of the “New Jerusalem” in man.
(Jacob Boeme, The Image of the Heavenly)

Jacob Boeme, “chosen servant of God,” was born in Alt Seidenburg, Germany, in 1575. John Wesley, in his day, required all his preachers to study the writings of Jacob Boeme; and the learned English theologian, William Law, said of him: “Jacob Boehme was not a messenger of anything new in religion, but the mystery of all that was oldand true in religion and nature, was opened up to him,”—“the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God.”
Born of poor but pious Lutheran parents, from childhood Jacob Boeme was concerned about “the salvation of his soul.” Although occupied first as a shepherd and afterward as a shoemaker, he was always an earnest student of the Holy Scriptures; but he could not understand “the ways of God.” Thus he became “perplexed, even to melancholy,—pressed out of measure.” He said:

“I knew the Bible from beginning to end but I could find no consolation in Holy Writ; and my spirit, as if moving in a great storm, arose in God, carrying with it my whole heart, mind and will, and wrestled with the love and mercy of God, that his blessing might descend upon me, that my mind might be illumined with his Holy Spirit, that I might understand His will and get rid of my sorrow….
“I had always thought much of how I might inherit the kingdom of heaven; but finding in myself a powerful opposition, in the desires that belong in the flesh and blood, I began a battle against my corrupted nature; and with the aid of God, made up my mind to overcome the inherited evil will,…break it, and enter wholly into the love of God in Christ Jesus. I sought the heart of Jesus Christ, the center of all truth; andI resolved to regard myself as dead in my inherited form, until the Spirit of God would take form in me, so that in and through Him, I might conduct my life.
“I stood in this resolution, fighting a battle with myself, until the light of the Spirit, a light entirely foreign to my unruly nature, began to break through the clouds. Then, after some farther hard fight with the powers of darkness, my spirit broke through the doors of hell, and penetrated even into the innermost essence of its newly born divinity where it was received with great love, as a bridegroom welcomes his beloved bride.
“No words can express the great joy and triumph I experienced, as of a life out of death, as of a resurrection from the dead! While in this state, as I was walking through a field of flowers, infifteen minutes, I saw the mystery of creation, the original of this world and of all creatures….Then for seven days I was in a continual state of ecstasy, surrounded by the light of the Spirit, which immersed me in contemplation and happiness. I learned what God is and what is His will…I knew not how this happened to me, but my heart admired and praised the Lord for it!”

Jacob Boeme was a true God chaser, and he was eventually caught by what he chased. He was not content to know about God; he came to know God.
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