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Archive for the ‘Tozer, A.W.’ Category

[A major problem is our] failure to give time to the cultivation of the knowledge of God.

[Waiting upon God leads at times to] a sudden sweet explosion, an up rushing of the water that has been increasing its pressure within until we can no longer contain it.

God expects of us only what He Himself first supplied. … He remembers our frame and knows that we are dust. We please him most by throwing ourselves into His arms with all our imperfections, and believing that he understands everything and loves us still.

[Jesus is] the very Christ of God. [We ought not imagine] the grotesque situation of the Lord of glory coming to the aid of an unreconstructed Adam – on Adam’s terms.

[A person who is self-deluded in their sins is as] a kind of movable tomb to house a soul already dead.

The average man has become a parasite in the world, drawing life from his environment, unable to live a day apart from the stimulation which society affords him.

The great need of the hour among persons spiritually hungry is twofold: First, to know the Scriptures, apart from which no saving truth will be vouchsafed by our Lord; the second, to be enlightened by the Spirit, apart from whom the Scriptures will not be understood.

All the natural fear in the world cannot make a sheep out of a goat. … Whence then does the true fear of God arise? From the knowledge of our own sinfulness and a sense of the presence of God.

The promise of pardon and cleansing is always associated in the Scriptures with the command to repent. The widely-used text in Isaiah, "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as Snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool," is organically united to the verses that precede it: "Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings …

What we need very badly these days is a company of Christians who are prepared to trust God as completely now as they know they must do at the last day.

One of the big milk companies makes capital of the fact that their cows are all satisfied with their lot in life. Their clever ads have made the term "contented cows" familiar to everyone. But what is a virtue in a cow may be a vice in a man. And contentment, when it touches spiritual things, is surely a vice.

Every Christian will become at last what his desires have made him. We are all the sum total of our hungers.

Do not underrate anything God may have done for you heretofore. Thank God for everything up to this point, but do not stop here.

The message of Christ lays hold upon a man with the intention to alter him, to mold him again after another image and make of him something altogether different from what he had been before.

So the cross not only brings Christ’s life to an end, it ends also the first life, the old life, of every one of His true followers. It destroys the old pattern, the Adam pattern, in the believer’s life, and brings it to an end. Then the God who raised Christ from the dead raises the believer and a new life begins.

Man was made to dwell in a garden," says Dr. Harold C. Mason, "but through sin he has been forced to dwell in a field, a field which he has wrested from his enemies by sweat and tears, and which he preserves only at the price of constant watchfulness and endless toil. Let him but relax his efforts for a few years and the wilderness will claim his field again."

The death of Christ was for the whole person, not for the soul only and His invitation is to the entire man, the entire woman.

To be tempted and yet to glorify God in the midst of it is to honour Him where it counts. This is more pleasing to God than any amount of sheltered and untempted piety could ever be. To fight and to win in the name of Christ is always better than to have known no conflict.

Thanksgiving has great curative power.

The doctrine of suffering should certainly receive careful and reverent attention from the sons of the new creation.

Praise God for the hammer, the file and the furnace. … The nail forgets that both it and the hammer are servants of the same workman. … The carpenter decides whose head shall be beaten next and what hammer shall be used in the beating. That is his sovereign right. … How could Rutherford find it in his heart to praise God for the hammer, the file and the furnace? The answer is simply that he loved the Master of the hammer, he adored the Workman who wielded the file, he worshiped the Lord who heated the furnace. … It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.

[Silence as] the unutterable element in Christian experience. … speechless silence in the awesome presence of God … a breathless encounter with Omniscience … when prostrate and wordless the soul receives …

We are waiting for a trumpet note that will call us away from the hurly-burly and set in motion a series of events that will result at last in a new heaven and a new earth.

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It was the enraptured Rutherford who could shout in the midst of serious and painful trials, "Praise God for the hammer, the file and the furnace."

The hammer is a useful tool, but the nail, if it had feeling and intelligence, could present another side of the story. For the nail knows the hammer only as an opponent, a brutal, merciless enemy who lives to pound it into submission, to beat it down out of sight and clinch it into place. That is the nail’s view of the hammer, and it is accurate except for one thing: The nail forgets that both it and the hammer are servants of the same workman. Let the nail but remember that the hammer is held by the workman and all resentment toward it will disappear. The carpenter decides whose head shall be beaten next and what hammer shall be used in the beating. That is his sovereign right. When the nail has surrendered to the will of the workman and has gotten a little glimpse of his benign plans for its future it will yield to the hammer without complaint.

The file is more painful still, for its business is to bite into the soft metal, scraping and eating away the edges till it has shaped the metal to its will. Yet the file has, in truth, no real will in the matter, but serves another master as the metal also does. It is the master and not the file that decides how much shall be eaten away, what shape the metal shall take, and how long the painful filing shall continue. Let the metal accept the will of the master and it will not try to dictate when or how it shall be filed.

As for the furnace, it is the worst of all. Ruthless and savage, it leaps at every combustible thing that enters it and never relaxes its fury till it has reduced it all to shapeless ashes. All that refuses to burn is melted to a mass of helpless matter, without will or purpose of its own. When everything is melted that will melt and all is burned that will burn, then and not till then the furnace calms down and rests from its destructive fury.

With all this known to him, how could Rutherford find it in his heart to praise God for the hammer, the file and the furnace? The answer is simply that he loved the Master of the hammer, he adored the Workman who wielded the file, he worshiped the Lord who heated the furnace for the everlasting blessing of His children. He had felt the hammer till its rough beatings no longer hurt; he had endured the file till he had come actually to enjoy its bitings; he had walked with God in the furnace so long that it had become as his natural habitat. That does not overstate the facts. His letters reveal as much.

Such doctrine as this does not find much sympathy among Christians in these soft and carnal days. …

It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.

* Samuel Rutherford (1600? – 1661) was a Puritan Scottish Presbyterian theologian and author, and was was one of the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly. He is best known for his Letters. The quote above comes from a letter to Robert Gordon of Knockbrex dated 1st January 1637 and titled ‘Benefit of Affliction’ .

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The fellowship of God is delightful beyond all telling. He communes with His redeemed ones in an easy, uninhibited fellowship that is restful and healing to the soul. He is not sensitive nor selfish nor temperamental. What He is today we shall find Him tomorrow and the next day and the next year. He is not hard to please, though He may be hard to satisfy. He expects of us only what He Himself first supplied. …

How good it would be if we could learn that God is easy to live with. He remembers our frame and knows that we are dust. He may sometimes chasten us, it is true, but even this He does with a smile, the proud, tender smile of a Father who is bursting with pleasure over an imperfect but promising son who is coming every day to look more and more like the One whose child he is.

We please Him most, not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into His arms with all our imperfections, and believing that he understands everything and loves us still.

Source: A.W. Tozer, The root of the righteous

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Probably the most widespread and persistent problem to be found among Christians is the problem of retarded spiritual progress.

The causes are many. One there is, which is so universal that it may easily be the main cause: failure to give time to the cultivation of the knowledge of God.

The temptation to make our relation to God judicial instead of personal is very strong.

Paul devoted his whole life to the art of knowing Christ (Phil 3:8,10,14).

Progress in the Christian life is exactly equal to the growing knowledge we gain of the triune God in personal experience. And such experience requires a whole life devoted to it and plenty of time spent at the holy task of cultivating God.

We may as well accept it: there is no short cut to sanctity. Even the crises that come in the spiritual life are usually the result of long periods of thought and prayerful meditation. As the wonder grows more and more dazzling there is likely to occur a crisis of revolutionizing proportions. But that crisis is related to what has gone before. It is a sudden sweet explosion, an uprushing of the water that has been increasing its pressure within until we can no longer contain it. Back of it all is the slow build up and preparation that comes from waiting upon God.”

Source: A.W. Tozer, The root of the righteous

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Idolatry

The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of him.

W. Tozer (1897-1963)

Whenever we take what God has done and put it in the place of himself, we become idolators.

Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

Idolatry is not only the adoration of images … but also trust in one’s own righteousness, works and merits, and putting confidence in riches and power.

Martin Luther (1483-1546)

O senseless man who cannot make a worm, and yet makes gods by dozens.

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1592)

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