Knowing the Will of God-Tozer-Part 4

  

Attitude Toward Myself
 
"Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. (The idea here is not to look down on anyone. Grant them the same respect you desire from others). Be not wise in your own conceits" (Romans 12:16).
 
 "Then, how does this new thing affect our attitude toward ourselves? Whatever comes from God diminishes self and glorifies God. Whatever comes from God humbles us. Whatever comes from God makes the flesh intolerable. But if it comes from the flesh, it puffs up and makes us feel superior; it makes us look down on other Christians.
 
 Did you ever meet Christians with their noses elevated at a 45-degree angle from the level field? They smile down from their imperial heights and say, "You do not understand me, just pray about it," and they go away looking like Saint Francis. But all they had was a bad case of pride. it was just pride grown bad, grown cancerous., No, whatever is of God always humbles you. If it is of God, it makes you appreciate your fellow Christians that much more. And it makes you appreciate the humblest, poorest Christian in the whole congregation and makes you love that Christian.
 

 Self puffs up, makes you look down on other people and makes you pity them and smile down on them. Never put yourself on a pedestal. In you dwelleth no good thing. I do not care who you are or how many degrees you have or anything that you might say or have justly said about you. Any experience that is of God, any doctrine that is of God, humbles my flesh and brings me down lowly before Him; it makes Him great and me little."   

 
Taken from"Reclaiming Christianity" By A. W. Tozer. Used by permission from Gospel Light Publications. For more information, contact Gospel Light at www.gospellight.com
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Knowing the Will of God-Tozer-Part 3

  
 

Attitude Toward the Scriptures
  
"For ever, O LORD, Thy Word is settled in Heaven" (Psalm 119:89).
 
    How does this new experience, this new interpretation, this new preacher or new emphasis affect our attitude toward and our relationship to the Scriptures?
Are they more or less precious to us?
    A woman once came to me and said, "Mr. Tozer, I'd like to ask you a question. I'm troubled."
    I said, "What is your trouble?"
    She told me, "Our pastor has gone forward in the things of God, and he's gone so fast that he tells us that God's given him new revelations that are not in the Scriptures. And he wants us to divest our minds of all that we've learned and follow him, and he says that we'll be sinning if we don't follow him."
    I told her in a nice, scholarly way to tell him to go get lost and for her to go back to the Word of God. No man will ever by able to persuade me to follow him unless he follows the Scriptures. Here is the Book: "To the law and to the testimony: If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20). He that hath the dream let him tell the dream; but he that hath the Word let him speak My Word faithfully. You can always check with the Word.
    If this new experience does not make you read the Word more, it is not of God. If it does not make you meditate on the truth more, it is not of God. And I do not care how good you feel. If you feel so good you feel brand new, as the camp meeting song used to have it, you are still not being blessed of God.

    Some might ask, "Is it possible to have an emotional experience that is not of God?" I should say so. It is entirely possible to get emotional experiences that are not of God. But I believe that true experiences carry an emotional overtone, and for that reason, I have no objection whatever to emotions. I believe the Lord's people ought to be the happiest and most radiant people in the world, and I believe they ought not to hesitate to speak right out and say "amen" when they feel like it, if it is not just a habit. If it is, it is just so much dry wood. So ask yourself, how do these experiences affect my attitude toward the Scriptures?

 
 
Taken from"Reclaiming Christianity" By A. W. Tozer. Used by permission from Gospel Light Publications. For more information, contact Gospel Light at www.gospellight.com

Knowing the Will of God-Tozer-Part 2

  

Attitude Toward Christ

 

"….that in all things He might have the preeminence." (From Colossians 1:18).
  
    How does this new thing affect our attitude toward and our relation to Christ? Because Christ is who He is and what He is, He is indispensable. He is and always will be necessary to the point where we must have Him. Any teaching, any experience, any fellowship, any activity that makes Christ less necessary to us cannot be of God.

    Say that you have gone to the altar. You have prayed, you have been blessed, you have heard teachings given by men with breath in their nostrils. The fact that Dr. So-and-so said it does not make it true. The fact that I have said it does not make it true. The fact that your Bible teachers said it does not make it true. We can be mistaken. You have to test us, as well as everybody else, and search the Scriptures. 
    Has our teaching made Christ bigger, grander, sweeter and more indispensably beautiful now than He was before? If He is, you have every good reason to believe that you have been hearing from God. If He is less glorious, and you have become attached to man, then the teaching you have had is bad or at least it has been given in a bad way. Jesus Christ is absolutely necessary. He is the divine imperative. He is the one without whom we cannot live. We must have Him and we must be in Him and He in us. If it is of God, your dependence on God and your dependence on Christ will increase, and Christ will become sweeter and more wonderful all the time.
    I do not say He will become sweeter as the years go by. We sing that song, but I do not believe it half the time I hear it. The same old deacon who sings "Sweeter as the Years Go By" every second Sunday morning for 20 years is the same sour, sulky, stubborn old person he was before, only he is a little older, that is all. Let us not sing it if we do not mean it. I would rather sit quietly and never croak an "amen," than to lie to God and the people. But if He is more glorious every day, it is no harm in saying so; and I believe in coming out and saying so.
    Jesus Christ, our Lord, is indispensable; He is above all; and any experience, any interpretation of Scripture that does not make Him big and great and wonderful, is not of God. For God wants to make His Son glorious, and the Son wants to make the Father glorious, and the Holy Spirit wants to make the Father and the Son glorious. And so anything that comes to you, even an archangel with a wingspread of 40 feet and shining like a neon sign were to come down here and tell me that he has just seen a miracle and wants me to come, I would want chapter and verse. I would want to know that he was from God. I an not running after any will-o'-the wisp.

    I bother many people. They wonder why I am not all worked up about them when they come streaming in. I am not going to be worked up over a man with his breath in his nostrils. Here is my book  – the Bible; here are my two knees, and I am still able to bend them. When I get so old and rheumatic that I can't bend them, I can stand up and pray. God Almighty hears His people pray, and I have a line open to Him. When people tell me the Lord told them to tell me something, I say, "My line is open to God; why didn't He tell me?" I reject it unless it obviously makes God wonderful and makes Jesus Christ beautiful; then I'll give it an ear. But that doesn't happen very often.

 

 

Taken from"Reclaiming Christianity" By A. W. Tozer. Used by permission from Gospel Light Publications. For more information, contact Gospel Light at www.gospellight.com

Knowing the Will of God-Tozer-Part 1

  

Attitude Toward God

 
"O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His Name together" (Psalm 34:3).
  
Suppose you hear a new doctrine that comes your way by some fellow who perspires and talks sumptuously. All right now, he has got his doctrine, but what does that doctrine do for God? Does it make God great or small? Does it make God necessary or less necessary? Does it put God where He belongs–does it bring glory to him and humble me and show me how little I am and how great God is? Or does it obscure God and draw a veil across the face of God?
 
 Whatever makes God less important or less wonderful or less glorious or less mighty is not of God. The whole purpose of God in redemption and for sending the Scriptures and redeeming man is that He might be glorified among men. The glory of God is the health of the universe. Wherever God is not glorified, that part of the universe is sick.
 
 Hell is sick because God is not glorified there. Heaven is abounding in glorious health because God is glorified there. Earth is is halfway in-between sick and well, because only some glorify God, and the rest do not. The glory of God is the health of the universe; and the sound of the anthems of praise to God Almighty is the music of the spheres. Therefore, any doctrine, any phase or emphasis of doctrine; any experience that I may seem to have; any miracle that I may seem to have seen; if it does not make God big and keep Him big and make God indispensable and wonderful, then put it away and say, "I'll have nothing to do with anything that diminishes God." 
 
 
 
Taken from"Reclaiming Christianity" By A. W. Tozer. Used by permission from Gospel Light Publications. For more information, contact Gospel Light at www.gospellight.com

Knowing the Will of God-Tozer-Introduction

 
How to Know When a Thing is From God
 
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (I Thessalonians 5:21).
 
    I want to share a little spiritual treasure God gave me some years back to tell if a doctrine is from Him or not; whether a blessing I am receiving or an emotional experience I may have or a miracle I may think I see, or anything else, is of God. Some Christians, of course, cannot profit by this for the simple reason that they are static. They have had no new experiences, and they are not going to have any, if they can help it. They are satisfied to beat their wings fast and buzz around low. But you that are seekers after God, you that are troubled and concerned about your spiritual lives, this is for you.
    Some people are troubled in their spiritual lives. They read the Bible, but that does not help them. They do not seem to be able to find themselves. They are ready to hear from anyone, and that is a danger. I do not like to see anybody too willing to accept things. I like to have them do what the Bereans did  – examine the Scriptures to see if these things are true (see Acts 17:11).
    Some people are eager and seeking some new thing. You hear everybody and his brother lecturing, talking and giving messages. It's all right; radio is a good medium of communication. But you have to use your head and your heart. Just the fact that he talks fast and sounds pious does not mean one thing. The devil can come as an angel of light. So you have to learn to know an angel of light from an angel of God. You have to learn to know pseudo truth from truth.
    These are those who are willing to take up a new doctrine and seek new experiences if somebody else comes along and demonstrates they have had one. And there are always those who are easily moved by miracles. I have never been. I have seen God do some miracles, but I have never been much convinced by miracles. If they will not believe Moses, the prophets, the apostles and our Lord, they would not believe even if a man rose from the dead. Miracles are secondary proofs of anything, and yet miracles move some people tremendously; and if somebody can come along and do a miracle, they would just believe anything.
 
    I want to give you a rule to help along this line: The rule is to check "the new thing" by asking how does it affect my attitude toward and my relation to God, Christ, the Scriptures, myself, other Christians, the world and sin?
 
Taken from"Reclaiming Christianity" By A. W. Tozer. Used by permission from Gospel Light Publications. For more information, contact Gospel Light at www.gospellight.com

Shifting Our Focus-9

What if God didn't love us? What if He didn't send His Son to bear sin's penalty in our place? What if He chose to keep us without any understanding of Himself such as He has given us in the Holy Bible? What if He took no interest in our lives? What if He didn't care about our future? What if He had no plans to bless us? What if He didn't want to be bothered to listen to us? What if God would answer none of our prayers? What if He ignored our hurts and offered no comfort in trials? What if He gave us no beauty and wonder to enjoy? What if He punished us every time we did wrong? What if He offered us no protection in life? What if He didn't bother to give us sunlight or rain? What if He didn't grant harvests? What if he allowed no inventions of labor saving devices? What if God criticized everything we do? What if He just wrote us off and sent us to hell? What if, indeed!? Selah! Our God manifests amazing grace to all mankind, inviting them to receive His Son as Savior and Lord, thereby giving all who receive the Lord Jesus a vital relationship with Himself. He is a personal God Who has, at infinite cost, reached down to us in the gutter of sin and offered His hand to lift us up to walk in newness of Life. What a gracious and merciful God!!  Ron

For all who throw themselves on His grace and mercy:  "He that spared not His own son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things" (Romans 8:32)?

A blessed Thanksgiving to all!

 

Shifting Our Focus-8

If you and I had done a lot of nice things for people and they simply took our help and never uttered a single word of gratitude to us, how would we feel? How long would we continue doing nice things for people that took us for granted? If this ingratitude would hurt us, how much more does God, who is infinite, feel hurt when we fail to give thanks from the heart? Yet, usually, God goes right on blessing, even when He is taken for granted. Another remarkable thing is that He blesses not only those who fail to give thanks to Him; He blesses those who ignore Him, hate Him, deny Him, and attack Him. This is "amazing grace!" He could withdraw our breath. He could withhold rain. He could ignore us when we are in need. However, He seldom ceases to bless. Sometimes He does use hard things to get our attention. He seeks us, loves us, provides for us and gives us many blessings beyond the two or three mentioned in this article. Selah! This "thanksgiving" time is a good time to begin offering to God our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for His abundant and faithful provision.    Ron

"By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name" (Hebrews 13:15).