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