Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tozer on "The Exaltation of God"

A.W. Tozer has something to challenge me on almost every page I read. In his book, The Pursuit of God, he has an essay on The Exaltation of God. In it I found the following quotes:

"Every soul belongs to God and exists by His pleasure. God being who He is, and we being who we are, the only thinkable relation between us is one of full Lordship on His part and complete submission on ours."

This is the point that the evangelical culture in our country seems to have conveniently forgotten. The EC ignores Lordship...especially "full Lordship." And if you don't recognize full Lordship, then complete submission is not even on your radar screen. Do we really take time to get quiet before the Lord for an extended period of time and ponder who He really is? Maybe if we did that, we would arrive at the same conclusion as Tozer.

"The pursuit of God will embrace the labor of bringing our total personality into conformity to His. And this is not judicially, but actually."

Tozer makes the point of mentioning "judicially" because he understands that we are justified by faith alone, which makes us right with God judicially. But we then have the challenge of sanctification, which is the act of bringing our total personality into conformity to God's. This is an actual, intentional, laborious process, and it involves, in the power of the Holy Spirit, actually changing who we are.

"The moment we make up our minds that we are going on with this determination to exalt God over all, we step out of the world's parade."

Doing the above means determining to exalt God... and that means being different from the world. How many of us quickly get defensive here, professing that we don't really love the world, but are just living in it? God's way and the way of the world are completely antithetical; you can't have it both ways. Tozer goes on to quickly cut our excuses out from under us with the next quote:

"Our break with the world will be the direct outcome of our changed relation to God. For the world of fallen men does not honor God. Millions call themselves by His name, it is true, and pay some token respect to Him, but a simple test will show how little He is really honored among them. Let the average man be put to the proof on the question of who or what is above, and his true position will be exposed. Let him be forced into making a choice between God and money, between God and men, between God and personal ambition, God and self, God and human love, and God will take second place every time."

(In Tozer's day, he probably didn't have to deal as much with this one: Between God and sports!) When the rubber meets the road, which choice will it be? If the answer isn't 100% "God," then we are not honoring Him and He is not our true Lord. Note that Tozer phrases it as "forced to make a choice." This is not an intellectual agreement; he means it to be real life. If we know what God is asking of us, and yet refuse to willingly conform ourselves with a joyful heart, then we are dishonoring our Lord...and that raises the question of what we truly believe. That's the whole point of this blog. Are you serious about your faith? If so, then it has to show as you grow in Jesus' righteousness. You can't sit still; you must be becoming more like your Lord.

And I write/preach this to myself as well....

May we all seriously consider what we need to do to pass Tozer's test on honoring the Father of our Lord and Savior.

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