Monday, March 05, 2007

"Believing" Commands- Keys to the Deeper Life- Part 4

A.W. Tozer chooses to end Chapter 2 of Keys to the Deeper Life with, “If we are alert enough to hear God’s voice we must not content ourselves with merely ‘believing’ it. How can any man believe a command? Commands are to be obeyed, and until we have obeyed them we have done exactly nothing at all about them. And to have heard them and not obeyed them is infinitely worse than never to have heard them at all, especially in light of Christ’s soon return and the judgment to come.” The chapter is entitled, “Panting After God” and is thus about a heartfelt, joyous seeking of a close, intimate relationship with God regardless of the cost. And yet he closes this topic with the above thought. In Tozer’s mind there is obviously a very direct and very important link between a close relationship to God and obedience to the commands in His Word.

If we have come to the point where we are “hearing” God through His Word and through a close, experiential relationship with Him, then we have gotten to a point of great intimacy with our Creator. It means we have come to know Him for who He really is: our Creator, our Savior, and our Lord. Think about the sort of “conversations” you would have: they wouldn’t be the typical chit-chat of friendship, but rather they would be your Lord instructing you on His desires for your life! In other words…commands! If we have gotten this close, we should already be well-versed about joyfully doing as He commands. We would have long since learned what a joy and a pleasure it is to follow Him wherever He might lead, doing whatever He might command.

The question then becomes, “What comes first, intimacy with the Almighty or obedience to the Almighty?” I’m afraid that more often than not we are seeking the intimacy first. We want the closeness, the joy of knowing God…and figure the obedience stuff can come later, if at all. Obedience might actually change us; we would rather know God on our terms. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. Tozer makes a very astute observation when he notes we cannot “believe a command.” The Bible is full of commands. Make a special note to look for them the next time you are reading. They are everywhere. Be this way. Act that way. Think in another way. Treat others in this manner. Look for the imperative in the sentence structure that makes it a command to the believer. We cannot say we believe in all of Scripture unless we take the commands at face value and actually obey them!

It is this obedience that will change our lives, for God will not leave us chasing a little white ball around a course while there is personal sanctification to be done and Kingdom work to be accomplished. If we insist on just hitting a little white ball with a club, then there is reason to doubt that you actually know God. And if you don’t actually know God, then you are not saved. Within 100 years, either Christ is going to return or you are going to die. There will be a judgment. Your golf handicap will not fare well before the judgment seat of Christ. Knowing God through the blood of His Risen Son and a sanctified life of ever-increasing obedience is what will enable you to stand before the infinitely holy and perfect power of God.

1 comment:

George said...

I like the path of your discussion. There is so much easy believism around that almost boils down to being nice, doing nice things, smiling a lot, always be happy, be positive, never say anything that might be disagreeable.

Actually, the name of your blog caught my eye since I wrote an article on my blog with a similar title. It can be found at