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Short Messages

A. W. Tozer

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  Short Messages by A. W. Tozer  

GLORIOUS CONTRADICTIONS

God has revealed so many glorious contradictions in the lives and conduct of genuine Christian believers that it is small wonder that we are such an amazement to this world. The Christian is dead and yet he lives forever. He died to himself and yet he lives in Christ. The Christian saves his own life by losing it and he is in danger of losing it by trying to save it. It is strange but true that the Christian is strongest when he is weakest and weakest when he is strongest. When he gets down on his knees thinking he is weak, he is always strong. The Christian is in least danger when he is fearful and trusting God and in the most danger when he feels the most self-confident. He is most sinless when he feels the most sinful and he is the most sinful when he feels the most sinless. The Christian actually has the most when he is giving away the most; and in all of these ways, the Christian is simply putting into daily practice the teachings and example of Jesus Christ, his Savior and Lord!


THE WALK OF FAITH

There are spiritual lessons for every Christian believer in the life of godly Enoch, seventh generation from Adam through Adam's third son, Seth. We are impressed that he could resist the devil and find fellowship with his Creator-God, for he lived in a worldly society headed for destruction. Enoch's daily walk was a walk of faith, a walk of fellowship with God. The Scriptures are trying to assure us that if Enoch could live and walk with God by faith in the midst of his sinful generation, we likewise should be able to follow his example because the human race is the same and God is the same! Beyond that, Enoch reminds us that the quality and boldness of our faith will be the measure of our preparation for the return of Jesus Christ to this earth. We walk by faith as Enoch did, and although it is now 20 centuries after Christ's sojourn on earth, we hold firmly to the New Testament promise that our risen Lord will return to earth again!


A MAN SENT FROM GOD

The Bible record is very plain when it assures us that John the Baptist was a man sent from God. Our generation would probably decide that such a man ought to be downright proud of the fact that God had sent him. We would urge him to write a book. Seminary leaders would line up to schedule him as guest lecturer. Actually, John the Baptist would never have fit into the contemporary religious scene in our day - never! He did not keep his suit pressed. He was not careful about choosing words that would not offend. He did not quote beautiful passages from the poets. The doctors of psychiatry would have quick advice for him: "John, you really need to get adjusted to the times and to society!" "Adjust"-that is a modern word I have come to hate. It was never an expression used to speak about human beings until we forgot that man has a soul. Now we have weird guys with mental "screwdrivers" adjusting one person a little tighter and another a little looser. John needed no adjustment. He gladly stepped down, so that all eyes could turn to Jesus, the Lamb of God!


YOUR DEVOTIONAL LIFE

Too many of us object, perhaps unconsciously, to the rather evident fact that the maintenance of the devotional mood is indispensable to success in the Christian life. And what is the devotional mood? It is nothing else than constant awareness of God's enfolding presence, the holding of inward conversations with Christ and private worship of God in spirit and in truth! To establish our hearts in the devotional mood we must abide in Christ, walk in the Spirit, pray without ceasing and meditate in the Word of God day and night. Of course this implies separation from the world and obedience to the will of God, as we are able to understand it. No matter how we may argue, true holiness and spiritual power are not qualities that can be once received and thereafter forgotten, as one might wind a clock or take a vitamin pill. Every advance in the spiritual life must be made against the determined resistance of the world, the flesh and the devil!


DEMONSTRATE YOUR FAITH

We know of many who have been deceived into believing that the learning and the memorizing of Christian doctrine is all-sufficient. They actually think that somehow they are better off for having learned the doctrines of religion. God actually asks of us what He asked of Noah long ago! "Demonstrate your faith in God in your everyday life!" It is evident that God did not say to Noah, "I am depending on you to hold the proper orthodox doctrines. Everything will be just fine if you stand up for the right doctrines." I have read a statement by Martin Lloyd-Jones, the English preacher and writer, in which he said: "It is perilously close to being sinful for any person to learn doctrine for doctrine's sake." I agree with his conclusion that doctrine is always best when it is incarnated-when it is seen fleshed out in the lives of godly men and women. Our God Himself appeared at His very best when He came into our world and lived in our flesh!


YOUR DEVOTIONAL LIFE

Too many of us object, perhaps unconsciously, to the rather evident fact that the maintenance of the devotional mood is indispensable to success in the Christian life. And what is the devotional mood? It is nothing else than constant awareness of God's enfolding presence, the holding of inward conversations with Christ and private worship of God in spirit and in truth! To establish our hearts in the devotional mood we must abide in Christ, walk in the Spirit, pray without ceasing and meditate in the Word of God day and night. Of course this implies separation from the world and obedience to the will of God, as we are able to understand it. No matter how we may argue, true holiness and spiritual power are not qualities that can be once received and thereafter forgotten, as one might wind a clock or take a vitamin pill. Every advance in the spiritual life must be made against the determined resistance of the world, the flesh and the devil!


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© 1999 The Old Time Gospel Ministry
"When to seek God has become life and to glorify God has become self, then you have truly found God."