Tag Archives: a. w. tozer

Love & Faith

Faith is the organ of knowledge, and love an organ of experience. God came to us in the incarnation; in the atonement He reconciled us to himself, and by faith and love we enter and lay hold on Him.

A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy

love faith

Love is not a static word, it is a verb and so by definition expresses action. The action love expresses is displayed through selflessness, & service. Jesus said that our love for God would be seen in our love for the least of these. (I have already written much on this point.)

Faith, likewise, is also a action word. However Faith is either continual tense, or past tense. You either had faith, or you continue to still have faith. We best understand faith by the words we use to substitute it with like trust, and belief. I trust in God, I believe in God, I have faith in God.  Yet, we use the word belief or believe to talk about faith a problem arises. Because when when many of us talk about belief or believing in something we can do  it without effecting our present reality. Belief has become nothing more than a statement or agreement. A common point to gather, but leave separate when its over. Trust on the other hand is a good substitute. Because when we trust we are moved to a place of reliance, beyond mere belief. Yes we believe in God, but we also trust in God. As Tozer wrote, Faith is that organ of knowledge, but it does not stop there, it moves past belief to trust and in trust we are required to act. If your faith is alive and well it will be displayed through your life and deeds. You faith is in a state of continual use, or it is in past tense…dead.

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Letting Go & Letting God be God.

the image of God

“We want a God we can in some measure control. We need the feeling of security that comes from knowing what God is like, and what He is like is of course a composite of all the religious pictures we have seen, all the best people we have known or heard about, and all the sublime ideas we have entertained.”

-A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy.

What a sad commentary on humanity. How short even our thoughts are from God. God in the mind of many, as Tozer said, is a collage of religious images; skinny unscathed Jesus on the Cross; gentle Jesus snuggle close to lambs; God stretching out his finger to Adam but not quite touching. Experiences and people we know taint the image of God. We see God like we see our Father, or Mother, Pastor, or influencing figures. However, the worst seems to be Tozer’s last assertion that becomes a culmination of all the sublime ideas we have entertained. This is as if to say, God is a great as we can imagine. How tragic! A God whose glory and majesty power and grandeur can be housed in the mind of a man. God is none of these things. God is Holy other. He is separate and far from the thoughts of man. He is bigger than we can imagine and more intimate than we grasp. He is more than our sublime ideas, and possible less.

God is love, but not as man imagines love. Because for God love is who he is, not what he does or how he acts. God does not love like man loves. Every action God does is love. For man it is hard to except judgment and discipline as love. But for God all of these actions are seen as the same, they are simply God in action. God’s actions cannot be classified as love or wrath, judgment, or grace. All of these action spill from the same well, the spirit of God, who is love.

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Right Doctrine Right Lives

right doctrine right life

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.
The History of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God.”

“ The most portentous facts about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he is his deep heart conceives God to be like. We tend by a secret law of the soul move toward our mental image of God.”

“Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, ‘what comes into your mind when you think about God?’ we might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man. Were we able to know exactly what our influential religious leaders think today, we might be able with some precision to foretell where the Church will stand tomorrow.”
-A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy.

This could not be truer. The theologies that emerged from the previous generation are shaping the face of the Church today. And the theologies that are being forged today will play out tomorrow.  This is why Doctrine and theology are so important.  The study and pursuit of theology are not just academic efforts, but should be the efforts of all people. Our understanding of God shapes how we live our lives. Either man mimics the true God, or man makes a God who will mimic him. But in the end all men have a God in whom they follow. Even the atheists have a god, that god is self.
As believers in Christ we must aspire to know God, and let him know us; to search him, and let him search us; to love him, and let him love us.  It is only first, with a proper understanding of God, that we have any hope to mature into his image, which is the pursuit of every Christian.

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