Monday, December 10, 2007

God Always Acts Like Himself
...recovering a reverence for God in ministry

A.W. Tozer has always been a favorite of mine.  He is not a flatter; he certainly is not politically correct in any way; he spoke the truth in love without thought of himself and the inevitable fallout to his popularity.  He served an Audience of ONE and we are grateful for the faithfulness in ministry this dear man of God has passed on to us.

The following devotional from him goes along the theme of recovering a reverence for God in ministry.  So little is being done these days on the glory, majesty and character of God without the anthropomorphic tag line of "personal esteem."

I commend this highly to you in your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

By His grace and for His glory,
2 Cor. 3:5

"To whom then will you liken God, 
or what likeness compare with him? An idol! 
A craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays 
it with gold and casts for it silver chains. 
He who is too impoverished for an offering chooses wool 
that will not rot; he seeks out a skillful craftsman 
to set up an idol that will not move.

To whom then will you compare me, 
that I should be like him? says the Holy One. 
Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? 
He who brings out their host by number, 
calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, 
and because he is strong in power not one is missing.

Have you not known? Have you not heard? 
The LORD is the everlasting God, 
the Creator of the ends of the earth. 
He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might 
he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, 
and young men shall fall exhausted; 
they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; 
they shall mount up with wings(AO) like eagles; 
they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." 
-Isaiah 40:18-20; 25-26; 28-31

by A.W. Tozer
Since true faith rests upon what God is, it is of utmost importance that, to the limit of our comprehension, we know what He is. "They that know thy name will put their trust in thee" (Psalm 9:10). The name of God is the verbal expression of His character, and confidence always rises or falls with known character. What the psalmist said was simply that they who know God to be the kind of God He is will put their confidence in Him. This is not a special virtue, I repeat, but the normal direction any mind takes when confronted with the fact. We are so made that we trust good character and distrust its opposite.

That is why unbelief is so intensely wicked. "He that believeth not God hath made him a liar" (1 John 5:10). The character of God is the Christian's final ground of assurance and the solution of many, if not most, of his practical religious problems. Some persons, for instance, believe that God answered prayer in Bible times but will not do so today, and others hold that the miracles of olden days can never be repeated. To believe so is to deny or at least to ignore almost everything God has revealed about Himself. We must remember that God always acts like Himself. He has never at any time anywhere in the vast universe acted otherwise than in character with His infinite perfections.

This knowledge should be a warning to the enemies of God, and it cannot but be an immense consolation to His friends.

You are my resting place. The more I know You the more I trust You. I can trust You even when I do not understand.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
— Hebrews 13:8

Horatius Bonar understood it well when he wrote: "I change, He changes not, the Christ can never die; His love, not mine, the resting place; His truth, not mine, the tie."

That Incredible Christian
Chapter # Six
Faith's Foundation Is God

Listen to Tozer's Sermons online here.


Don P said...

Thanks, Campi. at first, I understood the nature of judgement. After I came to faith, I did not understand what the word Holy meant(I'm still not sure I could adequately define it). In studying this I came to a greater understanding of the character of God. The more I know of Him, the more I am in awe of Him, and the more I love Him!

Hayden said...

Thanks Steve. This is a good reminder. (Just wanted to let you know that I still read you blog even when I do not comment about some of the concerns you have with Mark Driscoll :)

S.J. Walker said...

Brother Steve,

How Truly, Terribly, and Wonderfully Flattening is the Nature of God.


God Bless!

Debbie said...

When I was in college, a wonderful professor gave me a copy of A.W. Tozer's "The Pursuit of God". A little paperback with just ten short chapters, my copy is worn and pretty shabby. I really have no idea how many times I've read it, but I'm so thankful how over 20years ago God used it to minister to me in such a profound way and continues to today. It has become my gift of choice for high-school graduates with the prayer that as they read it, "...God will become to you the great All, and His presence the glory and wonder of your life." (Ch. 4 - Apprehending God)

Thank you, Steve, for this devotional and for the link to his sermons. What an amazing resource! I'm looking forward to spending some time there.

Always thrilled to read a piece by Tozer,


SJ Camp said...

My first Tozer book was The Knowledge of the Holy. It as well is a bit torn and tattered.

Oh for another gerneration of these kinds of men to pastor our churches and serve in evangelism.


Morris Brooks said...

The reverence of God is one of the great missing pieces on most of our churches. This lack of reverence is pervasive from the time the church starts to gather all the way through the end of the service. The dress, the type of music, the lyrics, the message, the attitude and demeanor of pastors and worship leaders. There is no longer a holy fear of God. He is not portrayed as holy, majestice, and supreme, but more like your big "bubba". Maybe our churches would be more spiritually impactful if we had a reverent attitude towards Him.