Tozer: We Must Face Up To This

“Our Lord told of two men who appeared before God in prayer, a Pharisee who recited his virtues and a publican who beat on his breast and pleaded for mercy. The first was rejected, the other justified [see Luke 18:9-14].

“We manage to live with that story in some degree of comfort only by keeping it at full arm’s length and never permitting it to catch a hold of our conscience. These two men are long ago dead and their story has become a little religious classic. We are different, and how can anything so remote apply to us? So we reason, on a level only slightly above our unconscious, and draw what comfort we can from the vagueness and remoteness of it all.

“But why should we not face up to it? The truth is that this happens not a long while ago, but yesterday, this morning; not far away, but here where some of us last knelt to pray. These two men are not dead, but alive, and are found in the local church, at the missionary convention and the deeper life conference here, now, today.” —A.W. Tozer, from Man—The Dwelling Place Of God

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Thursdays With Oswald—What’s Holding You Back?

Oswald ChambersThis is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

What’s Holding You Back?

[In these quotes, Oswald Chambers is commenting on a story recorded in Mark 10:17-22.]

    One thing you lack.” Do I really want to be perfect? Do I really desire at all costs to every other interest that God should make me perfect? Can I say with Robert Murray McCheyne—“Lord, make me as holy as You can make a saved sinner”? Is that really the desire of my heart? … 

     “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor…. Then come follow Me.” These words mean a voluntary abandoning of riches and a deliberate, devoted attachment to Jesus Christ. We are so desperately wise in our own conceit that we continually make out that Jesus did not mean what He said, and we spiritualize His meaning into thin air. Jesus saw that this man depended on his riches. If He came to you or me He might not say that, but He would say something that dealt with whatever He saw we were depending on. …

     Never push an experience you have had into a principle by which to guide others. If you take what Jesus said to this man and make it mean that He taught we were to own nothing, you are evading what He taught, by making it external. Our Lord told the rich young ruler to loosen himself from his property because that was the thing that was holding him. …

     One of the most subtle errors is that God wants our possessions. He does not; they are not of any use to Him. He does not want my property, He wants myself.

From So Send I You

God wants you. All of you. He wants you without any strings attached to anything else.

“Is that really the desire of my heart?”

Listen closely to His voice. What is He asking you to loosen your hold on, so that you can hold on exclusively to Him? Don’t let temporary things hold you back from being perfectly His forever!

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