8 Quotes From “Paths To Power” by A.W. Tozer

As I said in my book review, A.W. Tozer’s words frequently make me say both “Ouch!” and “Amen!” Maybe you’ll feel the same thing in these few quotes.

“Left to herself the Church must have perished as a thousand abortive sects had done before her, and have left nothing for a future generation to remember. That the Church did not so perish was due entirely to the miraculous element within her. That element was supplied by the Holy Spirit who came at Pentecost to empower her for her task. For the Church was not an organization merely, not a movement, but a walking incarnation of spiritual energy. …

“In short, the Church began in power, moved in power, and moved just as long as she had power. When she no longer had power she dug in for safety and sought to conserve her gains. But her blessings were like manna: when they tried to keep it overnight it bred worms and stank. So we have had monasticism, scholasticism, institutionalism; and they have all been indicative of the same thing: absence of spiritual power.” 

“The weakness in our message today is our overemphasis on faith with a corresponding underemphasis on obedience. This has been carried so far that ‘believe’ has been made to double for ‘obey’ in the minds of millions of religious persons.”

“In every denomination, missionary society, local church, or individual Christian this law operates. God works as long as His people live daringly; He ceases when they no longer need His aid.” 

“To any casual observer of the religious scene today, two things will at once be evident: one, that there is very little sense of sin among the unsaved, and two, that the average professed Christian lives a life so worldly and careless that it is difficult to distinguish him from the unconverted man.”

“It is always dangerous to isolate a truth and then press it to its limit without regard to other truth.”

“It may be stated as an axiom of the Christian system that whatever makes sin permissible is a foe of God and an enemy of the souls of men.”

“Some time after Pentecost a group of believers met to pray for strength and power to meet the emergency then facing them, and to enlist the help of God on their behalf. ‘And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the Word of God with boldness’ (Acts 4:31). Some of these were of the original number filled at Pentecost. It is hardly conceivable that God acted contrary to His own will in filling them again after Pentecost. Still other outpourings are recorded in Acts 8, 10 and 19. All these occurred some years after the original act.

“In brief, the teaching of the New Testament is that the outpouring at Pentecost was the historic beginning of an era which was to be characterized by a continuous outpouring of the Holy Spirit.”

“This anti-emotionalism, though it is sponsored by some good people and travels in pretty orthodox company, is nevertheless an unwarranted inference, not a scriptural doctrine, and is in violent opposition to psychology and common sense. Where in the Bible are feeling and faith said to be at odds? The fact is that faith engenders feeling as certainly as life engenders motion. We can have feeling without faith, it is true, we can never have faith without feeling. Faith as a cold, unemotional light is wholly unknown in the Scriptures.”

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Thursdays With Oswald—A Dangerous (But Vital) Prayer

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.

A Dangerous (But Vital) Prayer

     No one but a fool or a sincere soul would ever pray this prayer—‘Search me, O God’ [Psalm 139:23-24] … Any soul who prays that prayer will be answered. … 

     If you want to know what the scrutiny of God is like, listen to Jesus Christ: “For from within, out of the heart of man, evil thoughts proceed…” [Matthew 15:19], and then follows a rugged catalog of things few of us know anything about in conscious life, consequently we are apt to be indignant and resent Jesus Christ’s diagnosis—“I have never felt like a murderer, or an adulterer, therefore those things cannot be in me.” To talk in that way is proof that we are grossly ignorant of ourselves. If we prefer to trust our ignorant innocence we pass a verdict on the only Master of the human heart there is, we tell Him He does not know what He is talking about. The one right thing to do is to listen to Jesus Christ and then hand our hearts over to God to be searched and guarded, and filled with the Holy Spirit. … 

     Jesus Christ has undertaken through His Redemption to put into us a heart so pure that God Almighty can see nothing to censure in it, and the Holy Spirit searches us not only to make us know the possibilities of iniquity in our heart, but to make us “unblameable in holiness” in His sight.

From The Soul Of A Christian

Are you willing to really pray this prayer, listen to what the Holy Spirit says, and then allow Christ’s work of redemption to make you unblameable in holiness?

Or, Chambers asks, “Are we willing to let God scrutinize us, or are we doing the worst of all things, trying to justify ourselves?”

It’s your choice.

Thursdays With Oswald—Your Peace Vs. True Peace

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.

Your Peace Vs. True Peace

     Conviction of sin is the realization that my natural life is based on a disposition that will not have Jesus Christ. The Gospel does not present what the natural man wants but what he needs, and the Gospel awakens an intense resentment as well as an intense craving. … 

     If I am peaceful and happy and contented and living my life with my morality well within my own grasp, why does the Holy Spirit need to come in and upset the balance and make me miserable and unfit for anything? It is time we asked ourselves these questions. God’s Book gives us the answer. Thank God, we are coming to the end of the shallow presentation of Christianity that makes out that Jesus Christ came only to give us peace. Thousands of people are happy without God in this world, but that kind of happiness and peace is on a wrong level. Jesus Christ came to send a sword through every peace that is not based on a personal relationship to Himself. He came to put us right with God that His own peace might reign. …

     If once we have allowed Jesus Christ to upset the equilibrium, holiness is the inevitable result, or no peace forever. …

     Before the Spirit of God can bring peace of mind He has to clear out the rubbish, and before He can do that He has to give us an idea of what rubbish there is.

From The Soul Of A Christian

Jesus said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34).

The Apostle Paul also noted that he was perfectly happy living his life as he was, until he read in the Scripture that the way he was happily living was actually sinful. And once he realized that, the sin actually became harder to break (see Romans 7:7-20).

Oswald Chambers reminds us of the same fact: God wants to upset anything on which we have based our peace that is not rooted in Him. He wants to make us aware of our trust in other sources, our wrong beliefs, our human-based equilibrium. In short, He wants to show us the rubbish in our life so that He can help us clear out that rubbish and know true peace!

Will you let Him disturb your peace so you can know true peace?

Thursdays With Oswald—Conscience

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.

Conscience 

     Conscience is that innate faculty in a man’s spirit that attaches itself to the highest the man knows, whether he be an atheist or a Christian. The highest the Christian knows is God: the highest the atheist knows is his principles. … 

     When conscience begins to be awakened by God, we either become subtle hypocrites or saints, that is, either we let God’s law working through conscience bring us to the place where we can be put right, or we begin to hoodwink ourselves, to affect a religious pose, not before other people, but before ourselves, in order to appease conscience—anything to be kept out of the real presence of God because where ever He comes, He disturbs. … 

     The majority of us have caught on the jargon of holiness without the tremendous panging pain that follows the awakening to holiness. The Spirit of God brings us to face ourselves steadily in the light of God until sin is seen in its true nature. If you want to know what sin is, don’t ask the convicted sinner, ask the saint, the one who has been awakened to the holiness of God through the Atonement; he is the one who can begin to tell you what sin is. … It is only as we walk in the light as God is in the light that we begin to understand the unfathomable depths of cleansing to which the blood of Jesus Christ goes (1 John 1:7). … 

     When a man begins his life with God there are great tracts of his life that he never bothers his head about, but slowly and surely the Spirit of God educates him down to the tiny little scruple. Every crook and cranny of the physical life, every imagination and emotion is perfectly known to God, and He demands that all these be blameless. … The marvel of the Atonement is just this very thing, that the perfect Savior imparts His perfections to me, and as I walk in the light as God is in the light, every part of bodily life, of affectionate life and of spirit life are kept unblameable in holiness; my duty is to keep in the light, God does all the rest.

From The Philosophy Of Sin

Quick question: What are you going to do the next time the Holy Spirit disturbs your conscience?

12 Quotes From “I Stand At The Door And Knock”

I Stand At The Door And KnockCorrie ten Boom was an amazing woman! To experience the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp, and still retain such a sweet, godly spirit is indeed a miracle of God’s grace. This beautiful spirit of hers come through loud and clear in her book I Stand At The Door And Knock (you may read my book review here). Below are just a few of the many quotes which I highlighted as I read.

“You see, if you and I want to be used, we needn’t rely on ourselves, because it is the Holy Spirit who does it. And that is why we can be at peace in our day-to-day lives. The fact that we wish to be used is a gift from the Holy Spirit in itself.”

“A piece of good advice is to forgive anyone immediately—and I mean immediately— if they say or do something against you. Then the devil won’t have a chance to keep a shadow in your heart.”

“Holiness can bring about a new conflict. We need to take care. The devil wants to lead us into the energy of our inner selves. Preaching yourself, relying on yourself, boasting about your faith, taking pride in your own experiences. And then the devil will say, ‘Revel in your own experiences.’ But that is not right. You should not rely on your past experiences. It may strengthen your faith, but holiness is living out the Jesus Christ living in you.” 

“Imagine, when I had a watchmaker’s shop, you came to me and you bought a gold watch with a gold strap. Imagine that when I wrapped it up for you, I removed the gold strap and hid it. When you came home, you saw that you only had a watch. What would you do? You would say to everybody, ‘Don’t ever buy something from Corrie ten Boom; she doesn’t give you value for money.’ If you and I do not give ourselves entirely to the Lord, we do not give Him the value He has paid for us on the Cross. We were bought at a very high price. That Cross was horrendous. It was an extremely high price to pay for you and me.”

“In my short-sightedness, I thought I had to do everything with my own power, according to my abilities. But everything depends on Hisability, Hispower.”

“The devil may laugh at our plans. He smiles when we are up to our eyes in work. But he quakes when we pray. When we are faithful intercessors he often says to us, ‘Shouldn’t you stop? You have been doing this for such a long time, and can’t you see, the Lord doesn’t listen.’ But he is a liar. Not one of our prayers is lost. … satan laughs when we try hard. He mocks our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.”

“While I was imprisoned during the war, I knew the Morse code, but it didn’t really help me. What actually supported me was every text and every Christian song I knew by heart. Learning Bible texts and Christian songs by heart is a preparation which we can all do today.”

“Lord Jesus, please forgive us that we so often live a life poor in You, while You suffered so heavily on the Cross so that we would become the King’s rich children. Holy Spirit, open our eyes. Give us a vision, an understanding of our wealth.”

“Religion is no security. The Antichrist will be very religious. A world religion will develop, and he himself will become its god.” 

“Jesus said, ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.’ Our citizenship is in heaven. We are heaven dwellers. Our home is there.”

“The Bible says, ‘Be filled with the Spirit’ (Ephesians 5:18), which means not only do I have the Holy Spirit, but also does the Holy Spirit have me?”

“We should not rely on our capacities, but on God’s capacities. We shouldn’t draw from our limited resources, but from His immense power.”

I will also be sharing some of Corrie’s quotes on Twitter and Tumblr, so follow me there for more great content.

6 Quotes On Commitment From “The Seven Laws Of Love”

The Seven Laws Of LoveIn The Seven Laws Of Love, Dave Willis gives us some highly practical, biblically-based counsel for investing in all of our relationships. Normally when I share quotes from books, I share all of them at once, but I felt like it would be good to share these quotes a bit more slowly, to give you time to read them and apply them.

The seven laws Dave identifies are:

  1. Love requires commitment
  2. Love selflessly sacrifices
  3. Love speaks truth
  4. Love conquers fear
  5. Love offers grace
  6. Love brings healing
  7. Love lives forever

Dave writes in the introduction to his book, “God wants love to flow through our lives like a mighty river. The laws of love are the invisible banks God has placed around love for our prosperity and protection. When our relationships live with in those boundaries, everyone involved is enriched. When we dismiss or disregard the boundaries, our relationships can quickly become unhealthy and unsustainable.”

From law #1, here are some quotes on commitment—

“God created love to be a transformative force in every aspect of our lives. … Before that can happen, though, there must be commitment. Without a real commitment, there can be no real love.”

“The strength of your commitment will always determine the strength of your relationship.”

“God brought His own Son through the lineage of a poor young woman named Ruth who understood the power of commitment in the meaning of love. God wants to create a generational impact through your life as well. The level at which you’ll make an eternal impact is defined by your level of commitment to the people God has placed in your life.” 

“Our commitment to others is evident in the consistency with which we serve them. Grand, one-time gestures can be nice, it’s what we do with consistency that will ultimately shape our relationships.”

“We’ve traded true intimacy for porn. We’ve traded committed marriages for commitment-free cohabitation. We’ve traded having children for having pets. We’ve traded meaningful conversations for text messages. We’ve traded ‘till death do us part’ for divorce. We’ve traded the pursuit of holiness for the pursuit of happiness. We’ve traded love for lust. We’ve attempted to exploit all the benefits and pleasures of love without investing the commitment and self-sacrifice that love requires.” 

“Your life and your relationships will be defined by the commitments you make and how well you keep them.”

Check out my review of The Seven Laws Of Love by clicking here.

Watch for more quotes from the other laws of love explained in this book throughout the next few days.

Christians As Priests

Priesthood of ChristiansThere are some extraordinary pictures in the Old Testament that take on new life when viewed through the lens of Jesus Christ. One picture is how God chose the Jewish people out of all the people on earth, how He then chose the tribe of Levi to serve as His priests, and then how He chose Aaron from the Levites to be the high priest.

The Jewish people, the Levites, and then Aaron became God’s special possession because He chose them; it’s not that He chose them because they were special. God did this to give us a picture of what He wants to do with all of us.

Although the Levites were chosen as priests, God tells all of Israel—

You will be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (Exodus 19:6)

For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. That the Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be His people, His treasured possession. (Deuteronomy 7:6)

When the Apostle Peter is speaking to New Testament Christians, he uses the same type of language. He calls all Christians:

Christians are ‘a kingdom of priests and a holy nation’ that are to carry out their priestly roles while on Earth. 

Peter also talks about where Christian priests are to minister. In the Old Testament, the priests had a set location where ministry was done. But Peter says we are living stones built on the Living Stone (2:4). That means that the place of worship today is not brick and mortar, but flesh and blood.

Christian priesthood is mobile, adaptable, empathetic, and responsive to the the needs of the people.

If you are a Christian, here are some good questions to ask yourself:

We will be continuing our series about how citizens of Heaven should live on Earth (a series we’ve called Aliens and Strangers) this Sunday. If you don’t have a home church in the Cedar Springs area, please come join us. If you cannot visit us in person, you can watch our Periscope broadcast (just search for user @craigtowens).

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