One definition of a Christian mystic is someone who engages in deep, prayerful pondering of the nature of God, as He is revealed in the Scriptures, and then emerges from those intimate encounters to share with us what he or she has learned. I would put A.W. Tozer in this category, especially in his book The Knowledge Of The Holy—The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in the Christian Life.
Tozer himself described the Christian mystic more fully than I could in his book The Christian Book Of Mystical Verse. In that book, Tozer shared some poetic verses from some of his favorite mystical thinkers. He noted, “The hymns and poems found here are mystical in that they are God-oriented; they begin with God, embrace the worshipping soul, and return to God again.”
In The Knowledge Of The Holy, Tozer takes us on his own personal journey into the immeasurable depths of God’s greatness. Whereas many theologians tend to focus on one attribute of God at a time, Tozer has a God-given ability to help us see all of God’s attributes operating in their infinite fullness.
Even as Tozer plunges deep into the attributes of God’s self-existence, self-sufficiency, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, love, mercy, justice, grace, and sovereignty, he reminds us, “Because God is immutable He always acts like Himself, and because He is a unity He never suspends one of His attributes in order to exercise another.”
This is not a book you can ready lightly or casually, or even quickly. This is a book that invites you to read slowly and reverently each of the short chapters, and then to meditate long on the immenseness of an All-Powerful, All-Loving God who wants to reveal Himself to you.
The Knowledge Of The Holy is a soul-expanding book!
In Whisper, Mark Batterson gives us seven love languages which God uses to speak to us (check out my review of Whisper here). Mark always does a masterful job of weaving together Scripture, quotes from other authors, historical and his own personal accounts. Here are some of the quotes he shared from others.
“The voice of the Spirit is as gentle as a zephyr. So gentle that unless you are living in a perfect communion with God, you never hear it.” —Oswald Chambers
“The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.” —Blaise Pascal
“The best translation of the Hebrew in Genesis 1 was not ‘and God said’ but ‘and God sang.’” —Leonard Bernstein
“How much happier you would be, how much more of you there would be, if the hammer of a higher God could smash your small cosmos!” —G.K. Chesterton
“Vocatus atque non vacates, Deus aderit. Bidden or not bidden, God is here.” —Desiderius Erasmus
“A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” —Charles Spurgeon
“The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.” —Martin Luther
“No crooked table legs or ill-fitting drawers ever, I dare swear, came out of the Carpenter’s shop at Nazareth.” —Dorothy Sayers
For more quotes from Whisper, click here.
The Lord reigns… (Psalm 93:1).
When biblical authors use repetition or parallelism, it’s important to take note. They are wanting to make sure their message is heard loud and clear. They want what they’re sharing to stand out from everything around it. This is sort of how we would use bold or italics, a different colored font, or even a LARGER FONT to make something stand out.
In this Psalm…
…the Lord is clothed in majesty and strength
…He is established, immovable, everlasting, from time immemorial, firm, unshakeable
…“God is mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea—the Lord on high is mighty”
…His Word is very sure, lasting forever, holy, unchangeable, endless
The bottom line—
“Puffery in doctrine leads to its dishonor.” —Charles Spurgeon
“In love’s service, only the wounded soldiers can serve.” —Dr. James Stewart
“Don’t bother about the idea that God ‘has known for millions of years exactly what you are about to pray.’ That isn’t what it’s like. God is hearing you now, just as simply as a mother hears a child. The difference His timelessness makes is that this now (which slips away from you even as you say the word now) is for Him infinite. If you must think of His timelessness at all, don’t think of Him having looked forward to this moment for millions of years: think that to Him you are always praying this prayer. But there’s really no need to bring it in. You have gone into the Temple (‘one day in Thy court is better than a thousand’) and found Him, as always, there. That is all you need to bother about.” ―C.S. Lewis
“The itch of self-regard craves the scratch of self-approval. That is, if we are getting our pleasure from feeling self-sufficient, we will not be satisfied without others seeing and applauding our self-sufficiency.” —John Piper
Some godly women on the front lines of the war against the sex industry.
It was during the great World’s Fair evangelistic campaign. Dwight Moody and his workers were gathered at the close of the day, as their custom was, in the evangelist’s room, for a word of prayer together. The hymn I Need Thee Every Hour had been selected. When they finished singing, Henry Varley, the English evangelist, said: “I’m not sure that I can subscribe heartily to that sentiment. I feel that I need Christ moment by moment.” That thought impressed Major D.W. Whittle, and after the prayer meeting he went to his room, and, prompted by the Holy Spirit, he wrote and rewrote and wrote again until 2 o’clock in the morning when he completed his song Moment By Moment.