Some months ago, as I was reading some of the many old deeper life forums, I came across one that was rather long and a bit heated, at times.
My heart was in turmoil as I could see both sides of the discussion in the Word of God. I pleaded for an understanding of the confusion. That night, I felt that God gave my heart an insight into, or a reason for, the confusion. I have been working on writing out those thoughts, since then, but have not felt free to post them, as yet. Maybe this is a necessary preface; the illustration that was brought to my mind, really has to do with this excellent devotional by Tozer. There is truly an overall lack of ‘sincere’ love for the “Light”! The ‘Light’ is not most individual’s passion and delight; it has only, of recent years, become mine!
I do believe that God is trying to wake up those that ‘believe’ but have been taught or have believed ‘error’ which eliminates any intimacy of relationship with the Godhead. A truly intimate relationship requires that the minds are on the same page, drawn to each other by common passions.
My pastor referred me to a radio sermon that he had heard, that, doctrinally, is opposite to my personal understanding of the Bible. Like some of my relatives, he is what I consider ‘a good’ Baptist; in other words, they believe that God wants pure, holy lives, under the control of the Holy Spirit; not a common teaching in our world.
The sad thing is that, often, they, like Luther, want to have answers for the problem areas, in lives, in which they do not seem to be able to have victory in or live-out; they can not get or always see the kind of fruit talked about by the writers of the NT; thus there is the ‘carnal Christian’. These two words are 180 degrees apart. Carnal according to Noah Webster means: Pertaining to flesh; fleshly; sensual; opposed to spiritual; as carnal pleasure.
Some theologians will then build a doctrinal foundation on what they see or experience, in their own and others lives, rather than to build a foundation on the life of “Jesus Christ, the Son of God”. They do this by redefining who Jesus is, and/or who we are in Christ; ignoring any ‘critical’ necessity for ‘Living, Active, Faithful, Truth or Fruit’. ‘Their understanding of or definition of ‘grace’, covers all problems or questions of ‘Truth’, and ‘Fruit’; ‘fruit’ becomes ‘works’ which makes it not relevant to being their flavor of ‘Christian’. They are passionately getting people ‘saved’, but rarely seeing anyone faithfully ‘delivered’ from the slavery to sin; disobedient, selfishness; which is what keeps us apart from God. Is it possible that this has any similarity to what Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:15? I would hope not!
If we are ‘to be’ True Christians, the foundation “must” be ‘Jesus, the Christ’ and the fact that He is our example; our live-in deliverer. He was able to ‘live’ the Truths of the OT, as well as what He taught in the NT; the fruit of His life was pure, before God! Jesus became our sacrifice in order that we may become His brothers and sisters, children of God, adopted, reborn, by the Holy Spirit of God; knowing the ‘Truth’ and living in the ‘Light’, without any darkness.
It is critical for each individual to know intimately the ‘Light” and what is “Darkness” (the absence of Light in any amount) in ‘God’s Opinion’; the Truth. We must meditate on the ‘Light’ day and night, so that our lives will bear the ‘fruit of the Light’ in our daily, moment by moment, life.
Acts 20:30 Even from among your own group men will arise, teaching perversions of the truth to draw the disciples away after them.
2 Corinthians 11:14-15 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will correspond to their actions.
John 17:17 Set them apart in the truth; your word (the Scriptures, for Jesus as He spoke this, it was the Old Testament) is truth.
Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. (Fulfil means to replete, that is, to cram (a net)... Jesus took the law from the level of God evaluating our actions to the level of God evaluating our thoughts; God looks at our hearts; what we ‘entertain’ in our minds, not a thought, but the ‘meditation’. Satan can give you a thought; that is not sin, if and when you reject and replace it; it becomes sin as you enjoy it and make it your own!)
John 8:31-32 .... “If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples (learners, pupils) and you will know (the most intimate of knowledge) the truth, and the truth will set you free (free from selfishness; darkness).”
Tozer Devotional Fri, February 03, 2017
The Cause of Continued Darkness
The truth in the Person of the Logos, the Word, is seeking to illuminate the minds of men. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. For this reason, when we conceive ourselves to be honest seekers who cannot find the light we are in a state of dangerous self-deception. It is a grave situation. Unless help comes quickly the darkness may close down upon us permanently. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness. Behind all our failure to find light is an unconfessed and possibly an unconscious love of darkness. This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God (John 3:19-21). We should always remember that we are accountable not only for the light we have but also for the light we might have if we were willing to obey it. Truth is sovereign and will not allow itself to be trifled with. And it is easy to find for it is trying to find us. Obedience is the big problem: and unwillingness to obey is the cause of continued darkness.
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. John 3:19
Are we going through life with our eyes closed to the light because we love darkness? Rise up to obey the Light and more light will flood into our lives. We have been reborn to walk in light.
Shine, Jesus, shine in this heart of mine. Expose those pockets of darkness. I want to live in the sunlight of Your love.
Tozer, “...unwillingness to obey is the cause of continued darkness.”
Posted 03 February 2017 - 11:56 AM
Some months ago, as I was reading some of the many old deeper life forums, I came across one that was rather long and a bit heated, at times.
- reader and Charles Miles like this
Posted 13 February 2017 - 10:29 AM
Since no one has been lead to comment on Tozer's devotional above, I want to add two more devotional that Tozer wrote. They come together in one thought.
I have taken the liberty of bring the concept up to date and a bit of reformatting. This knowledge is essential to realizing truth, regarding God, and an intimate relationship with Him. My thoughts are in a blue, smaller font and parenthesis ( ).
The Foolish Spending of Life
The Greek philosopher Pythagoras is said to have divided men into three classes:
1. Seekers after knowledge.
2. Seekers after honor.
3. Seekers after gain. Thus far Pythagoras. But I wonder why he failed to notice two other classes: those who are not seekers after anything and those who are seekers after God. These no doubt existed in Pythagoras as they do in ours and it is odd that he did not recognize them. (I do not think that Tozer picked up on what was happening in his generation that has continued into mine, and continues to grow; which I have the privilege of seeing with hind site. Seekers after Vanity rather than Seekers after God. Paul saw it prophetically in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 "...loving pleasure rather than loving God.") Let us add them to the list.
4. Seekers after nothing. These are the human vegetables who live by their glands and their instincts. I refer not to those unfortunate persons who by birth or by accident have been deprived of their normal faculties. There but by the grace of God go I. I do refer to the millions of normal persons who have allowed their magnificent intellectual equipment to wither away from lack of exercise. These seekers after nothing have certain large ear-marks. They may be known by the company they keep. Their reading matter is the sports page and the comic section; their art is limited to magazine covers and the illustrated trivialities of the weekly picture magazines; (they play electronic games, live in virtual reality worlds or share the vanity of their lives on social media; their time is spent with additional modern media sources watching movies, exploring the internet; ...even those that would not degrade themselves with common addictions are addicted to the NEWS; general catching up on and staying informed about VANITY!); their music is whatever is popular and handy and loud.(...the words and thoughts reflecting the vanity and often depravity of their hearts.) After work they sit and watch television or just drive around waiting for-what? It is an omen and a portent that this describes the bulk of our population in the United States, and that they constitute what we proudly call the electorate; that is, they decide the direction our country shall go, morally, politically and religiously. O tempora! O mores!
I thought in my heart, Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good. But that also proved to be meaningless. Ecclesiastes 2:1
Life is lent to be spent. How tragic to waste life, moment by moment, when how I spend can radically affect tomorrow.
I know, Lord, that my days are numbered and only You know that number. From the eternal perspective, may I spend well the todays.
Seekers After God
5. Seekers after God. Thanks be to God on high that these too are among us. They are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Their number is not large when counted against the millions who have forgotten their Maker, but taken together they are a goodly company and dear to the heart of God. Ah, those God-hungry souls! By nature they are no better than the rest of men, and by practice they have sometimes been worse. The one sign of their divine election is their insatiable thirst after the Source of their being. Deep calls unto deep and they hear and respond. These are almost always a disappointment to themselves, and sometimes they have for a while been a stumbling block to the world, as were Jacob and David and Peter. But many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it, and their questing hearts find what they seek at last. The grace of God meets them as they return and changes them from what they are sorry they have been, into what they have so fervently longed to become. Too, we know what the wise Greek could not know, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses. Seekers after God there surely were even in those old Grecian times and their destiny lies in the hand of the One who gave His only-begotten Son to die for the life of the world. One word needs to be added. It will go better in the of reckoning for the seeker, of pre-Christian days, who stretched out pagan hands toward God in hope that he might find Him, than for the careless sinner, who is sated with hearing and who refuses to repent and believe.
I love those who seek me, and those who seek me find me. Proverbs 8:17
The God-seekers among us model to us what life is all about. How amazing that when we seek God He will be found!
I want to be a seeker after You, Lord, not part-time or just on Sunday, but daily.
After making the adjustments to Tozer's devotional, I was meditating on what he had said and thought about the Greek philosopher Pythagoras. Men are divided into three classes: 1. Seekers after knowledge. 2. Seekers after honor. 3. Seekers after gain.
Tozer wondered why Pythagoras had not mentioned what he, Tozer saw, Seekers after God and Seekers after Nothing.
Is it possible that as a 'philosopher,' Pythagoras, in his mind, may have put both of those categories as sub-categories, under the idea of 'religion'; something that you seek after for 'gain'? I do not believe that the religions of Pythagoras' day had anything to do with personal, intimate human 'relationship' with any of the gods; rather the root reasons for all religions came from various expressions of a desire for some type of gain or prosperity, including Judaism. The general idea of most religions being a desire to keep the 'gods' happy, so that you would not experience disasters. Many of the 'gods' were fertility 'gods', and needed worship in order to increase crops, herds and families, etc. Eastern religions that were not for 'gain', per-say, wanted deeper knowledge, honor or a mix of all three? ...attaining to a higher form of life or living? ...some sort of personal gain?
I have never really read or studied philosophy or Pythagoras' writings, so I do not know! I am only thinking about what might have been, or how I would have looked at mankind, in his day.
This sets before each of us some very 'sobering' questions!
Why do we seek the religious things that we do? Is it for the gain of escaping eternal punishment? Are we seeking to gain excitement in life and escape boredom? People seek wealth, religion, power, etc, to gain peace of mind, satisfaction, a sense of worth, etc. Is it right or wrong to seek for advancement or personal gain? Humanity seems to be seeking various types of deliverance down through the centuries; someone or something.
As I analyze the concept according to the Bible, I find that mankind has sought God or 'gods' and religion, generally for some type of 'gain'; with or without eternal values. I am not sure that there is anyone that truly 'seeks nothing', even the most lazy person in the world! Would that individual not be seeking some 'self-satisfying' gain, even worthless pleasures, and avoiding pain?
I would invite all that read this to join me in some really serious soul searching, before our Heavenly Father. Why are 'we' doing what we are doing? Why do we believe what we do? The Bible clearly talks about those that thought they were gaining eternal life, but were rejected. Their life seemed to have value, but before the Bridegroom or Judge, it was Vanity.
I believe that this is the reason for Tozer's devotionals...
Am I, before God, a seeker for a fulfilling, meaningful relationship with my Creator, NOW? ...or Am I putting my trust in vanity or worthless actions, just wanting to escape punishment, trying to do all the 'righteous' things that I can learn about at church or read in some well written book? Maybe having had a real experience but not maintained it? Started a relationship, but found someone or something that has stolen your attention, your time? ...thinking that heaven is the place to get to really get to know God, His Holy Spirit?
What do 'you' see as the heart of Tozer, as he expressed his thoughts in these devotionals? What do they say to you or encourage you to do or not to do?