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Morning and Evening with A.W. Tozer
Devotional: July 23rd
Having as the High Priest of our profession the incarnation of all divine wisdom and having as our source book of religious knowledge the holy Scriptures, the soundest and saltiest work ever written, why do we tend so easily to become confused about things spiritual" I believe the causes are four, and I propose to state them in this and the next chapters.
The first cause of religious confusion is our failure to understand that the truth as it is in Christ Jesus is a moral and spiritual thing and not something intellectual merely. Let a man approach the burning bush of divine truth with the desire to grasp it in his hand and the intensity of the fire will blind his eyes and cauterize his hands and face to the point of insensibility. Before the awesome vision of revealed truth, the human intellect should kneel and hide its face in trembling adoration. Because Moses was afraid to look upon God, the Lord could speak to him face to face as a man speaks to his friend; but God hides His face from the man who does not instinctively hide his own.
Intellectual pride, then, with its corollary, irreverence, is one cause of religious confusion. Satan's original doctrine, "You will be like God, knowing . . ." (Genesis 3:5) has been accepted by millions of religious persons through the centuries and commands a big following today even among professedly orthodox Christians. In spite of all Christ said while among men and all His inspired apostles wrote after His ascension, we seem never to learn that the inner essence of truth cannot be apprehended by the mental faculties. We still come at the awesome supernatural reality headfirst.
We need sweeping reformation. Let me give a definition of reformation as it is given in a religious dictionary: "Change by removal of faults or abuses, and a restoration to a former good estate." Now that is not so bad. I do not know how anybody who believes he or she is a Christian could ever object to changing in the direction of the removal of faults and abuses toward the restoration to a former good estate. The problem is change, which disturbs many people. They have accepted the status quo as being the very tablets given by God on the mountain. Most people, if they happen to be in any church anywhere, accept the status quo without knowing or caring to inquire how it came to be. In other words, they do not ask, "Oh God, is this of You, is this divine, is this out of the Bible"" Because it was done and is being done, and because a lot of people are doing it, they assume it is all right. Then songs are written about it, and it gets into magazines. Pretty soon people are called to it, and the first thing we know we have gotten into a religious situation that is not of God. It is not according to Scripture, and God is not pleased with it at all. Rather, He is angry. Yet we do not know it because we do not like the word change. The change took place slowly, before we arrived on the scene, and we think because it is everywhere it is therefore right. We accept the status quo, the existing state of affairs, and say, "This is it," forgetting that history demonstrates that religions invariably degenerate.
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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