I was stirred this morning when I lifted up a Tozer volume, “I Talk Back to the Devil” and read the final chapter, called ‘How Long Can You Slight the Christ of God?’ Here are some snippets below, and amongst them, a comment regarding backsliders, who are generally pretty safe in the ‘church’, as opposed to anyone who decides they want to make a real effort to improve their relationship with God, who will often find they get shot down in flames.
But nothing about our Lord Jesus Christ has changed down to this very hour. His love has not changed. It hasn’t cooled off, and it needs no increase because He has already loved us with infinite love and there is no way that infinitude can be increased.
It is hard for us to accept the majestic simplicity of this constant, wonder-working Jesus. We are used to getting things changed so that they are always bigger and better.
You and I are not always satisfied with the manner in which God deals with us. We would very much like to do something new, something difficult, something big and dramatic – but we are called back. For everything we need, we are called back to the simplicity of the faith, to the simplicity of Jesus Christ and His unchanging person.
The very same Jesus – His is the sun that shines upon us, He is the star of our night. He is the giver of our life and the rock of our hope. He is our safety and our future. He is our righteousness, our sanctification, our inheritance. You find that He is all of this in the instant that you move your heart towards Him in faith.
Some Christians seem to feel that it is a mark of spirituality to attend banquets and seminars and workshops and conferences and courses, night after night, week after week.
If you look into our churches, you will find groups of half-saved, half-sanctified, carnal people who know more about social niceties than they do about the New Testament, and more about love stories and soap operas than they do about the Holy Spirit.
..what it means to love God, to be a spiritual person – to have an ordained and measured affection plainly directed unto God Himself!… this cannot be done without some involvement of the emotions. But it is not like a rainy day when a cloudburst may pour itself out in a few hours – and then there may be a dry spell for weeks. It is a demonstrated love for the Lord Jesus Christ, continually pouring itself out, ordained and measured!… It will keep us from stumbling over ‘people’.
Every time you take a new step forward for God the devil will have some means of communicating to you the fact that God is proud of you – and that you are wonderful! As soon as he can get you interested enough to say, “Yes, I guess that’s true,” you have had it, brother!
I have concluded that you can be backslidden, and in the rank and file of evangelical Christians no one will take any notice of it. There will be no rebuke.
On the other hand, they will jump down your throat and accuse you of showing off as soon as you start to seek God in earnest for victory and blessing!…we are going to have bleeding fingernails and sore knees for every inch of ground that we take away from the devil!
Many of us had actually taken more spiritual ground when we were converted than we now possess.
It is about time that the modern artists who paint pictures of Jesus should be told that he was not a pretty, curly-haired weakling. They should be told the truth – that He is the Christ of God and He will come riding through the skies on a white horse and with a sword at His side. He will judge the world, He will call all men to their feet and they will honor Him for His majesty, His power, His purity, and for creation itself.
Think of a man who is president of a great, thriving corporation. He has cars and airplanes at his disposal and hundreds of people who will carry out his orders immediately. This great man has a three-year-old daughter. Does he need her? No, of course not, but he loves her and he wants her! His heart is responsive to her needs and desires. So it is with us… He has never needed us… But He needs our love and wants our love!
He is all the guilty sinner needs and He is more than the fondest expectation of the loftiest saint.
My reading this morning included a section from Luke chapter 10. There are enormous life-lessons in every single chapter of Luke, but the part I noticed was as follows:
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself. Tell her to help me!’
‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered. ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’
Choose what is better, choose that ‘one thing’, to dwell in the house of the Lord, and it will not be taken away from you. How astonishing! Every person is a unique manifestation of God, and we were created to manifest Him to each other. The Almighty is not going to redirect us when we are sitting at His feet. Indeed, he cannot even ‘direct’ us until that is where we are. Let’s get at his feet in our hearts and ask that the only desire of our souls and our volition is that we are with him, where he is.