Monthly Archives: January 2016

A. W. Tozer The Evils Of A Bad Disposition

There are few hindrances to the cause of Christ as effective as a bad disposition on the part of God’s people. It is hardly too much to say that an evil disposition manifested by an evangelical does the Church more harm in the end than anything that modernists and unbelievers can ever do.

A bad disposition has been called “the vice of the virtuous.” The woman who would not gamble or smoke or attend places of worldly amusements may yet manifest a churlish temper and keep her family in terror with her acid tongue. A man who will fight for the faith once delivered to the saints may be so hard to live with that his family actually wishes him gone, and feels little real sorrow when he finally shuffles off this mortal coil to go, as he had fondly believed, to dwell with the saints in the peace of heave forever.

The slick habit of blaming the devil for conditions in the average church is too smooth to escape suspicion. That explanation explains too much. We do not underestimate the ability of the devil to raise trouble, nor do we believe that he has softened up in his attitude towards the followers of Christ. But his power is specifically limited. It is extremely doubtful whether he has any real power unless we give it to him. At least we know that he could not get to Job without special permission from God, and it is hard to conceive that God took better care of Job than He does of the rest of us. Chrysostom once preached a great sermon to show that nothing can harm a Christian who does not harm himself. Over the humble and obedient soul the devil has no power. He can harm us only when we, by unspiritual and unchristlike ways, play into his hands. And we play into his hands whenever and as long as we harbor unjudged and uncleansed evil within us.

Dispositional sins are fully as injurious to the Christan cause as the more overt acts of wickedness. These sins are as many as the various facets of human nature. Just so there may be no misunderstanding let us list a few of them: Sensitiveness, irritability, churlishness, faultfinding, peevishness, temper, resentfulness, cruelty, uncharitable attitudes; and of course there are many more. These kill the spirit of the church and slow down any progress which the gospel may be making in the community. Many a soul who had been secretly longing to find Christ has been turned away and embittered by manifestations of ugly, dispositional flaws in the lives of the very persons who were trying to win them.

Deliverance from inward sins would seem to be a spiritual necessity. In the face of the havoc wrought by dispositional sins among religious people we do not see how sincere men can deny that necessity. Unsaintly saints are the tragedy of Christianity. People of the word usually must pass through the circle of disciples to reach Christ, and if they find those disciples severe and sharp-tongued they can hardly be blamed if they sigh and turn away from Him.

All this is more than a theory. Unholy tempers among professed saints constitute a plague and a pestilence. The low state of religion in our day is largely due to the lack of public confidence in religious people.

It is time we Christians stop trying to excuse our unchristlike dispositions and frankly admit our failure to live as we should. Wesley said that we will not injure the cause of holiness by admitting our sins, but that we are sure to do so by denying them. There is a remedy for inward evil. There is a power in Christ that can enable the worst of us to live lives of purity and enable the worst of us to live lives of purity and love. We have but to seek it and to lay hold of it in faith. God will not disappoint us.

A. W. Tozer The Evils Of A Bad Disposition was published in Alliance Weekly 3 march 1951

A. W. Tozer A Christian And His Money

The whole question of the believer and his money is so involved and so intimate that one hesitates to approach a consideration of it. yet it is of such grave importance that one who desires to qualify as a good servant of Christ dare not avoid it lest he be found wanting in the day of reckoning. Some one should tackle the problem in the light of Scripture. God’s people will have reason to thank the man who had the courage to deal with it.

Four considerations should govern our Christian giving. They are: (1) That we give systematically; (2) that we give from a right motive; (3) that we give enough in proportion to what we possess, and (4) that we give to the right place or places.

First, we should see to it that we give of our substance to the Lord with regularity. It is so very easy to fall into the habit of forgetting to do this. We tell ourselves that we are not able to give at the moment, but that when we are better fixed financially, we shall catch up on our giving. Or we assure ourselves that while we do not give systematically we no doubt give far beyond our tenth, if the truth were known. These are sure ways to deceive ourselves. Spotty, unsystematic giving has a way of appearing far greater than it is. We would likely be quite shocked if we took the trouble to find out just how little we really give that way.

Then we must give from a right motive. Money paid to a church or missionary society may be for the giver money wasted unless he first make sure that his heart is in his gift. Gifts that do not carry the heart with them may do the receiver some good, but it is certain that they will bring the giver no reward. “Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor…and have not charity (love), it profeteth me nothing.”

Then it is also important that we give enough in proportion to what we possess. The story of the widow and her two mites makes this very clear. The widow gave out of her “poverty,” and though her gift was small it was in the sight of God a far greater treasure than all the huge sums donated by the rich “out of their abundance.” This is a solemn warning and we shall do well to heed it.

We humans judge “after the sight of our eyes” and so are prone to make a great deal over a large donation and pass over the small ones without comment. By so doing we are letting ourselves in for a fearful shock in the day of Christ. The safest rule to appraise our giving and determine our expectations in the day of rewards is this: Remember, my giving will be rewarded no by how much I gave but by how much I had left. Ministers are sometimes tempted to shy away from such doctrine as this lest they offend the important givers in their congregation. But it is better to offend men than to grieve the blessed Spirit of God which dwells in the Church. No man ever yet killed a true church by withdrawing his gifts from it because of a personal pique. The Church of the Firstborn is not dependent upon the patronage of men. No man has ever been able really to harm a church by boycotting it financially. The moment we admit that we fear the displeasure of the carnal givers in our congregations we admit also that our congregations are not of heaven but of the earth. A heavenly church will enjoy a heavenly and supernatural prosperity. She cannot be starved out. The Lord will supply her needs.

That we place our gifts intelligently is also of vital importance if we would please our Heavenly Father and save those gifts from the fate of “wood, hay and stubble” at the coming of our Lord.

The matter of where to give is a large one, and one that we had all better settle while we can. Careless, unintelligent and prejudiced giving is wasting millions of consecrated dollars among evangelical Christians. Many believers toss their gifts around as if they did not expect to give an account of them to the Lord. They have not found the mind of the Lord on the question of their own giving, so they become the prey of anyone who happens along with an interesting story. In this way innumerable religious rackets are enabled to flourish which should never receive one cent from serious minded and God-honoring people.

Now, we are quite awar that the reply to the above could be a polite request that we stay in our own back yard and let people put their own money where they please; after all it is theirs, and what they do with it is their own affair. But it is not the simple. If we must give account of every idle word, surely we must also give account of every idle dollar. Spotty, prayerless and whimsical giving will come under the just scrutiny of God in the day when He judges every work of men. We can do something about this whole thing now. Very soon it will be too late.

A. W. Tozer A Christian And His Money is from Alliance Weekly 24 February 1952

A. W. Tozer An Open Letter To The President Of The United States

A. W. Tozer An Open Letter To The President Of The United States

The Honourable Harry S.Truman
The White House
Washington, D.C.

My Dear Mr. President:

Knowing that in our democratic society the most obscure citizen may address the most highly placed official, I make bold to write to you concerning an important matter.

Since the matter which I wish to present is not political, but moral and spiritual, I feel sure that you will receive this letter in the spirit in which it is written. I am sure that you are ready to listen to the counsel of any American whose sincere purpose is to help you in your position of grave responsibility.

I believe you will agree that we are living in a critical moment in history. A combination of circumstances throughout the world has placed the United States in a position of extreme peril. Responsible persons of every shade of political thought have expressed identical fears for the future of our country. The destructive forces that move across the face of the earth have become too vast and too deadly to ignore. They could be our undoing. We dare not take refuge in our past nor seek shelter under the wings of our founding fathers.

The important consideration today is not what our fathers were, but what we are. Washington and Lincoln are dead. Those stalwart citizens who hwed out a nation from the wilderness have long been sleeping, the sleep of the just. We are on our won now. The legacy of freedom they left us is ours still, but how much longer we can keep it will depend upon ourselves.

Every informed person in the United States must admit that the forces of evil are now out of control. Religious and liberty loving persons are overwhelmingly outnumbered in the world by the hordes dedicated to irreligion and slavery. Flexing our national muscles and waving the flag will not make us strong enough to win over crushingly superior numbers. In short, Mr President, we must have the help of Almighty God.

Our statesmen of both major political parties are beginning to see that we must have supernatural assistance if we are to survive as a free nation. The appeal to God (so common at an earlier date and so unusual in recent times) is once again being heard in the speeches of our public men. You yourself, sir, have confessed from time to time your need to divine aid and in on of your public utterances some time ago you recommended that we Americans resort to prayer for this time of emergency.

May I respectfully suggest, sir, that prayer will not be enough. If every person in the United States where to pray every waking hour for one week, still the peril would remain. For prayer is not enough. The reasons are apparent.

A nation is only as strong (and as safe) as its moral character. The bases of human life are spiritual. At bottom the problems facing us are not political nor financial; they are theological. We are men, and as such have moral and spiritual obligations. How we stand with God is more important than how we stand with this or that nation of the world. To have God on our side is more important than to have the Atlantic nations or the atom bomb. For we are men, and men are spiritual beings.

A nation Mr. President, can only remain free as long as it is morally deserving of freedom. Some of us have begun to wonder whether the American people are any longer worthy of the heritage of freedom left us from the past. Be assured that when we have proved ourselves unworthy of continued existence as a free nation we shall not be able to preserve our freedom by force of arms. Our present dependence upon our fighting men is a sign and a portent. We must show ourselves worthy of God’s help or we shall only deceive ourselves if we presume to depend upon it.

I write thus from no other motive than a deep concern born of fullest loyalty to our country. I am an American, as you are, Mr. President. Here I was born, here I grew to manhood and here I have passed almost my entire life. I ask no higher earthly honor than to spend my last moments here and to lie at last in soil that is American. I have seen five of my sons march away to enter military service. Three ofthen have suffered combat injuries that they will carry to their graves. I do not regret this. If it were possible, I should be willing to shed my blood also that America might be saved. But I know that there is not enough blood in the veins of all Americans to buy American freedom if we continue to offend against the God of all Freedom.

The critical need in America now is not prayer, but repentance. Our sins have found us out. How dare we ask the help of One against whom we have so grievously sinned, while yet we give no evidence that we inted to reform our lives or mend our sinful ways?

We have drawn a line between ourselves and our enemies and have attributed all evil to them and all virtues to ourselves, with a smug self-righteousness worthy of the Pharisees. We would do better to examine our own ways. What can we say in our defense when we see our American families falling apart by divorce? How can we excuse crime and gambling and conduct so flagrantly wicked that it would have shocked the moral sensibilities of past generations, and all this practiced without even the poor cloak of shame that once would have accompanied such conduct? How shall we justify lawless children and delinquent parents? What must God think of statesmen who make sweeping decisions affecting the future of millions of men, women and children from motives no higher than their effect upon the next-election. How can churches pray against the enemies of America when so many of them have left the teachings of the Saviour whose Name they bear and have adapted the uninspired doctrines of men?

History has not left us without moral examples to guide us at such a time as this. The city of Nineveh, for instance, was once saved from impending destruction when its king proclaimed a time of repentance and himself set the example by falling down in sackcloth to repent for his own sins and the sins of his people. We may learn a saving lesson from this. For the ways of God have not changed since the days of Nineveh.

In view of all this sir, I respectfully urge you as the Chief Executive of this nation to proclaim a day of repentance for our people. Not a day of prayer only, but a day of repentance. Let it begin in the White House and go on to include every American home, not passing by the parsonage, the vicarage or the manse. Plead with our people, Mr. President. Exhort them to bring forth fruit worthy of repentance and to break off their sins by righteousness. Then and not til then will God hear our prayers and deal with those enemies of freedom who would destroy our country and lay her glory in the dust.

Remember, Mr. President, that God will have the last word in the affairs of men. And remember that “righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” But if we as a people will obey the Scriptures and humble ourselves and pray and turn from our wicked ways, then we may expect God to hear us and forgive our sins and heal our land.

Respectfully yours

THE EDITOR.

A. W. Tozer An Open Letter To The President Of The United States was published in Alliance Weekly 17 February 1951

A. W. TOZER WE MUST STAY BY THE MAJORS

This is Dr. Tozer’s 2d editorial after taking over as editor of The Alliance Weekly

A. W. TOZER WE MUST STAY BY THE MAJORS

In life there will be found certain great fundamentals, like pillars bearing up the weight of some mighty building. These fortunately are kept at a minimum in the total scheme of things. They are not hard to discover: love, loyalty, integrity, faith; these with very few others constitute the pillars upon which rests all the highly complex superstructure.

The wise man will simplify his life by going to the center of it. He will look well to the foundations and, having done that, he will not worry about the rest.

Life as we know it in our painfully intricate civilization can be deadly unless we learn to distinguish the things that matter from those that do not. It is never the major things that destroy us, but invariably the multitude of trifling things which are mistakenly thought to be of major importance. These are so many that, unless we get out from under them, they will crush us body and soul. This is becoming more and more evident as many of our physical ills are being traced back to other than physical causes. Doctors are becoming increasingly aware of the deadly effects of the burden of the imponderables; they are learning that if they would do the patient any permanent good they must minister to the mind as well as to the body.

In the Christian life also we find this pattern repeated: a few important things and a world of burdensome but unimportant ones. The Spirit-taught Christian must look past the multiplicity of incidental things and find the few that really matter. And let it be repeated for our encouragement, they are few in number and surprisingly easy to identify. The Scriptures make perfectly clear what they are: the fact of God, the Person and work of Christ, faith and obedience, hope and love. These along with a few more constitute the essence of the truth which we must know and love. Christ summed up the moral law as love to God and man. Salvation He made to rest upon faith in God and in the One whom He had sent. Paul simplified the wonders of the spiritual life in the words, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

The temptation to forget the few spiritual essentials and to go wandering off after unimportant things is very strong, especially to Christians of a certain curious type of mind. Such persons find the great majors of the faith of our fathers altogether too tame for them. Their souls loathe that light bread; their appetites crave the gamy tang of fresh-killed meat. They take great pride in their reputation as being mighty hunters before the Lord, and any time we look out we may see them returning from the chase with some new mystery hanging limply over their shoulder. Usually the game they bring down is something on which there is a biblical closed season. Some vague hint in the Scriptures, some obscure verse about which the translators disagree, some marginal note for which there is not much scholarly authority: these are their favorite meat. They are especially skillful at propounding notions which have never been a part of the Christian heritage of truth. Their enthusiasm mounts with the uncertainty of their position and their dogmatism grows firmer in proportion to the mystery which surrounds their subject.

Dr. Samuel Johnson, the famous English sage, once said that one of the surest evidences of intellectual immaturity is the desire to startle people. Yet there are Christians who have been fed upon the odd, the strange and the curious so long and so exclusively that they have become wholly unfitted spiritually to receive or to appreciate sound doctrine. They live to be startled by something new or thrilled by something wonderful. They will believe anything so long as it is just a little away from the time-honored beliefs of sober Christian men. A serious discourse calling for repentance, humbleness of mind and holiness of life is impatiently dismissed as old- fashioned, dull and lacking in “audience appeal.” Yet these things are just the ones that rank highest on the list of things we need to hear, and by them we shall all be judged in that great day of Christ.

A church fed on excitement is no New Testament church at all. The desire for surface stimulation is a sure mark of the fallen nature, the very thing Christ died to deliver us from. A curious crowd of baptized worldlings waiting each Sunday for the quasi-religious needle to give them a lift bears no relation whatsoever to a true assembly of Christian believers. And that its members protest their undying faith in the Bible does not change things any. “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew7:21).

Every believer as well as every minister of Christ must decide whether he will put his emphasis upon the majors or the minors. He must decide whether he will stay by the sober truths which constitute the beating heart of the Scriptures or turn his attention to those marginal doctrines which always bring division and which, at their best, could not help us much on our way to the Celestial City.

No man has any moral right to propound any teaching about which there is not full agreement among Bible Christians until he has made himself familiar with church history and with the development of Christian doctrine through the centuries. The historic approach is best. After we have discovered what holy men believed, what great reformers and saints taught, what the purest souls and mightiest workers held to be important for holy living and dying – then we are in a fair position to appraise our own teaching.

Humility is the only state of mind in which to approach the Scriptures. The Spirit will teach the humble soul those things that make for his salvation and for a holy walk and fruitful service here below. And little else matters.

A. W. TOZER WE MUST STAY BY THE MAJORS is from Alliance Weekly 10 June 1950

A. W. Tozer, We Must Have True Faith

We Must Have True Faith

To many Christians, Christ is little more than an idea, or at best an ideal; He is not a fact. Millions of professed believers talk as if were real and act as if He were not. Our actual position is always to be discovered by the way we act, not by the way we talk.

We can prove our faith by our commitment to it and in no other way. Any belief that does not command the one who holds it is not a true belief; it is a pseudo-belief. It might shock some of us profoundly if we were suddenly brought face to face with our beliefs and forced to test them in the fires of practical living.

Many of us have become extremely skillful in arranging our lives so as to admit the truth of Christianity without being embarrassed by its implications. We fix things so that we can get on well enough without divine aid, while at the same time ostensibly seeking it. We boast in the Lord but carefully watch that we never get caught depending on Him. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

Pseudo-faith always arranges a way out in case God fails. Real faith knows only one way and gladly allows itself to be stripped of any second ways or makeshift substitutes. For true faith, it is either God or total collapse. And not since Adam first stood up on the earth, God has not failed a single man or woman who trusted Him.

The man of pseudo-faith will fight for their verbal creed but flatly refuse to allow themselves to get into a predicament where their future depends upon that creed being true. He always provide himself with secondary ways of escape so they will have a way out if the roof caves in.

What we need very badly these days is a company of Christians who are prepared to trust God as completely now as they must do at the last day. For each of us the time is surely coming when we shall have nothing but God. Health and wealth and friends and hiding places will all be swept away, and we shall have only God. To the man of pseudo-faith that is a terrifying thought, but to real faith it is one of the most comforting thoughts the heart can entertain.

It would be tragedy indeed to come to the place where we have nothing but God and find that we have not been trusting God at all during the days of our earthly sojourn. It would be better to invite God now to remove every false trust, to disengage our hearts from all secret hiding places and to bring us out into the open where we can discover for ourselves whether or not we really trust Him. That is a harsh cure for our troubles, but it is a sure one. Gentler cures may be too weak to do the work, and time is running out on us. A.W.T.

A. W. Tozer, We Must Have True Faith is from Alliance Weekly January 13, 1951

WITH CHRIST IN THE SCHOOL OF PRAYER, Andrew Murray

This month I am reading through one of the most popular, if not the most popular classic book on prayer WITH CHRIST IN THE SCHOOL OF PRAYER, Andrew Murray. I am posting this under 30 Day Devotional Journeys and I hope to have a full year of these devotionals by the end of this year and I could not think of a better devotional book to start the “Journeys” and the year with than With Christ In The School Of Prayer.

Some have said that this book should be a required reading for every disciple of Christ. I remember first reading it as a new Christian back in 1988 and have read through it many times. These 31 chapters should be read as a daily devotional over the course of a month. The chapters are longer than most devotional books but it is well spent time.

Whether you love to pray, struggle in your time of prayer or are just setting out to learn to pray I can think of no book that is a better choice to start off with than With Christ In The School Of Prayer.

May God bless you with the awareness of His presence as you read this great book With Christ In The School Of Prayer.

If you would like to listen to this book (although I believe you get more benefit from reading) you can listen or download it at Archive.org https://archive.org/details/with_christ_in_prayer_0902_librivox and you can also find it on You Tube.

A. W. Tozer: Praise God For The Furnace

It was the enraptured Rutherford who could shout in the midst of serious and painful trials, “Praise God for the hammer, the file and the furnace.”

The hammer is a useful tool, but the nail, if it had feeling and intelligence, could present another side of the story. For the nail knows the hammer only as an opponent, a brutal, merciless enemy who lives to pound it into submission, to beat it down out of sight and clinch it into place. That is the nail’s view of the hammer, and it is accurate except for one thing: The nail forgets that both it and the hammer are servants of the same workman. Let the nail but remember that the hammer is held by the workman and all resentment toward it will disappear. The carpenter decides whose head will be beaten next and what hammer shall be used in the beating. That is his sovereign right. When the nail has surrendered to the will of the workman and has gotten a little glimpse of his benign plans for its future it will yield to the hammer without complaint.

The file is more painful still, for its business is to bite into the soft metal, scraping and eating away the edges till it has shaped the metal to its will. Yet the file has, in truth, no real will in the matter, but serves another master as the metal also does. It is the master and not the file that decides how much shall be eaten away, what shape the metal shall take, and how long the painful filing shall continue. Let the metal accept the will of the master and it will not try to dictate when or how it shall be filed.

As for the furnace, it is the worst of all. Ruthless and savage, it leaps at every combustible thing that enters it and never relaxes its fury till it has reduced it all to shapeless ashes. All that refuses to burn is melted to a mass of helpless matter, without will or purpose of its own. When everything is melted that will melt and all is burned that will burn, then and not till then the furnace calms down and rests from its destructive fury.

With all this known to him, how could Rutherford find it in his heart to praise God for the hammer, the file and the furnace? The answer is simply that he loved the Master of the hammer, he adored the Workman who wielded the file, he worshiped the Lord who heated the furnace for the everlasting blessing of His children. He had felt the hammer till its rough beatings no longer hurt; he had endured the file till he had come actually to enjoy its bitings; he had walked with God in the furnace so long that it had become as his natural habitat. That does not overstate the facts. His letters reveal as much.

Such doctrine as this does not find much sympathy among Christians in these soft and carnal days. We tend to think of Christianity as a painless system by which we can escape the penalty of past sins and attain to heaven at last. The flaming desire to be rid of every unholy thing and to put on the likeness of Christ at any cost is not often found among us. We expect to enter the everlasting kingdom of our Father and to sit down around the table with sages, saints and martyrs; and through the grace of God, maybe we shall; yes, maybe we shall. But for the most of us it could prove at first an embarrassing experience. Ours might be the silence of the untried soldier in the presence of the battle-hardened heroes who have fought the fight and won the victory and who have scars to prove that they were present when the enemy attacked.

The devil, things and people being what they are, it is necessary for God to use the hammer, the file and the furnace in His holy work of preparing a saint for true sainthood. It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.

Without doubt we of this generation have become too soft to scale great spiritual heights. Salvation has come to mean deliverance from unpleasant things. Our hymns and sermons create for us a religion of consolation and pleasantness. We overlook the pace of the thorns, the cross and the blood. We ignore the function of the hammer and the file.

Strange as it may sound, it is yet true that much of the suffering we are called upon to endure on the highway of holiness is an inward suffering for which scarcely an external cause can be found. For our journey is an inward journey, and our real foes are invisible to the eyes of men. Attacks of darkness, of despondency, of acute self-depreciation may be endured without any change in our outward circumstances. Only the enemy and God and the hard-pressed Christian know what has taken place. The inward suffering has been great and a mighty work of purification has been accomplished, but the heart [knows] its own sorrow and no one else can share it. God has cleansed His child in the only way He can, circumstance being what they are. Thank God for the furnace.

A. W. Tozer: Praise God For The Furnace is from Alliance Weekly, January 6 1951

A. W. Tozer Quality Versus Quantity

In May 1950 Dr. Tozer was elected editor of The Alliance Weekly, the official magazine of the Christian And Missionary Alliance. The following editorial was Dr. Tozer’s first. From the June 3d 1950 issue.

A. W. Tozer Quality versus Quantity

Time may show that one of the greatest weaknesses in our modern civilization has been the acceptance of quantity, rather than quality as the goal after which to strive.
This is particularly evident in the United States. Costly buildings are constantly being created with no expectation that they shall last more than one short generation. It is a common sight in our great cities to see workmen tearing down buildings which a few short years ago were considered the finest examples of the builder’s art. So poor are our present materials and so fast do our modern tastes change that there is even a kind os sad humor about the appearance of buildings erected more than fifty years ago.

Not only in our architecture but almost everywhere else is this psychology of impermanence found. A beauty parlor ad recently defines a term which has long needed clarification: It read, “Permanent Waves, Guaranteed to last three months.” So permanence is the quality of lasting three months! These may be extreme castes, but they illustrate the transiency of men’s hopes and the brevity of their dreams apart from God.

The Church also is suffering from a left-handed acceptance of this philosophy of impermanence. Christianity is resting under the blight of degraded values. It is not any longer uncommon to hear among religious persons the very language once used by P. T. Barnum to advertise his circus. This all stems from a too-eager desire to impress, to gain fleeting attention, to appear well in comparison with some world-beater who happens for the time to have the ear or the eye of the public.

This is so foreign to the Scriptures that we wonder how Bible-loving Christians can be deceived by it. The Word of God ignores size and quantity and lays all its stress upon quality. Christ more than any other man was followed by the crowds, yet after giving them such help as they were able to receive He quietly turned from them and deposited His enduring truths in the breasts of His chosen twelve. He refused a quick short-cut to the throne and chose instead the long painful way of the cross. He rejected the offers of the multitude and rested His success upon those eternal qualities which He was able to plant in the breasts of a modest number of redeemed men. The ages have thanked God that He did.

Pastors and churches in our hectic times are harassed by the temptation to seek size at any cost and to secure by inflation what they cannot gain by legitimate growth. The mixed multitude cries for quantity and will not forgive a minister who insists upon solid values and permanence. Many a man of God is being subjected to cruel pressure by the ill-taught members of his flock who scorn his slow method and demands quick results an a popular following regardless of quality. These children play in the marked places and cannot overlook the affront we do them by our refusal to dance when they whistle or to weep when they our of caprice pipe a sad tune. They are greedy for thrills, and since they dare no longer seek them in the theater they demand to have them brought into the church.

We who follow Christ are men and women of eternity. We must put no confidence in the passing scenes of the disappearing world. We must resist every attempt of Satan to palm off upon us the values that belong to mortality. Nothing less than forever is long enough for us. We view with amused sadness the frenetic scramble of the world to gain a brief moment in the sun. “The book of the month,” for instance has a strange sound to one who has dwelt with God and taken His values from the Ancient of Days. “The man of the year” can hardly be expected to impress very deeply those men who are making their plans for that long eternity when days and years have passed away and the time is no more.

The Church must claim again her ancient dowry of everlastingness. She must begin again to deal with ages and millenniums rather than with days and years. She must not count numbers but test foundations. She must work for permanence rather than for appearance. Her children must seek those enduring things that have been touched with immortality. She can well afford to place low on the world’s Hopper rating. The shallow brook of popular religion chatters on its nervous way and thinks the ocean too quiet and dull because it lies deep in its mighty bed and is unaffected by the latest shower.

Faith in one of its aspects moves mountains; in another it gives patience to see the promises afar off and to wait quietly for their fulfillment. Insistence upon an immediate answer to every request of the soul is an evidence of religious infantilism. It takes God longer to grow an oak than to grow an ear of popcorn.

It cost something to walk slow in the parade of the ages while excited men of time rush about confusing motion with progress. But is will pay in the long run-and the true Christian is not much interested in anything short of that.

This has been transcribed to the web by Deeperlifehaven.com

A. W. Tozer Quality Versus Quantity is from Alliance Weekly 3 June 1950

Ending The Devotionals And Consentrating On Deeper Life Books And 30 Day Devotional Journeys…

This ends my year (Jan 15-Dec 15) of devotionals. The new format will be trying to add on a weekly basis Deeper Christian classic and I will be continuing my Saturday Tozer editorials…Also I will be adding 30 Day Devotional Journeys starting with Andrew Murray’s classic “With Christ In The School Of Prayer”: “Nothing delights Him (Jesus) more than to find those whom He can take with Him into the Father’s presence, clothing them with power to pray down God’s blessing to those around them, training them to be His fellow workers in the intercession by which the kingdom is to be revealed on earth.” Andrew Murray, With Christ In The School Of Prayer, day 1, chapter 1.