from my notebook

My head is full of thoughts, and I have to write them down.

Archive for the category “A.W. Tozer”

Revolutionary Quote

“An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others.” – A.W. Tozer

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Revolutionary Quote

On the topic of unity in the church:

“Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified. The body becomes stronger as its members become healthier. The whole Church of God gains when the members that compose it begin to seek a better and higher life.” – A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Revolutionary Quote

“For millions of Christians, …God is no more real than He is to the non-Christian. They go through life trying to love an ideal and be loyal to a mere principle.” – A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Revolutionary Quote

“Of all work done under the sun religious work should be the most open to examination. There is positively no place in the church for sleight of hand or double talk. Everything done by the churches should be completely above suspicion. The true church will have nothing to hide.” – A. W. Tozer

A.W. Tozer on Worship and a True Knowledge of God

“Christ can never be known without a sense of awe and fear accompanying the knowledge. He is the fairest among ten thousand, but He is also the Lord high and mighty. He is meek and lowly in heart, but He is also Lord and Christ who will surely come to be the judge of all men. No one who knows Him intimately can ever be flippant in His presence.” – from unknown source

“Worship, I say, rises or falls with our concept of God …. and if there is one terrible disease in the Church of Christ, it is that we do not see God as great as He is.” – from Worship: The Missing Jewel of the Evangelical Church

“…no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.” – from The Knowledge of the Holy

A.W. Tozer Quotes on Worship

Worship means “to feel in the heart”….Worship also means to “express in some appropriate manner” what you feel….and what will be expressed? “A humbling but delightful sense of admiring awe and astonished wonder.” – from Worship, The Missing Jewel of the Evangelical Church

God dwells in the heart where praise is. Man is made to admire something and he admires. And when he admires to the point of incandescent white heat charged with mystery, that’s worship. – from Worship and Entertainment

Something From Heaven

From Fresh Power by Jim Cymbala:
“How long has it been in many of our churches since God ‘did awesome things that we did not expect’? What stops us today from drawing a line in the sand and setting our hearts toward God in fervent prayer that he will come and revive his work in us as well as in our churches? Why don’t we stop rationalizing and justifying the spiritual impotence all around us? Why not rather humble ourselves and seek God with all our heart for ‘something from heaven’?”

“The very mention of God’s promise of ‘something from heaven’ makes people nervous if it seems that the boat might get rocked or if there might be a departure from the order of service printed in the church bulletin.”

“When strangers visit our churches today, they need to see something happening that reinforces the message of salvation.”

A.W. Tozer from Of God and Men:
“We may as well face it: the whole level of spirituality among us is low. We have measured ourselves by ourselves until the incentive to seek higher plateaus in the things of the Spirit is all but gone.”

Samuel Chadwick, a British pastor in the 19th century, in The Way to Pentecost:
“The remedy…is not in reproach and bitterness but floods and rivers, winds and sun. The answer is in the demonstration of a supernatural religion, and the only way to a supernatural religion is in the abiding presence of the Spirit of God.”

Importance of Worship

Case in point from last posting on worship being the key element of our church services and not the sermon itself. Take the most impactful sermon ever preached, Peter’s message at Pentecost. Why was it so effective? Because Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, because the disciples had spent countless hours in prayer and worship. Notice it wasn’t just Peter, and it wasn’t just the eleven other disciples. Acts 1:15 tells us there were about 120 praying and worshiping together. Genuine worship ushered in the power that converted thousands.

We can beg people to serve, to visit the sick and the lost, to do this and that, but until the Power is present, it is all to no avail. A worshiping church is not one that has a “party” every Sunday and dwells in euphoria. A worshiping church is one that has its priorities straight and has the power to carry out its mission.

A.W. Tozer once stated, “I must take issue with those in the churches who insist that the worshiping saints do not get anything done but worship! Such an attitude reveals that they have not done their homework. The beautiful part of worship is that it prepares you and enables you to zero in on the important things that must be done for God. Listen to me! Practically every great deed done in the church of Christ all the way back to the apostles was done by people blazing with the radiant worship of their God! The great hospitals and the mental institutions have grown out of the hearts of worshiping and compassionate disciples. It is true; also, that wherever the church has come out of her lethargy and into the tides of revival and spiritual renewal, always the worshipers were back of it. A survey of church history will prove that it was those who were the yearning worshipers who also became the great workers and the selfless servants. If we give ourselves to God’s call for worship, everyone will do more for the Savior than they are doing now!”

Misguided Messages

Often times the message from the pulpit or small groups is we need to pray more, we need to study the Bible more, or we need to witness more. And time and time again the response is half-hearted at best. Why? Because the pastor nor anyone else has the power to effectively persuade others into obedience. Only the Holy Spirit can do that, and that’s where the church’s efforts are often misguided. Consider this from Jim Cymbala in Fresh Power:

“The root problem is the need for the Holy Spirit to come in power and birth a true spirit of prayer. In other words, we must first secure the Spirit’s presence and grace; then we can move out in powerful praying for all kinds of other needs.”

When the Holy Spirit is present and convicting people, we don’t have to twist arms and make people feel guilty. So the question is how do we “secure the Spirit’s presence?” The answer can be found in Psalm 22:3, praise and worship. Consider this comment from A.W. Tozer in Born After Midnight:

“Without doubt the emphasis in Christian teaching today should be on worship. There is little danger that we shall become merely worshipers and neglect the practical implications of the gospel. No one can long worship God in spirit and in truth before the obligation to holy service becomes too strong to resist. Fellowship with God leads straight to obedience and good works. That is the divine order and it can never be reversed.”

Enough to make you think the typical church service is putting its emphasis in the wrong place. Instead of holding the sermon in such high importance, perhaps we should spend more time creating genuine worship among the congregants.

The Stigma of Tradition

The American Heritage College Dictionary defines “tradition” as “a mode of thought or behavior followed by a people continuously from generation to generation.” Traditions represent a wonderful piece of one’s culture, but holding too tightly to them can also prevent change and progress.

Consider these statements from Jim Cymbala’s Fresh Power –
“We are probably organized far too much. The early church had a beautiful spontaneity and freshness, without being chaotic or disorderly.
“What often holds us back is what I call ‘cultural religion’ — our blind devotion to the way we were raised in church and the atmosphere we experienced every Sunday. Are we making such an impact on the world for God that we can’t humble ourselves in prayer for a change in the status quo? Revival comes when people get dissatisfied with what is and yearn deeply for what could be.

Many churches today are trying to counter this staleness within the church with grand state of the art facilities complete with coffee shops, elaborate indoor playgrounds, and innovative lighting and audio visual systems. Personally, I think all of these elements are great, but they are not the key to reaching the unchurched and developing the churched spiritually.

“Now, worship is the missing jewel in modern evangelicalism. We’re organized; we work; we have our agendas. We have almost everything, but there’s one thing that the churches, even the gospel churches, do not have: that is the ability to worship. We are not cultivating the art of worship.” – A.W. Tozer in Worship: The Missing Jewel

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