The Presence of God…The Selfishness of Man and…Is A. W. Tozer a Busy Body?
Do you long for the presence of God…the feeling…the sensing of His presence and yet cannot seem to experience that kind of closeness with Him very often? Why is the manifestation of His presence so elusive?
In his book “The Attributes of God”, A. W. Tozer (often quoted and certainly revered) writes of how God consumes the earth…is everywhere. He gives a wonderful example of God being everywhere. Picture a bucket that is in the ocean…of course it is full of ocean water. But picture how the water is in it, under it and around it. The water is completely and fully present…in every single space. That is a picture of God’s omnipresence. Yet…as believers we so often feel God is remote.
Tozer reminds us how in Song of Solomon, the bridegroom (Christ) has given the bride (us) beautiful gifts of perfume and jewelry. He talks about how the bridegroom came back to her house (where she was enjoying the tantalizing aroma of her perfume and admiring her beautiful jewels) and asked her to come with him. She told him she couldn’t. (She was too busy basking in the gifts he had given her).
Then Tozer says, “He wanted her, but she wanted his jewelry and his perfumes. Of course, there could be no fellowship while he’s out there doing one thing and she’s selfishly staying in the house doing another.”
He further says, “The love of the Lord Jesus Christ was a great, passionate, outpoured thing that caused Him to give Himself completely. ‘Christ pleased not himself’ (Romans 15:3). Even our Lord pleased not Himself. But do you know what is wrong with us? We are self-pleasers. We live for ourselves.
There are people who would buy a new car even if it meant their church went broke and had to close its doors. There are women who would dress in the latest style even if the mission cause died and every missionary had to be sent home. Yet we’re saints, we’re born -again, we’re believers-we have our marked New Testament!
We may be Christians but the love we have is a calculating and narrow love, a love that doesn’t give itself.”
Tozer went on to quote Dr. Scofield, “Sin has almost deprived us of the ability to kneel before that burning bush.”
It can be easy to dismiss Tozer’s words regarding funding the church and missions if we are faithful in giving. But are we sacrificial?
If we spend a little time mentoring or loving on those who are hurting…we can sooth ourselves with the kind things we are doing. But are we giving of our time and love sacrificially? Does our sacrificial love start at home, or are we willing to give sacrificially outside our home but at home…not so much?
I don’t know…this Tozer guy…he might be kind of a busy body. 😊
But then…perhaps not! The Word of our God is the source of his wisdom…so Tozer’s thoughts ought to be considered…a gift…a wonderful reminder of how we can truly experience the Presence of God!
Romans 12:9-21 (NIV) 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.