Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tozer Book Club

As I read through chapter two this week, entitled The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing, I saw in myself a great need to let go of all that I have and give it all to God. Maybe not literally, maybe so. But to fully allow Christ to reign as King and Saviour of my life.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3

There is within the human heart a tough, fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to posses, always to posses. it covets things with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns my and mine look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant...Things have become necessary to us, a development never originally intended. God's gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution.
I am so thankful for all of God's gifts to me. My children, husband, brothers, friendships, creation, food and the list goes on but to focus on the gifts he has given me above God himself is really taking away from why we were created in the first place.

Tozer paints a picture to show us how this works out in everyday life. He relates the story of Abraham and Isaac in the Old Testament. How God asked Abraham to give him everything, even his first born son Isaac. Abraham was willing even to the point of sacrificing him on an alter to God. At that point God sees that Abraham is willing to give everything up for his sake and he spares Isaac. Abraham was willing to give everything up to God and in doing so gain everything.
"It's all right, Abraham. I never intended that you should actually slay the lad. I only wanted to remove him from the temple of your heart that I might reign unchallenged there."

We are often hindered from giving up our treasures to the Lord out of fear for their safety. This is especially true when those treasures are loved relatives and friends. But we need have no such fears. Our Lord came not to destroy but to save. Everything is safe which we commit to Him, and nothing is really safe which is not so committed.
I pray daily to committ all that I have to God. My controlling nature fights to keep it all to myself. I find it a constant laying down.

At the end of each chapter Tozer writes a prayer.
Father, I want to know Thee, but my cowardly heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a riveal. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall be no night there.
In Jesus' name.

"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. You're blessed when you're content with just who you are-no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought."
Matthew 5:3-5 (The Message)

1 comment:

Jan said...

It's sorta coincidental. I read a lot of Tozer when I was your age. I think he's as great author and his writing really encourages a spiritual journey.

Can't wait to visit you at your new home. Sounds wonderful!