Tozer Devotional

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  • Circumstantial FrictionMany Christians live like a man driving with his brakes on. It is, of course, friction that retards the car's progress, for all brakes work by friction. The car is temporarily at odds with itself; one surface wants to revolve and another surface in contact with it wants to stand still. This clash of purposes sets up friction; and friction always wins at last. Nothing can continue to move if it is opposed by enough friction. Even the most perfectly operated car cannot escape some resistance to its forward motion. There will always be gravity, air pressure and the unavoidable pressures of working parts that will tend to slow it down. But these are figured in and overcome by the steady application of energy to the wheels. It's the brakes that give a car a hard time. Now all this would seem to be a parable of some kind. The Christian need not expect to escape opposition. As long as Satan stands to resist the sons of God, as long as the world and the flesh remain, the believing man will meet opposition. Sometimes it will be sharp and obvious, but mostly it will be just the hidden and unsuspected friction set up by circumstances. No one need be anxious about this, however, for God has figured it in and made allowance for it. That kind of friction does little real harm. It will not retard progress much, and the very necessity of overcoming opposition will but add strength to the Christian's moral muscles.
  • The Inner Chamber of HumankindHowever we may explain this mysterious "ground" within us, we will not have been long in the Christian way until we begin to experience it. We will find that we have within us a secret garden where no one can enter except ourself and God. Not only does no one else enter, no one else can enter. This secret inner chamber is the sacred trysting place for Christ and the believing soul; no one among all our dearest friends has the open sesame that will permit him to enter there. If God is shut out, then there can be only everlasting loneliness and numb despair. Where God is not known in the inner shrine, the individual must try to compensate for his sense of aloneness in whatever way he can. Most persons run away to the world to find companionship and surround themselves with every kind of diversionary activity. All devices for killing time, every shallow scheme for entertainment, are born out of this inner loneliness. It is a significant and revealing fact that such things have in these last days grown into billion dollar enterprises! So much will men pay to forget that they are a temple without a God, a garden where no voice is heard in the cool of the day. The better minds among us, goaded by this subconscious loneliness, may, as Schopenhauer, become philosophers of despair or, as Byron and Hardy, poets of desperation and hopelessness. But no matter how brilliant the intellect, the lonely heart can never know peace. Until we find God through Christ, that inner "ground" will remain a kind of eternal thirst inside of us, and its voice, where that voice is recognized, will be a plea, an accusation, a thin plaintive cry deep within us asking for eternal life and restoration and God.
  • That Fragrance of the Rose of SharonThe Holy Spirit never differs from Himself, and wherever He touches a human mind His sure marks are always present so plainly that there can be no mistaking them. Anyone familiar with the work of the French artist Millet will notice a similarity in everything he painted, as if the very breathing personality of the man had somehow gotten into the paint and onto the canvas. So the Holy Spirit teaches the same thing to everyone; however different the subjects may be from each other, the fine touch of the Spirit's hand may be detected on each one. For this reason, Christian devotional books are very much alike no matter who may have written them or how widely divergent may have been the religious views of the authors. The masters of the inner life may at first appear to be far apart in some of their theological positions, but before he has read long, the delighted reader will discover the likenesses in the spirit of their teachings. They are talking about the same thing in their several ways and are as alike as various paintings by the same artist. The fragrance of the Rose of Sharon lingers over their pages; one face looks forth from the lattice and one voice is heard in the garden. Because this is true, Eckhart's doctrine of "the ground of the soul" will be recognized as an old friend by the Spirit-taught Christian even though he had never before heard of Eckhart. He will find himself in familiar surroundings because he has walked there himself at other times and in different company.
  • The Gift of Divine PowerIt is the teaching of Meister Eckhart that there is something far inside the mysterious depths of a human life which is unknown except as God and the individual know it. This he called the "ground" of the soul. This "ground" is, according to Eckhart, the stuff which once received the image of God at creation. The lesser powers of the soul are the instruments through which this mysterious primal stuff makes itself felt in the world. These powers are imagination, reason, the faculty of speech and the creative powers which appear at full bloom in the artist and the poet and in varying degrees of brilliance in the commonality of mankind. In this far-in secret sanctuary, God reveals Himself to the individual as a "birth," bringing forth a new creation by the regenerating act of the Holy Spirit. Thus we receive from Christ the very nature of God (2 Peter 1:4) and are spiritually prepared for the full revelation of Christ in us, the hope of glory. This would seem to be but a slightly different way of stating the truths taught by Paul in his inspired epistles. The apostle used the language of theology, or better still, he used the language of the Bible, but what he taught was not different from that taught by the man Eckhart. This great mystic theologian thought in terms of the psychology of his times, but when we make allowance for the difference of approach, the substance is the same. And a thoroughly Christian heart will understand the language of both.
  • Alive in ChristWe might well spend the rest of the year reverently inquiring into the meanings of the resurrection. And probably the best method to pursue is to search for those meanings that touch us as individual Christians here and now. It is, of course, necessary to preserve the theology of the resurrection and to guard the truth well and carefully; but that is not enough. We must know what it means to us as pilgrims and strangers. That He "rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" is the biblical foundation for our faith in a risen Lord. But love and faith would go further; they would devoutly seek to experience the present riches of His Easter triumph. Jesus is Victor! That is the truth His resurrection proclaims. Now it remains for us to allow Him to be Victor in us, thus multiplying the glory of His triumph in the hearts of His trusting people.

 

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