Ever tried to hug someone who doesn’t know how to hug back?
You go for a warm bear hug, and you’re met with a one-armed,
lead-with-the-hip side hug—if you’re lucky, you might also get a
pat on the back and a mumbled, “Love ya too, bro.” It’s awkward,
like hugging a mannequin.
That’s how Christians often react when grace comes at them.
God tries to smother us with a great big grace embrace, but we
don’t know how to hug back. So we stand there, stiff and uncomfortable,
waiting for it to be over so we can go back to our task of trying to deserve His love.
Remember the parable of the prodigal son (see Luke 15:11-
32)? After wasting his father’s possessions, and nearly dead with
hunger, the boy musters the courage to return home and beg to become
a servant in his father’s household. That’s the best he can
hope for; it’s all he deserves.
But while he is still a long way off, his father sees him, runs to
meet him and embraces him. Talk about awkward. In those days,
fathers didn’t run or express that kind of emotion in public—especially
to a son who had dishonored the family.
The son—just like the legalistic audience listening to Jesus--
doesn’t know how to respond to his father’s lavish display of affection.
He tries to give his rehearsed speech—to convince his father
to receive him based on merit.
But his father just laughs and cuts him off, then throws a
party for him. This loving father doesn’t care about merit; he cares
about his son.
That’s grace. It’s surprising, overwhelming and so good it’s
Teach us, O God, that nothing is necessary to Thee. Were anything necessary to Thee that thing would be the measure of Thine imperfection: and
how could we worship one who is imperfect? If nothing is necessary to
Thee, then no one is necessary, and if no one, then not we. Thou dost seek
us though Thou does not need us. We
seek Thee because we need Thee, for
in Thee we live and move and have our being. Amen.
A . W . T O Z E R
God simply does not need us at all—nor does He need our
money. He has plenty of money and is quite able to do whatever He
wants to do. From the moment I came to this realization, the pressure was off. I began to see things in a new light as my perspective
shifted from one of guilt to a much more hopeful and grace-filled
point of view. Besides, I had begun to see that if anything good did
come from me, it was only because of the One who was in me.
Grace began to take on a whole new meaning. It was grace that
caused me to want to be obedient, and grace that built in me the
desire to give. Guilt had no place, and the desires became pure.
One of the amazing things about God’s grace is its boundlessness. With human beings, the fruit of the Spirit have apparent limits to them, but with an all-perfect God, neither the fruit of His
Spirit nor the grace through which they come can be maxed out.
He is infinite, as are His abilities to love us, to give us joy and to
give us peace. He is perfectly patient and infinitely kind, good and
faithful. He is gentle with us, and through the Holy Spirit we are
How wonderfully freeing it is not to be needed—especially
when we stand in the shadow of Jesus’ almighty power, knowing
that apart from Him, we can do nothing, yet through Him, we can
do all things!
The low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us. . . . A rediscovery of the majesty of God will go a long way toward curing them.
A . W . T O Z E R
As I focused on God and learned to worship Him, I discovered
a couple of things. I realized that the more we understand God’s
character—His deep love, His greatness, His ability to see everything and be very near to us—the more we want to pray. As I meditated on God’s grandeur, my heart was exhilarated by His presence. I longed to be with God more and more because I was learning to be fascinated and awestruck by Him. Most people
think of prayer as petition—asking God to better their circumstances. But worship—contemplating God and gazing on Him as the elders and the four living creatures and the vast multitude did in Revelation 4 and 5—is foundational to prayer.
The other thing that grew out of my contemplation of God’s character was a confidence in Him that could sustain me during times of crisis. One of His attributes especially, His mercy, ministered to me when as a young man I was struggling with my sin and my lust and my failures. Realizing that God loved me—that He enjoyed me—gave me a confidence in my early days. As my confidence in God’s love grew, I ran to God in my struggles instead of from Him. My loyalty to Jesus intensified. In theological debates today, many refuse to take a strong stand for Jesus as
they become tolerant of other religious ideas. I cannot overemphasize the importance of loyalty to Jesus. He is God and the only way to salvation.
Taken from Inspired by Tozer.
If you do all the talking when you pray, how will you ever hear God’s answers?
I am honored to have grandchildren. When they so much as
smile in my direction, they get a response from me. They believe
their G-mama will respond to all of their requests. How much
more will our heavenly Father, the grandest of all parents, do so for
us? He is, after all, able to do far more than any of us can dream.
This overarching hope creates an expectancy that anchors our
lives to the provision of heaven, which is independent of our current
circumstances. This allows love to wrap us in the wonder of a
Father God who answers us, not according to our limited perspective
of language, but from His vast wisdom, vantage and great love
Having framed this context, I must say that I understand how
daunting the silence of listening can be. I propose that the first
reason we don’t listen for what God has to say is that we are afraid
He won’t speak to us. We’ve all thought, “If I am silent and He is silent,
does that mean my voice went unheard?” So we fill any void with
our words or hurriedly close the prayer time before our hope can
Here’s a perspective on prayer that helped me make the
change: God longs to speak to you more than you want to hear from Him,
and you need to hear from Him more than He needs to hear from you.
Go to church once a week and nobody pays attention. Worship God seven
days a week and you become strange!
A . W . T O Z E R
In Colossians 3:17, Paul writes: “And whatever you do, whether
in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving
thanks to God the Father through him” (NIV). This verse does not
designate a time, such as Sunday morning at 11 A.M., for doing
everything “in the name of the Lord Jesus.” How awesome is it that
a relationship with the God of the Universe does not end after the
dismissal of a church service?
So why does our society view worshiping God every day of the
week as so abnormal? Maybe because we have obtained over the
years a misunderstanding of what normal is. I (Wes) would go so
far as to say that we have allowed the world to define what is “normal.” The world has worked overtime to remove all elements of
Christ from society. The remaining culture—stripped of Christian
teaching and traditions—is proudly heralded as tolerant, diverse
The reality is that the world has done a woeful job of creating
“normal.” Homicides, suicides, abortions, and children being subjected to unspeakable violence, abuse and neglect—sad to say--
have become commonplace in our world today; these things have
become normal. Meanwhile, being dedicated to the cause of
Christ—seven days a week—is deemed by the world to be strange.Who is calling whom crazy?! Let no Christian be intimidated by
the world’s definitions any longer. The world has hijacked normal
and driven it into a ditch. The world’s normal is not nicer, kinder
or more tolerant. It is hopeless, broken and uninspiring compared
to the “strange” gospel of Christ.
The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions. It hushes their fears and allows them to practice all pleasant forms of iniquity while death draws every day nearer and the command to repent goes unheeded.
A . W. T O Z E R
I have spoken at length with a few Christian writers who have
reinvented the “good news.” They see it not as an offer to be saved
from everlasting punishment, but as an assurance that every person,
regardless of whether they trust Christ in this life, will spend
eternity in heaven. They rob the gospel of its stakes and urgency.
They imagine they’re paying God a compliment for being so tolerant,
but it’s not our job to airbrush Him or give Him a facelift.
Ironically, an exclusive emphasis on love strips God’s love of its
wonder. Without an understanding of the reality and consequences
of sin, people aren’t surprised by the idea that God loves them--
why shouldn’t He? But Scripture regards His love for us as remarkable,
precisely because of our sin: “God demonstrates His own love
toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”
When John Newton wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace,” he understood
what made God’s grace amazing—he was a hell-deserving
“wretch.” When we minimize our sinfulness, we minimize the power
and wonder of God’s grace. We undermine what God redeemed us
for: “in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable
riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ
Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7, NIV).
“Faith never asks questions when it has been established that God has spoken. Thus
faith honors God by counting Him righteous and accepts his testimony against the
very evidence of his own senses. This is faith, and of such we can never have
The summer of 1999 is one summer I will never soon forget. It all started when my
mom came to our family during our prayer time and said she felt God had shown
her the verse Luke 5:4 where Jesus says to Peter, "Push out into deep water, and
let down your nets for a haul."
That's all He gave her, nothing more.
No explanation. Nothing.
But somehow she felt that God was asking our family to get ready. To get ready for
something big, whatever it may be. Now as a fourteen year old I really had no
clue what to expect. Quite frankly, I have never been very partial to fishing
and wanted nothing to do with that. Of course I didn't let my dislike of fishing
get in the way of something God was trying to say to my family, so trying to be
good a Christian family we said, "Yes God, we will get ready for whatever it is
you have for us, no matter what."
Saying yes to the unknown with God can be a very scary thing.
What in the world did we just say yes to? We honestly had no clue. But we were a family who always tried to say yes to God because He is always looking for people who will be willing to do anything for Him. We wanted to be those people. Little did
we know that less than twelve hours later we would be getting the phone call
that answered all our questions from that morning.
My dad received a phone call from a ministry called World Relief. World Relief is a
Non-profit organization that helps victims of poverty, disease, hunger, war,
disasters and persecution. About a month earlier my dad had called them saying
if there was any way we could get involved with their organization or help in
any way, we would be glad to do it. He hadn't heard back from them, until now.
They informed my dad that they were involved with helping all the refugees that
were coming over to America because of the war happening in Kosovo. Many
Kosovars were being sent out of the refugee camps and out of the country because
it was too dangerous for them to stay there. I'm sure my dad was wondering where
the conversation was going and then the big question happened. They said, "There
are fourteen Kosovars who are on a plane to Chicago right now. They aren't
supposed to be coming to Chicago but their flight got messed up so they are
stuck coming here. No church and literally no one will take them because there
are too many of them. So, since you recently asked if you could help, do you
want to take them in? They will be here first thing in the morning." My dad
asked if he could call back. He wanted to talk it all over with us first before
he committed to anything. So he asked my mom what she thought and of course mom said without hesitating, "YES!
Send them all to us!!!" And then they asked us kids and of course we all said yes. So dad called back five
inutes later and told him we would take in all fourteen people.
Now let me share a little background with you. Bottom line, we weren't exactly wealthy. We didn't have some huge house that fourteen people could stay in. We lived in a four bedroom house. Four bedrooms. Fourteen people. Well, nineteen if you count my family and me. Also, dad had just quit his job to start a family ministry so technically we were self employed. Oh, did I mention that none of us knew a
word of Albanian and they didn't know a word of English? It’s true.
If you looked at this situation in the natural you would have thought we were
Honestly when people heard what we were actually doing, they thought that exact thing. But we knew that when God calls you to do something, you can never look at it through your natural eyes. If we would have tried to figure things out in our
heads we would have just messed up what God was trying to do. Something we all
have to know is that God will never call us to do something and forget to walk us through the process. Even though sometimes it feels as though we are walking blindly, we always seem to make it to the end.
If I took the time to share with you every miracle that we saw happen during those
two months of us having The Behluli family from Kosovo, it would fill this
entire book. But I will tell you God provided abundantly more than we would have
ever even asked for. For two months there was so much food, clothing, toys,
electronics, free doctor visits, free housing for all fourteen of them, anything
and everything we could ever want. Most of it just ended up right on our
The family came to us with nothing. Literally, all their bags got lost when they
flew here and they left us with three suitcases each. We could hardly understand
each other but we still spent every waking moment of that summer together and
somehow there was an understanding.
That was 12 years ago. We haven't seen the Behlulis since they left us. But every time I look back on that summer I am reminded of God's goodness. And I think of how sad it would have been if we didn’t have the faith to say yes to God. We would have missed out on so much.
That's what faith is all about.
Go out into the deep and get ready to catch something,
even if you aren’t that crazy about fishing. Because you never know what amazing
things God has for you when you have the faith to simply say
True faith rests upon the character of God
Dr. Tozer is right, "True faith rests upon the character of God..." I have learned that faith isn't about getting your prayers answered the way you want by believing hard enough or praying with just the right words. Faith isn’t about doing “ministry” until you drop. Faith is about a relationship with Someone who is trustworthy even when He doesn't always explain Himself. Sometimes faith is a decision we make that flies in the face of our emotions or what we can see with our eyes. Faith is based solely on the proven character of our loving, but unfathomable Father God.
Are you walking through a dark place of disappointment and discouragement in your life right now? Have your expectations been dashed? Do you wonder if you have fallen right off God’s radar? Isaiah 50:10 says, "Who among you fears the Lord? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God." Yes, even a Godly person can walk through the dark for a season. I love Psalm 139:12 "...the darkness and the light are both alike to You." God can see in the dark! He is in that dark place with you. Nothing frightens Him or takes Him by surprise. And He loves you. He would not break His promise never to leave or forsake you, especially when life gets rough. That is just not His way. He is up to something good and He will bring you out into the light again. Let your faith rest on God’s faithful character.
Call me crazy, but I'm still asking God to teach me about faith. I still long to see the miraculous, but I now understand that my journey of faith will always hinge on trusting God's character above anything else. A friend recently told me, "Faith isn't faith until it's been tested. Before that, it's just belief." I have come to believe that every test of our faith is also a test of God's faithfulness--and He never fails a test!
Note: this blog is taken from the Inspired by Tozer book, click button to purchase the book.
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“Mercy is not something God has but something that God is.” – A.W. Tozer
One of the best examples I have ever seen of God’s mercy is with a young girl named Chris. I first met Chris over 20 years ago, when she was facing an unplanned pregnancy, had had multiple abortions, and was heavily addicted to drugs. When she learned she was pregnant again, she immediately wanted to get an abortion out of fear that the baby would be deformed. Then MERCY intervened, and God caused our paths to cross. I was able to speak to her one hour before the baby was scheduled to be aborted. I assured her that if she would make the decision to come to a God of mercy, and a place called Mercy, we would pray that God would take care of her child, and her baby would be born beautiful.
She broke down and began to cry, admitting that she really did not want to get an abortion. Chris made the choice to go to God and enter the Mercy program to deal with her issues. She was delivered from drugs and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy who is now a handsome 20-year-old man who stays in touch with me on a regular basis. This same young woman, who was once so broken, is now happily married to a wonderful man and has had the joy of a great relationship with her son all these years. This is a picture of what God’s mercy looks like.
The mindset of most people would be that someone who has had multiple abortions does not deserve to have a healthy son or to be a happy mom. Most people would say that someone who has been a drug addict does not deserve or could possibly be equipped to raise a child. But the voice of mercy-the voice of God-says something quite different. Mercy says I will meet you where you are and turn your life around. Mercy says I will transform you. Mercy says I will equip you with that which is lacking. MERCY IS GOD AND GOD IS MERCY.
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"The key to prayer is simply praying." – A.W. Tozer
Prayer is a complex supernatural phenomenon that offers no scientific explanation or evidence around which we can wrap our limited human minds. How do I explain to somebody that I am conversing casually with the same God that created the very air I’m breathing? At the same time, prayer is amazingly simple. The most basic acts of sentient beings are observations and thoughts. We don’t even have to verbalize our thoughts to communicate with our creator. He has made communication with Him so easy that we really have no excuse to not “pray without ceasing.” How could I possibly not have enough time to talk to whom I owe my very reason for living? Unfortunately it happens all too frequently in my life.
I desperately want to know more about the character of God and to understand His plan, but so many life distractions get in the way of that pursuit. Learning to pray is not only about understanding and comprehension, but also practice and execution. All the knowledge I can glean from this world pales in comparison to the revelations God gives through direct communication with Him. Ultimately, I control the way I choose to spend my time. If “The key to prayer is simply praying,” then I’ve found my solution. Simply pray.