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  • Tozer Devotionals

    **Do You Want Revival?
    A.W. Tozer

    One consequence of our failure to see clearly the true nature of revival is that we wait for years for some supernatural manifestation that never comes, overlooking completely our own individual place in the desired awakening. Whatever God may do for a church must be done in the single unit, the one certain man or woman. Some things can happen only to the isolated, single person; they cannot be experienced en masse. Statistics show, for instance, that 100 babies are born in a certain city on a given day. Yet the birth of each baby is for that baby a unique experience, an isolated, personal thing. Fifty people die in a plane crash; while they die together they die separately, one at a time, each one undergoing the act of death in a loneliness of soul as utter as if he alone had died. Both birth and death are experienced by the individual in a loneness as complete as if only that one person had ever known them.

    Three thousand persons were converted at Pentecost, but each one met his sin and his Savior alone. The spiritual birth, like the natural one, is for each one a unique, separate experience shared in by no one. And so with that uprush of resurgent life we call revival. It can come to the individual only. Though a visitation of divine life reaches seventy five persons at once (as among the Moravian Brethren at Dusseldorf), yet it comes to each one singly. There can exist no collective body of believers that can be revived apart from the units that compose the body.

    Understood aright these are truths full of great encouragement and good hope. Nothing can hinder you or me from experiencing the revival we need. It is a matter for God and the solitary heart. Nothing can prevent the spiritual rejuvenation of the soul that insists upon having it. Though that solitary man must live and walk among persons religiously dead, he may experience the great transformation as certainly and as quickly as if he were in the most spiritual church in the world.

    The man that will have God's best becomes at once the object of the personal attention of the Holy Spirit. Such a man will not be required to wait for the rest of the church to come alive. He will not be penalized for the failures of his fellow Christians, nor be asked to forego the blessing till his sleepy brethren catch up. God deals with the individual heart as exclusively as if only one existed.

    If this should seem to be an unduly individualistic approach to revival, let it be remembered that religion is personal before it can be social. Every prophet, every reformer, every revivalist had to meet God alone before he could help the multitudes. The great leaders who went on to turn thousands to Christ had to begin with God and their own soul. The plain Christian of today must experience personal revival before he can hope to bring renewed spiritual life to his church.

    These words are addressed to those of God's children who have been pierced with the arrow of infinite desire, who yearn for God with a yearning that has overcome them, who long with a longing that has become pain.

    "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled" (Matthew 5:6). Hunger is a pain. It is God's merciful provision, a divinely sent stimulus to propel us in the direction of food. If food-hunger is a pain, thirst, which is water-hunger, is a hundredfold worse, and the more critical the need becomes within the living organism the more acute the pain. It is nature's last drastic effort to rouse the imperiled life to seek to renew itself. A dead body feels no hunger and the dead soul knows not the pangs of holy desire. "If you want God," said the old saint, "you have already found Him." Our desire for fuller life is proof that some life must be there already. Our very dissatisfactions should encourage us, our yet unfulfilled aspirations should give us hope. "What I aspired to be, and was not, comforts me," wrote Browning with true spiritual insight. The dead heart cannot aspire.

    No matter what I write here, thousands of pastors will continue to call their people to prayer in the forlorn hope that God will finally relent and send revival if only His people wear themselves out in intercession. To such people God must indeed appear to be a hard taskmaster, for the years pass and the young get old and the aged die and still no help comes. The prayer meeting room becomes a wailing wall and the lights burn long, and still the rains tarry.

    Has God forgotten to be gracious? Let any reader begin to obey and he will have the answer. "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him" (John 14:21).

    Isn't that what we want after all?

  • #2
    Amen , amen and amen.

    Many very deep truths are stated above and everyone would be well served to read it many times.

    I have seen many groups and individuals seem to pray as if God needs to be encouraged to do good, and also as He needs their advice as to know what should be done.

    God does not need our advice, and He does not need to be encouraged to do good.

    Did He not prove this on the cross. Jesus died to prove to everyone that He wants to save us. Jesus raised Himself from the dead to prove that He is able to save us. ( John 2:19-21)

    Peter points out the foolishness of trying to lead God in 2 Peter 1:20-21. No move of God starts with man, but every move of God starts with God.

    God's ways are far above our ways. If we do anything good then God inspired us to do it. If we do evil, that came from us.

    Comment


    • #3
      Lou qualifies this devotional correctly in my opinion, but I wish to elaborate because the elaboration is all I desire.

      Birth and death are individual experiences but do not seem analogous to the life of the Church - – body of Christ made of many members – - especially when speaking of a spiritual movement like a revival. Yes, individuals do have personal revival or renewal, but this is not the meaning of revival in the Church.

      Everyone would acknowledge the reality of the following quote from this Tozer devotional:

      “"The man that will have God's best becomes at once the object of the personal attention of the Holy Spirit. Such a man will not be required to wait for the rest of the church to come alive. He will not be penalized for the failures of his fellow Christians, nor be asked to forego the blessing till his sleepy brethren catch up. God deals with the individual heart as exclusively as if only one existed.

      If this should seem to be an unduly individualistic approach to revival, let it be remembered that religion is personal before it can be social. Every prophet, every reformer, every revivalist had to meet God alone before he could help the multitudes. The great leaders who went on to turn thousands to Christ had to begin with God and their own soul. The plain Christian of today must experience personal revival before he can hope to bring renewed spiritual life to his church.”"


      However, this quote may not stand without qualifications.
      (1) This is a continuation of Tozer’s attack on churches of his time.
      It is just another way of criticizing the then current practices and spirituality.
      (2) It may be Tozer’s own experience as a self taught preacher that he felt like his was an individualistic experience. However, he ministered in congregations his entire saved life.
      (3) Tozer assumes the cause for revival is from man’s zeal for God in their own soul.
      While this may be what it seems to a single person, revival is a sovereign act of God.
      (4) The actual history of revivalism has not been the effort of an individual but of groups coming together.
      The Holy Spirit moves to motivate groups.
      (5) Once revival arrives the experience is collective for the body of Christ and for those entering. The experience is a social spiritual event among the rejoicing.

      From my observations, when there is even the possibility that a revival is of God, the people of God travel cross country and borders to become part of the outpouring. Nearly all searches end in futility. But, I have observed the filled to capacity sanctuary when late comers arrive and stand on the steps outside for hours just to be there. I have observed seekers at the entrance to the sanctuary fall face forward and sob for minutes on end. It is as if the sanctuary is filled with the Presence of God and just entering one becomes engulfed -– something like the experiences in the tabernacle with Moses. Many, who have been in genuine revival once, yearn to be there again. They pray for revival; they sanctify there lives for revival; they contemplate what can be done. Eventually, they each come to the reckoning that revival comes as a sovereign act of God for His purpose and time.

      Having experienced what it is to be numbered among the faithful while in the Divine Presence makes me wait excitedly upon death. As with the Apostle Paul I say, "“For me to die is gain.”" Being before God the Father privately or individually while in the congregation is a powerful and righteous experience of joy and holiness.
      But let me say, such individualistic encounters are comparative mild when compared to being in the Holy Presence of God in unison with the body of Christ. Such Holy Ghost power changes cities, the news, conversations, Monday mornings and Friday evenings and Saturday nights, changes sinners, changes the saved, changes everything! All who have been there are exploding with the message of "come and see!"

      Note: Revival is used because that is the term used by Tozer, but revival as an organized calendar event or crusade is not what is meant here.

      Last edited by glen smith; January 20th, 2018, 03:39 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        God's Providential Care for Us
        Tozer Devotional

        My point is that God knows us so well that He does a number of little providential things at the very moment of our need. We think we have planned and executed everything all by ourselves. We are not aware that it has been God's plan and that He has been out there ahead of us the whole time.

        It was some years later, as I read Psalm 71 in the familiar King James Version, that I noticed for the first time the words, "Thou hast given commandment to save me" (71:3). My heart has been warm ever since with that thought. God has sent His Word throughout all of the earth to save me. You may be critical if you wish. Do with that text as you will. You may even have some theological problem with it. But God has "given commandment," and these words are for me!

        God saw me, a lonely, lost boy in rural western Pennsylvania and His commandment went throughout His creation. I am convinced every angel in heaven heard it. And I believed on the Son of God and turned myself over to Him for salvation!

        Nothing can compare with this knowledge. God and His Word are on my side. The living Word of God has charged Himself with the responsibility to forgive me, to cleanse me, to perfect that which concerns me and to keep me in the way everlasting.

        We are living in a world full of God's created beings—many of them not seen by us or those around us. We ought to thank God for the angels and for God's providential circumstances everyday. As one of the old saints long ago remarked, "If you will thank God for your providences, you will never lack a providence to thank God for!"

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, I know Tozer never read what Heiser wrote about elohim, but he seems to get it.
          My thought is "with the yes of angels" we can see what the angels see.
          Tozer thinks of it as providence and commandments.
          For me it is superintendence.
          He is always watching and adjusting so that the outcome expresses His will.
          From this I have been taught there are no coincidences in my life.
          Nothing just happens.
          That is peace and comfort no mater what comes.

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