The are 24 short chapters, but even though short chapters, they are very deep! The first chapter brought light to an area I have struggled in. He talks about sacraments and the spiritual slavery bondage vs. sacramental quality of everyday living, which was so eye opening to me. When I was young I was taught in the church, we had to do our hail Mary's, use holy water, observe lent, holy week, etc...But those are not necessary, they mean nothing if we our heart is not truly worshiping. I loved what Tozer said, "we do not know when we are well off". Christ freed us from that! "Motive is everything. Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act. All he does is good and acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
Some of Tozer points throughout the book:"In the church many are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God."
"Shall we preserve the truth and the practice of the truth, or shall we alter it just comfortable in order to be more popular, gain more adherents, and get along easier with the world?" I have for one been a part of churches that either bend or stick to truth. That is a hard place to be in. I have learned sticking to truth and not bending to the world is right! Not always easy and fun, but then it wouldn't be truth and I wouldn't be glorifying God. There are so many consequences when you bend the truth, and Tozer shares more about those in the book.
"All beliefs and practices should be tested by the Word; no copying unscriptural church methods." The Word of God matters over man!
"There must be separation from the world, from its opinions, habits and values."
"Lack of courage is a grave fault and may be a real sin when it leads to compromise in doctrine or practice. To sit back for the sake of peace and allow the enemy to carry of the sacred vessels from the temple is never the part of a true man of God." This is a struggle for me, I want to be at peace with all, but then when I am doing that I am not honoring God and living by truth, instead I am compromising my beliefs.
"The hope of the church yet lies in the purity of her theology, that is, her beliefs about God and man and their relation to each other. These beliefs have been revealed to her by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the sacred Scriptures. Everything there is clear-cut and accurate. We dare not be less than accurate in our treatment of anything so precious."
"I have never believed in the great distinctions that some try to make between the sacred and the secular. Eating can be just as religious an act as praying. It is just as spiritual for me to eat my breakfast from our prayers, we are making an unnecessary division." Yes, we in the everyday ordinary we can glorify God in all things we do, that does include laundry.
"How different today. The fact remains the same but the interpretation has changed completely. Men think of the world, not as a battleground but as a playground. We are not here to fight, we are here to frolic.....A right view of God and the world to come requires that we have also a right view of the world in which we live and our relation to it. So much depends upon this that we cannot afford to be careless about it." Reminder that satan is seeking here to destroy us and it is a battleground, we need to be on guard!
"Actually no real union between the world, and the Church is possible. When the Church joins up with the world it is the truth Church no longer but only a pitiful hybrid thing, an object of smiling contempt to the world and an abomination to the Lord...There is no middle ground...." Remember Jesus said the world hated HIM and would us too...John 15:18-19
"When faith becomes obedience then it is true faith indeed."
"When will Christians learn that to love righteousness it is necessary to hate sin? That to accept Christ it is necessary to reject self? That to follow the good way we must flee from evil? That a friend of the world is an enemy of god? That God allows no twilight zone between two altogether where the fearful and the doubting may take refuge at once from hell to come and the rigors of present discipline?"
"The Church lives in a hostile world. Within and around her are enemies that not only could destroy her, but are meant to and will unless she resists force with yet greater force." So why we need to stand for truth!
"What has Christ to offer to us that is sound, genuine, and desirable? HE offers forgiveness of sins, inward cleansing, peace with God, eternal life, the gift of the Holy Spirit, victory over temptation, resurrection from the dead, a glorified body, immortality, and a dwelling place in the house of the Lord forever. These are a few benefits that come to us as a result of faith in Christ and total committal to HIM." To which I say, AMEN, thank you JESUS!!
"God's truth has never been popular." How sad, but yes true that they reject HIM!
From Moody Publishers:
"I want the world to know that I am a Christian...I may not be a good Christian, but I am still a Christian." (To which I agree, we are all sinners and fall, but thanks to Jesus we are saved!)
A.W. Tozer, called a modern prophet in his time, offers wise counsel for exactly this. Though the political and cultural issues now facing us may differ from those of Tozer's time, the pressures are the same. Tozer asks us where our allegiances lay, and if we have the courage to live faithfully and effectively as dual citizens.
I highly recommend this book to all, unfortunately I do not have a give-away for this one, but you can find it at Moody Publishers ,Amazon, and Christian book stores.