| Needed: Men of Vision|
The following article by A.W. Tozer speaks, I believe, to the heart of the need of our day.
As you read it, remember (when he refers to the sellout that had taken place "during the last twenty-five years") he wrote this--although I couldn't find the exact date-- most likely some time in the 1960's. The "grosser sins" he refers to are commonplace now, and many far worse.
I thought of this article after reading George Warnock's latest writing, The Vision and the Appointment, which is a very encouraging word in an hour of great perplexity. You can find it on a thread posted by Greg recently, or at www.georgewarnock.com.
...To carry God's own vision, carry it faithfully, I mean, will of course bring into your life a deep cross. But as Tozer says in this article, "the cross is always the harbinger of the resurrection."
Needed: A Baptism of Clear Seeing
(From: The Root of the Righteous (Ch. 31) by A.W. Tozer)
When reviewing the religious scene today we are tempted to fix on one or another weakness and say, This is what is wrong with the Church. If this were corrected we could recapture the glory of the early Church and have Pentecostal times back with us again.
This tendency to oversimplification is itself a weakness and should be guarded against always, especially when dealing with anything as complex as religion as it occurs in modern times. It takes a very young man to reduce all our present woes to a single disease and cure the whole thing with one simple remedy. Older and wiser heads will be more cautious, having learned that the prescribed nostrum seldom works for the reason that the diagnosis has not been correct. Nothing is that simple. Few spiritual diseases occur alone. Almost all are complicated by the presence of others and are so vitally interrelated as they spread over the whole religious body that it would take the wisdom of a Solomon to find a single cure.
For this reason I am hesitant to point to any one defect in present day Christianity and make all our troubles to stem from it alone. That Bible religion in our times is suffering rapid decline is so evident as to need no proof; but just what has brought about this decline is not so easy to discover. I can only say that I have observed one significant lack among evangelical Christians which might turn out to be the real cause of most of our spiritual troubles; and of course if that were true, then the supplying of that lack would be our most critical need.
The great deficiency to which I refer is the lack of spiritual discernment, especially among our leaders. How there can be so much Bible knowledge and so little insight, so little moral penetration, is one of the enigmas of the religious world today. I think it is altogether accurate to say that there has never before been a time in the history of the Church when so many persons were engaged in Bible study as are so engaged today. If the knowledge of Bible doctrine were any guarantee of godliness, this would without doubt be known in history as the age of sanctity. Instead, it may well be known as the age of the Churchs Babylonian captivity, or the age of worldliness, when the professed Bride of Christ allowed herself to be successfully courted by the fallen sons of men in unbelievable numbers. The body of evangelical believers, under evil influences, has during the last twenty-five years gone over to the world in complete and abject surrender, avoiding only a few of the grosser sins such as drunkenness and sexual promiscuity.
That this disgraceful betrayal has taken place in broad daylight with the full consent of our Bible teachers and evangelists is one of the most terrible affairs in the spiritual history of the world. Yet I for one cannot believe that the great surrender was negotiated by men of evil heart who set out deliberately to destroy the faith of our Fathers. Many good and clean living persons have collaborated with the quislings who betrayed us. Why? The answer can only be from a lack of spiritual vision. Something like a mist has settled over the Church as the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations (Isa. 25:7). Such a veil once descended upon Israel: but their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart (2 Cor. 3:14,15). That was Israels tragic hour. God raised up the Church and temporarily disfranchised His ancient people. He could not trust His work to blind men.
Surely we need a baptism of clear seeing if we would escape the fate of Israel and of every other religious body in history that forsook God. If not the greatest need, then surely one of the greatest is for the appearance of Christian leaders with prophetic vision. We desperately need seers who can see through the mist. Unless they come soon it will be too late for this generation. And if they do come we will no doubt crucify a few of them in the name of our worldly orthodoxy. But the cross is always the harbinger of the resurrection.
Mere evangelism is not our present need. Evangelism does no more than extend religion, of whatever kind it may be. It gains acceptance for religion among larger numbers of people without giving much thought to the quality of that religion. The tragedy is that present day evangelism accepts the degenerate form of Christianity now current as the very religion of the apostles and busies itself with making converts to it with no questions asked. And all the time we are moving farther and farther from the New Testament pattern.
We must have a new reformation. There must come a violent break with that irresponsible, amusement-mad, paganized pseudo religion which passes today for the faith of Christ and which is being spread all over the world by unspiritual men employing unscriptural methods to achieve their ends. When the Roman Church apostatized, God brought about the Reformation. When the Reformation declined, God raised up the Moravians and the Wesleys. When these movements began to die God raised up Fundamentalism and the deeper life groups.
Now that these have almost without exception sold out to the worldwhat next?
| 2007/4/20 12:15||Profile|
| Re: Needed: Men of Vision|
Needed: Men of Vision......Could that be you? us? Oh, if we just make up our minds to lay it all down! Lay it down!
How long, oh Lord? My heart aches, cries, almost to the point, let the persecution begin if that is going to wake up the church to Christ reality!
Who yearns, who cries for God to truly BURN THEM UP?! Take my life and burn it up for Your glory!
Lord I want nothing! No tittles, no recognition, no fame! I just want You to be glorified and if that means I look like a fool or I die then let it be!
Do you wants souls for God, then DIE!
You really want to give God the glory and have no image of your own? Then DIE!
You say you don't care about stuff in this world, then sell all, what you don't need!
You say you want revival? Then DIE! Get down on your knees cry out like Jacob till you know God has enable you to go deeper by stripping you of SELF.
How many more sermons do we have to listen to and be encourage to DIE?! How many articles, books, videos do we have to watch to say this is it, take it all Lord, I give You my WHOLE heart, do as You please in order to bring You glory and win souls for Your kingdom?!
Jesus says, He who hates His life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Can you say TODAY I don't care about my life, if I die for God, so let it be! Do you love God so much that you hate this life, where you have lost all desires of this world, but only to see Jesus glorified?
If you can't say yes, then you love your life and the SELF is still big in your life and you need to seriously draw near to Him while it is called TODAY.
You want revival? Revival starts with you. No one can pray for revival unless they have first allowed the Lord to revive them.
You say you care for America and the church? Does your heart aches so bad for revival that you are suffering internally? You can't sleep because the state of the church?
Oh God help us! Have mercy and loose Your people from their delusion of Christianity. Make them see Lord, please! Make them feel Lord, please! Set their eyes to reality, please! Help them see their life truly in the light of Your word. If their is any falsehood in us, oh God expose us! Expose us to our shame that we would become more desperate for you and see our need for Your cleansing fire upon our lives. God I ask, make Your people desperate for You! So desperate! We have lost sight, hearing, there is no trembling before You. Have mercy, oh have mercy! How loose we are with Your word! Oh God, have mercy!
Please Lord, come to Your people and pour out Your fire, awaken us to Your reality! Come Holy Spirit, come! WE NEED YOU! WE NEED YOU! OH GOD WE SO NEED YOU! Please oh Lord, rend the heavens and pour out Your Spirit on Your people!
Break us, Oh God, break us up by Your Spirit!
| 2007/4/20 16:13||Profile|
Appreciated the cry on your heart, the burden of your prayer.
I know we need to die. And if it was just the death of Adam it would be an easy thing to accomplish. "For as in Adam all die..." It just comes "naturally."
But it's the death of Christ we need to be baptized into: being made dead to sin, dead to the law, dead to self, to our own glory...
And that (as we see evidenced round about us in the Church) seems to be a hard thing to accomplish. I've discovered in my own life that it's no easy thing to die THIS KIND of death. I've discovered-- when it comes to the Christian life-- I don't even know how to die properly.
How we need to be led by the Spirit! There is in the Spirit the grace we need to die. So the answer lies not so much in "trying" to die (which turns out to be miserable work), but in following the leadings of the Spirit of LIFE. And it is HE who "will be our guide even unto death" (Ps. 48.14).
"For if ye live after the flesh ye shall die, but if ye THROUGH THE SPIRIT do mortify the deeds of the body ye shall live" (Rom. 8.13). This is the one and only Way. As we find the grace to walk in obedience to the Spirit of God He will lead us to the altar and BIND us there till the Fire has fully consumed us, and our Lord Jesus Christ is SEEN in our lives. Amen.
| 2007/4/20 22:28||Profile|