Thursday, February 10, 2011
Faith in Operation
I have been reading this book called "Pursuit of God" by A.W. Tozer. When I tell you that God is speaking to me through this book, Man! God is speaking to me through this book! I highly recommend this book to any believer who wants a closer relationship with God. You can get it at Barnes&Noble for a very reasonable price. I must say, however, this Tozer writes in a some what older English which can sometimes be hard to read. I always read the book aloud so that I can get the full impact of what he is saying.
Anyways, today I read Chapter Seven called "The Gaze of the Soul." And I realized that...
Since my 5th grade year, I have been writing my thoughts on paper. The content has always been about my life, joys, struggles, fears, and excitement ( basically all about me). All my life, I have been focusing on me. I really should have been focusing on God.
Tozer says that faith is not really given a concrete definition. Outside of Hebrews 11:1 which says, "Faith is the confidence the at what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." He says "Faith is defined functionally not philosophically. It is a statement of what faith is in operation, not what it is in essence. It assumes the presence of faith and shows what it results in, rather than what it is."
Ephesian 2:8 says that faith is the gift of God. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Thomas a Kempis says, " I had rather exercise faith than know the definition therof."
Faith is and must be in operation.
Tozer tells about the story in Numbers when the people of Israel spoke against God. Many deadly snakes came to torment the people. God told Moses to make a pole with a snake wrapped around it. All who looked upon it would be saved and lived. John 3:14 -15 says, " And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. "Looking and believing are synonymous terms,"
Faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God.
Here are some quotes from the book to show the thought process of how profound faith can be.
"Faith is not a once-done act, but a continuous gaze of the heart at the Triune God."
"Distractions may hinder, but once the heart is committed to Him, after each brief excursion away from Him, the attention will return again and rest upon Him, like a wandering bird coming back to its window."
"Faith is the least self-regarding of the virtues. It is by its very nature scarcely conscious of its own existence. Like the eye which sees everything in front of it and never sees itself, faith is occupied with the Object [God] upon which it rests and pays no attention to see itself at all."
"It will be God working in him to will and to do."
"Faith is redirecting of our sight, a getting out of the focus of our own vision and getting God into focus."
"Faith looks out instead of in and the whole life falls into line."
"When we lift our inward eyes to gaze upon God we are sure to meet friendly eyes gazing back at us..."
"You can see God from anywhere if your mind is set to love and obey Him."
"A new set of eyes (so to speak) will develop within us enabling us to be looking at God while our outward eyes are seeing the scenes of this passing world."
In doing so, "we will have found life's summum bonum indeed."