Category Archives: A. W. Tozer

APRIL 21 SPIRITUAL TESTING

Do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

Deuteronomy 5:32

In the scriptural accounts, there are many examples of men and women being tested, and I think it is plain that the Holy Spirit rarely tells a believer that he is about to be tested.

Abraham was being tested when the Lord asked him to take his only son up into the mountain. He thought he was being ordered. He did not know he was being tested.

Peter was unconsciously tested. Paul was tested and tried. There does come a time when we have heard enough truth and the Holy Spirit says, “Today this disciple is going to be tested.”

The people of Israel in their time of testing came to Kadesh Barnea, and instead of crossing into the promised land, they said, “We will not go over!” God simply let them make their own test, and they flunked it!

Are there any among us who have an honest desire to be Christlike? We should all be aware that every day is a day of testing. Some come to their own Kadesh Barnea and turn back.

What a solemn thought: Many of the persons whom God is testing will flunk the test!

Lord, tutor me by Your Spirit and help me successfully “pass” Your times of testing. I can’t do it by myself.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

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APRIL 21 WE DO NOT DESPISE GOD-GIVEN EMOTIONS

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad….

MATTHEW 9:36

Our emotions are neither to be feared nor despised, for they are a normal part of us as God made us in the first place. Indeed, the full human life would be impossible without them!

A feeling of pity would never arise in the human breast unless aroused by a mental picture of others’ distress, and without the emotional bump to set off the will there would be no act of mercy. That is the way we are constituted and what I am saying here is nothing new. Every mother, every statesman, every leader of men, every preacher of the Word of God knows that a mental picture must be presented to the listener before he can be moved to act, even though it be for his own advantage!

God intended that truth should move us to moral action. The mind receives ideas, mental pictures of things as they are. These excite the feelings and these in turn move the will to act in accordance with the truth. That is the way it should be, and would be had not sin entered and wrought injury to our inner life. Because of sin, the simple sequence of truth-feeling-action may break down in any of its three parts.

The Christian who gazes too long on the carnal pleasures of this world cannot escape a certain feeling of sympathy with them, and that feeling will inevitably lead to behavior that is worldly. To expose our hearts to truth and consistently refuse or neglect to obey the impulses it arouses is to stymie the motions of life within us, and if persisted in, to grieve the Holy Spirit into silence.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

APRIL 21 A BOUNDLESS AND FATHOMLESS FLOOD

And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

—Exodus 33:19

There has been a lot of careless teaching that implies that the Old Testament is a book of severity and law, and the New Testament is a book of tenderness and grace. But do you know that while both the Old Testament and the New Testament declare the mercy of God, the word mercy appears in the Old Testament over four times more often than in the New?…

God’s infinite goodness is taught throughout the entire Bible. Goodness is that in God which desires the happiness of His creatures and that irresistible urge in God to bestow blessedness. The goodness of God takes pleasure in the pleasure of His people. I wish I could teach the children of God to know this. For a long time it has been drummed into us that if we are happy, God is worried about us. We believe He’s never quite pleased if we are happy. But the strict, true teaching of the Word is that God takes pleasure in the pleasure of His people, provided His people take pleasure in God….

“The mercy of God is an ocean divine, a boundless and fathomless flood.” Let us plunge out into the mercy of God and come to know it. AOG077-079, 095

Thank You, Lord, for your mercy, that out of Your goodness You delight in the happiness of Your children. Amen.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

APRIL 20 SEEKING AFTER TRUTH

We have received…the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

1 Corinthians 2:12

We live in a mixed-up kind of world in which many people are not at all sure of what they believe or what they ought to believe.

Some churches advertise that way—you do not have to believe anything: “Just be a seeker after truth.” Some actually settle for poetry, siding with Edwin Markham who “saw his bright hand sending signals from the sun.”

I, for one, never had any such signals from God. We have Bibles everywhere and the gospel is preached faithfully. Yet men and women seek God in old altars and tombs—in dark and dusty places, and finally wind up believing that God is sending signals from the sun.

Some folks get mad at me when I say that this kind of “seeking after truth” needs to be exposed. We need to double our efforts in telling the world that God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.

It must be the Truth of God and the Spirit of God! Far from being an optional luxury in our Christian lives, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit is a necessity!

Dear Lord, I pray that Your truth will go out into all the world with a mighty surge today. I especially pray for this to happen in Islamic, Buddhist, and Hindu nations.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

APRIL 20 A HIGH PRIVILEGE: GOD COUNTS US HIS FRIENDS

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God…and he was called the Friend of God.

JAMES 2:23

The image of God in man cannot extend to every part of man’s being, for God has attributes which He cannot impart to any of His creatures, however favored.

God is uncreated, self-existent, infinite, sovereign, eternal; these attributes are His alone and by their very definition cannot be shared with another. But there are other attributes which He can impart to His creatures and in some measure share with His redeemed children. Intellect, self-consciousness, love, goodness, holiness, pity, faithfulness—these and certain other attributes are the points where likeness between God and man may be achieved. It is here that the divine-human friendship is experienced!

God, being perfect, has capacity for perfect friendship. Man, being imperfect, can never quite know perfection in anything, least of all in his relationship to the incomprehensible Godhead.

The more perfect our friendship with God becomes the simpler will our lives be. Those formalities that are so necessary to keep a casual friendship alive may be dispensed with when true friends sit in each other’s presence. True friends trust each other.

Unquestionably the highest privilege granted to man on earth is to be admitted into the circle of the friends of God. Nothing is important enough to be allowed to stand in the way of our relation to God. We should see to it that nothing on earth shall separate us from God’s friendship![1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

APRIL 20 INFINITE MERCY

But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.

—Psalm 103:17

There is an old story… about the Jewish rabbi centuries ago who consented to take a weary traveler into his house for a night’s rest.

After they had eaten together, the rabbi said, “You are a very old man, are you not?”

“Yes,” the traveler replied, “I am almost a century old.”

As they talked, the rabbi brought up the matter of religion and asked the visitor about his faith and about his relation to God.

“Oh, I do not believe in God,” the aged man replied. “I am an atheist.”

The rabbi was infuriated. He arose and opened the door and ordered the man from his house.

“I cannot keep an atheist in my house overnight,” he reasoned….

But then the voice of God said, “Son, I have endured him for almost 100 years—don’t you think you could endure him for one night?” …

It was the mercy of God that had endured the atheist for nearly 100 years. ICH054-055

Lord, You have endured and continue to endure so much from Your creation. Your mercy is indeed from everlasting to everlasting. Amen.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

APRIL 19 COME AS YOU ARE

Being justified by his grace…heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:7

Let me say this to any of you who are still trying to add up your human merits—look away in faith to the Lord of abundant mercy!

Fixing yourself over and trying to straighten yourself out will never be sufficient—you must come to Jesus as you are!

Our Lord told about two men who went up into the temple to pray. One said, “God, here I am—all fixed up. Every hair is in place!”

The other said, “Oh God, I just crawled in off skid row. Have mercy on me!”

God forgave the skid row bum, but sent the other man away, hardened and unrepentant and unforgiven.

We come to Him just as we are but in humble repentance. When the human spirit comes to God knowing that anything it receives will be out of God’s mercy, then repentance has done its proper work!

God promises to forgive and forget and to take that man into His heart and teach him that all of God’s kindnesses are due to His mercy. What more can a sinner ask?

Dear Lord, You know me as I really am, yet You extended Your great mercy toward me. Thank You for Your divine love and forgiveness.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

APRIL 19 A FALLACY: TO THINK THAT TIME IS A GREAT HEALER

And he trembling and astonished said, LORD, what wilt thou have me to do?…

ACTS 9:6

The most harmful mistake we make concerning time is to think that it has somehow a mysterious power to perfect human nature and change the human personality.

We say of a foolish young man, “Time will make him wiser,” or we see a new Christian acting like anything but a Christian and hope that time will someday turn him into a saint.

The truth is that time has no more power to sanctify a man than space has. Indeed, time is only a fiction by which we account for change. It is a transformation, not time, that turns fools into wise men and sinners into saints, Christ bringing it about by means of the changes He works in the heart!

Saul the persecutor became Paul the servant of God, but time did not make the change. Christ wrought the miracle, the same Christ who once changed water into wine. One spiritual experience followed another in fairly rapid succession until the violent Saul became a gentle, God-enamored soul, ready to lay down his life for the faith he once hated. It should be obvious that time had no part in the making of the man of God!

Human nature is not fixed and for this we should thank God day and night! We are still capable of change. We can become something other than what we are. By the power of the gospel the covetous man may become generous, the egotist lowly in his own eyes. The thief may learn to steal no more, the blasphemer to fill his mouth with praises unto God.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

APRIL 19 THE OCEAN OF HIS GRACE

And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

—John 1:16

I dare to ask in this context: What have you received of His grace and mercy?

Even though you may still be unconverted and going your own way, you have received much out of the ocean of His fullness. You have received the pulsing life that beats in your bosom. You have received the brilliant mind and brain within the protective covering of your skull. You have received a memory that strings the events you cherish and love as a jeweler strings pearls into a necklace and keeps them for you as long as you live and beyond.

All that you have is out of His grace. Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, who became flesh and dwelt among us, is the open channel through which God moves to provide all the benefits He gives to saints and sinners.

And what about the years, the rest of your existence?

You cannot believe that you have earned it.

You cannot believe that it has something to do with whether you are good or bad.

Confess that it is out of His grace, for the entire universe is the beneficiary of God’s grace and goodness. CES024

Lord, I so often forget how totally dependant I am on Your grace for everything in life. I confess that today, and thank You for Your mercy. Amen.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

APRIL 18 KNOWING HIS PRESENCE

Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

Matthew 28:20

Do not try to short-circuit God’s plans for your discipleship and spiritual maturity here. If you and I were already prepared for heaven in the moment of our conversion, God would have taken us home instantly!

We must remember that God exists in Himself. His holy nature is such that we cannot comprehend Him with our minds. He is of a substance not shared by any other being. Hence, God can be known only as He reveals Himself!

I have found this to be a fact: Every redeemed human being needs the humility of spirit that can only be brought about by the manifest presence of God.

This mysterious yet gracious Presence is the air of life eternal. It is the music of existence, the poetry of the Christian life. It is the beauty and wonder of being one of Christ’s own—a sinner born again, regenerated, created anew to bring glory to God!

To live surrounded by this sense of God is not only beautiful and desirable, but it is imperative!

Lord, I am so grateful that You have revealed some of Your nature to Your children. But I want to know You even more![1]


[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

APRIL 18 THE CROSS YOU BEAR IS YOURS—NOT CHRIST’S

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

GALATIANS 5:24

To go along with Christ step-by-step and point by point in identical suffering of Roman crucifixion is not possible for any of us, and certainly is not intended by our Lord.

An earnest Christian woman long ago sought help from Henry Suso concerning her spiritual life. She had been imposing austerities upon herself in an effort to feel the sufferings that Christ had felt on the cross. Things were not going so well with her and Suso knew why.

The old saint wrote his spiritual daughter and reminded her that our Lord had not said, “If any man will come after me let him deny himself, and take up MY cross.” He had said, “Let him…take up his cross.” There is a difference of only one small pronoun; but that difference is vast and important.

Crosses are all alike, but no two are identical. Never before nor since has there been a cross experience just like that endured by the Saviour. The whole dreadful work of dying which Christ suffered was something unique in the experience of mankind. It had to be so if the cross was to mean life for the world. The sin-bearing, the darkness, the rejection by the Father were agonies peculiar to the Person of the holy sacrifice. For anyone to claim that experience of Christ would be sacrilege.

Every cross was and is an instrument of death, but no man could die on the cross of another; hence Jesus said, “Let him…take up his cross, and follow me!”[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

APRIL 18 I HATE THE SIN YOU LOVE

O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.

—Habakkuk 3:2

God’s wrath is His utter intolerance of whatever degrades and destroys. He hates iniquity as a mother hates the diphtheria or polio that would destroy the life of her child.

God’s wrath is the antisepsis by which moral putrefaction is checked and the health of the creation maintained. When God warns of His impending wrath and exhorts men to repent and avoid it, He puts it in a language they can understand: He tells them to “flee from the wrath to come” (Luke 3:7). He says in effect, “Your life is evil, and because it is evil you are an enemy to the moral health of My creation. I must extirpate whatever would destroy the world I love. Turn from evil before I rise up in wrath against you. I love you, but I hate the sin you love. Separate yourself from your evil ways before I send judgment upon you.”

“O LORD… in wrath remember mercy” (Habbakuk 3:2). MDP122

Lord, I’m grieved to see the evil in the world all around me. Help me to be a light today to lead someone away from Your wrath and into an experience of Your mercy. Amen.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.