There is some overlap in the messages in chapters 4 and 5 so I will move on to chapter 6, The Speaking Voice, as we continue our study of A. W. Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God. The quotes below are excerpts from this chapter.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) “An intelligent plain man, untaught in the truths of Christianity, coming upon this text, would likely conclude that John meant to teach that it is the nature of God to speak, to communicate His thoughts to others. And he would be right. A word is a medium by which thoughts are expressed, and the application of the term to the Eternal Son leads us to believe that self-expression (or Self-revelation – my comment) is inherent in the Godhead, that God is forever seeking to speak Himself out to His creation. (God wants to and will reveal Himself to anyone who will seek Him –my comment) The whole Bible supports the idea. God is speaking. Not God spoke, but God is speaking. (E.g., see Psalm 19:1-4; John 10:27; Hebrews 4:12-13; Revelation 3:20) He is by His nature continuously articulate. He fills the world with His speaking Voice. One of the great realities with which we have to deal is the Voice of God in His world. The briefest and only satisfying cosmogony (origin of the universe) is this: “He spoke and it was done.” (See Psalm 33:6, 9) And this Word of God which brought all worlds into being cannot be understood to mean the Bible, for it is not a written or printed word at all, but the expression of the will of God spoken into the structure of all things. The Voice of God is the most powerful force in nature, indeed the only force in nature, for all energy is here only because the power-filled Word is being spoken. The Bible is the written word of God, and because it is written it is confined and limited by the necessities of ink and paper and leather. The Voice of God, however, is alive and free as the sovereign God is free. “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63) The life is in the speaking words. God’s Word in the Bible can have power only because it corresponds to God’s Word in the universe. It is the present Voice which makes the written Word all-powerful. Otherwise it would lie locked in slumber within the covers of a book. God did not write a book and send it by messenger to be read at a distance by unaided minds. He spoke a Book and lives in His spoken words, constantly speaking His words and causing the power of them to persist across the years. “There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.” (John 1:9) The Word of God affects the hearts of all men as light in the soul. In the hearts of all men the light shines, the Word sounds, and there is no escaping them. Even those persons who have never heard of the Bible have still been preached to with sufficient clarity to remove every excuse from their hearts forever. “Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.” (Romans 2:14-15) When God spoke out of heaven to our Lord, self-centered men who heard it explained it by natural causes: they said, “It thundered.” (See John 12:27-29) This habit of explaining the Voice by appeals to natural law is at the very root of modern science. In the living breathing cosmos there is a mysterious Something, too wonderful, too awful for any mind to understand. The believing man does not claim to understand. He falls to his knees and whispers, “God.” The man of earth kneels also, but not to worship. He kneels to examine, to search, to find the cause and the how of things. Just now we happen to be living in a secular age. Our thought habits are those of the scientist, not those of the worshipper. We are more likely to explain than to adore. “It thundered,” we exclaim, and go our earthly way. But still the Voice sounds and searches. The order and life of the world depend upon that Voice, but men are mostly too busy or too stubborn to give attention. Whoever will listen will hear the speaking Heaven. This is definitely not the hour when men take kindly to an exhortation to listen, for listening is not today a part of popular religion. We are at the opposite end of the pole from there. Religion has accepted the monstrous heresy that noise, size, activity and bluster make a man dear to God. But we may take heart. To a people caught in the tempest of the last great conflict God says, “Be still, and know that I am God,” (Psalm 46:10) and still He says it, as if He means to tell us that our strength and safety lie not in noise but in silence. It is important that we get still to wait on God. And it is best that we get alone, preferably with our Bible outspread before us. Then if we will we may draw near to God and begin to hear Him speak to us in our hearts. I think for the average person the progression will be something like this: First a sound as of a Presence walking in the garden. Then a voice, more intelligible, but still far from clear. Then the happy moment when the Spirit begins to illuminate the Scriptures, and that which had been only a sound, or at best a voice, now becomes an intelligible word, warm and intimate and clear as the word of a dear friend. Then will come life and light, and best of all, ability to see and rest in and embrace Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and All. I think a new world will arise out of the religious mists when we approach our Bible with the idea that it is not only a book which was once spoken, but a book which is now speaking. The prophets habitually said, “Thus saith the Lord.” They meant their hearers to understand that God’s speaking is in the continuous present. We may use the past tense properly to indicate that at a certain time a certain word of God was spoken, but a word of God once spoken continues to be spoken, as a child once born continues to be alive, or a world once created continues to exist. And those are but imperfect illustrations, for children die and worlds burn out, but the Word of our God endureth forever. If you would follow on to know the Lord, come at once to the open Bible expecting it to speak to you. Do not come with the notion that it is a thing which you may push around at your convenience. It is more than a thing, it is a voice, a word, the very Word of the living God.” http://www.ntslibrary.com/PDF%20Books/Tozer_Pursuit_of_God.pdf)
“What constitutes a “biblical” worldview? Christian researcher George Barna says it includes a belief in absolute moral truth as defined by Scripture, as well as acceptance of six core biblical beliefs: the accuracy of biblical teaching, the sinless nature of Jesus, the literal existence of Satan, the omnipotence and omniscience of God, salvation by grace alone, and the personal responsibility to evangelize. This report comes on the heels of another recent Barna survey that indicates only 9% of all born-again adults — and just 7% of Protestants — possess a biblical worldview. This more recent survey, the researcher says, highlights a simple but important principle: “you can’t give people what you don’t have.” “The low percentage of Christians who have a biblical worldview is a direct reflection of the fact that half of our primary religious teachers and leaders do not have one,” Barna says. “In some denominations, the vast majority of clergy do not have a biblical worldview, and it shows up clearly in the data related to the theological views and moral choices of people who attend those churches.” Why is a biblical worldview important? According to Barna, everyone has a worldview, but few have a biblical worldview — which the researcher says has a radical effect on a person’s life. He says individuals’ attitudes, beliefs, values, and opinions determine their behavior. “Although most people own a Bible and know some of its content, our research found that most Americans have little idea how to integrate core biblical principles to form a unified and meaningful response to the challenges and opportunities of life,” he says. “We’re often more concerned with survival amidst chaos than with experiencing truth and significance.” http://www.christianheadlines.com/news/survey-only-half-of-pastors-have-biblical-worldview-1240810.html
“Listen as Wisdom calls out! Hear as understanding raises her voice! On the hilltop along the road, she takes her stand at the crossroads. By the gates at the entrance to the town, on the road leading in, she cries aloud, “I call to you, to all of you! “And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful. Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home! For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. But those who miss me injure themselves. All who hate me love death.” (See all of Proverbs 8)
“Spend time daily at wisdom’s door as you read God’s Word and meditate on His truth. God will give you counsel (what to do), wisdom (how to do it), understanding (why you do it) and strength (the ability to do it.) To love wisdom is to love Christ and when you love Christ, you live for Him.” (See 1 Corinthians 1:30; Colossians 2:3)Warren Wiersbe – With the Word
Tozer concludes this chapter with a great prayer and one that would serve us well to pray with him in an increasingly busy and noisy world: “Lord, teach me to listen. The times are noisy and my ears are weary with the thousand raucous sounds which continuously assault them. Give me the spirit of the boy Samuel when he said to Thee, “Speak, for thy servant heareth.” (1 Samuel 3:10) Let me hear Thee speaking in my heart. Let me get used to the sound of Thy Voice, that its tones may be familiar when the sounds of earth die away and the only sound will be the music of Thy speaking Voice. Amen.”
Until He comes again,
Len and Kristen