Monday, July 04, 2005

If the Son shall set you free... (a prayer for July 4th)

You shall be free indeed…

One of my very favorite books is “The Pursuit of God” by A.W. Tozer. In the chapter on “The Universal Presence” he talks about our lack of spiritual receptivity; that “something” in us which is open to heaven, which urges us “Godward.” He says it can be increased by exercise or destroyed by neglect. He also says it is a gift which must be recognized and cultivated as any other gift, and to which I say, “To whom much is given, much is required.”

This book, which was written in the 1940s, is so very relevant to today. He speaks of “a generation of Christians reared among push buttons and automatic machines” and says they are “impatient of slower and less direct methods of reaching their goals.” Oh if he only knew about cell phones, e-mail, and Blackberries…

In speaking to Christians, he says, “We have been trying to apply machine-age methods to our relations with God. We read our chapters, have our short devotions and rush away, hoping to make up for our deep inward bankruptcy by attending another gospel meeting or listening to another thrilling story…”

What does this have to do with the fourth of July? For all our “freedoms” we are more enslaved spiritually than ever before. The Supreme Court’s ruling on the Ten Commandments seemed to be a blow to Spiritual freedom, but how many of us make a conscious effort to live by them? Just having them posted means nothing if they are just “fixtures” on the wall and not entrenched in our hearts.

Tozer goes on to say, in words equally fitting for today, that “It will require a determined heart and more than a little courage to wrench ourselves loose from the grip of our times and return to biblical ways.

But here is the key, and where his words must capture our hearts this Independence Day - “What God in His sovereignty may yet do on a world-scale I do not claim to know. But what He will do for the plain man or woman who seeks His face I believe I do know and can tell others. Let any man turn to God in earnest, let him begin to exercise himself unto godliness, let him seek to develop his powers of spiritual receptivity by trust and obedience and humility, and the results will exceed anything he may have hoped in his leaner and weaker days.”

What God’s plan for America is, I do not know, but what God’s desire for your life is, I do know - He loves you and wants you to be “receptive” to His word.

No matter what “freedoms” the world offers or denies, “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed!”

Betty J. Newman © July 4, 2005


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