Nov 21, 2008

Tozer Made Easy - Part 6 of 10

by Dan Grubbs

The Pursuit of God - Chapter Six: The Speaking Voice

In this sublime chapter, Tozer arrests our attention on the reason why we often find it difficult to find God when we pursue him. We don’t realize that God will manifest Himself by speaking His will. If we’re to pursue God, we had better listen to what He says.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The depth and breadth of John 1:1, its cosmic complexity, is at the heart of what Tozer is teaching in this chapter. It is God’s word in the universe, His creating voice, that we seek. The author writes, “God’s word in the Bible can have power only because it corresponds to God’s word in the universe.” The voice of God is not limited to ink and paper but is inseparable from God — “... and the Word was God.”

The objective then, for those who honestly pursue God, is to listen as they seek. At no time does Tozer discount the scriptures. On the contrary, God uses the Bible to reveal Himself as the “inevitable outcome” of His voice. Yet, our author writes that God did not send us a book by messenger to be read 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.”

God spoke and creation was. This voice has been speaking since and God wants us to find the same voice of creation that is speaking to each one of us today. Just think of having communion with the same voice that spoke the universe into existence. It is what He wants for us. “The order and life of the world depends upon that voice, but men are mostly too busy or too stubborn to give attention.” This is a quote more than 40-years old. Wasn’t life simpler then? Aren’t we more busy today than when Tozer was writing. I’m guessing that God sees us as just as neglectful at spending time with Him today as in the years of wilderness wandering.

Listening is not popular. We have fallen into a cult of busyness and even let ‘church work’ get in the way of listening to the creating voice. God directs us in the scriptures to be still as if to “tell us that our strength and safety lie not in noise but in silence.”
Being still and quiet requires solitude, preferably with our Bibles open. According to Tozer, it’s then we draw near to God in stillness and often hear Him speak to our hearts.

Never forget that God is spirit and seeks those who connect with Him in spirit. That spirit can walk in Presence with us as in the garden and illuminate the Bible for us. With dedication to being still, God’s voice will become an “intelligible word, warm and intimate and clear as the word of a dear friend.” It is Tozer’s belief that a fresh existence, “a new world will arise ... 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.”

Tozer admits that some, even those in pulpits, believe that God was once in a speaking period and that time has passed. This is not the truth. The fact is that God is “not silent, has never been silent” because it is in His nature to speak. In fact, the second Person of the Trinity is called the Word.

A very picturesque quote from the author paints a picture of God’s word in the universe. “The universal Voice of God was by the ancient Hebrews often called Wisdom, and was said to be everywhere sounding and searching throughout the earth, seeking some response from the sons of men.”

Are we waiting for some word from God? According to Tozer, if you’re not hearing God, you’re not listening. He goes on to explain that the “Voice is a friendly voice. No one need fear to listen to it unless he has already made up his mind to resist it.”

Tozer goes so far as to discuss his belief that we often hear the Voice and not recognize it as God’s. Sometimes we have a sudden feeling of wonder or awe or realize our universal smallness. Or we experience a “fleeting visitation of light like an illumination from some other sun, giving us in a quick flash an assurance that we are from another world. We were forced to suspend our acquired doubts while, for a moment, the clouds were rolled back and we saw and heard for ourselves ... the Presence of God in the world and His persistent effort to communicate with mankind.”

Finally, of the words of the Bible, Tozer encourages us to approach them with the same reverence that we do the eternal, omnipotent, omniscient God. He concludes, “If [we] would follow on to know the Lord, come at once to the open Bible expecting it to speak to [us]. Do not come with the notion that it is a thing which [we] may push around at [our] convenience. It is more than a thing, it is a voice, a word, the very Word of the living God.”

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