Nov 27, 2008

Tozer Made Easy - Part 8 of 10

by Dan Grubbs

The Pursuit of God - Chapter 8: "Restoring the Creator-creature relationship"

This chapter takes a simple look at our relationship with God because our relationship is a simple one. If we feel it’s complicated, then it is we who have clouded it and mixed it up. It’s this mix up that Tozer addresses in Chapter 8 — the dealing with a properly ordered relationship between man and God.

The author indicates that justification is the “restoration of a right relation between man and his Creator, a bringing back to normal of the Creator-creature relation.” This is, of course, a reference to being born again and all that means regarding our sin, Christ’s atoning sacrifice, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

God is the reference point

But, to better understand the relationship, Tozer backs us up to defining a fixed point, which is the I AM, from which we have established our relationship as a human. God is the center, so to speak, but our “difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him.”

In a succinct paragraph, Tozer sums it up:
As the self-existent One, He gave being to all things, and all things exist
out of Him and for Him. Every soul belongs to God and exists by His
pleasure. God being Who and What He is, and we being who and what we are,
the only thinkable relation between us is one of full lordship on His part and
complete submission on ours. We owe Him every honor that it is in our power to
give Him. Our everlasting grief lies in giving Him anything less.
As humans, in our search for the true post-justification relationship with God, we will gladly accept the challenges and failures of “bringing our total personality into conformity to His.” Yet, Tozer doesn’t let us rest with the intellectual reality of this, he pushes us to understand that being rightly aligned with God means a “voluntary exalting of God to His proper station over us and a willing surrender of our whole being to the place of worshipful submission which the Creator-creature circumstance makes proper.”

According to Tozer, this will change us as children of God. We will see things differently and the way we think will be transformed. The transformation, Tozer writes, “will begin to surprise us by its upsurgings and its outgoings.”

We gain in our submission

When we acknowledge God’s actual position, we become willing worshippers without shame or worry. Our sense of purpose becomes evident to us. “Let no one imagine that he will lose anything of human dignity by this voluntary sell-out of his all to God. In exalting God over all, he finds his own highest honor upheld.”

Among many other biblical accounts of God’s people, Tozer points to Christ as our ultimate example. He indicates that Christ did not seek His own honor, but the honor of God, the Father who sent Him. This is worth considering as Christ is fully God Himself. Tozer references Christ who explains that self-honor is nothing, but only honor from the Father is desirable and eternal.

The self can get in the way

Does Tozer believe this is an easy position to take, this total sell out to God? No. He explains that a “God-above-all” position is challenging — especially when self will gets in the way. “The mind may approve it while not having the consent of the will to put it into effect.” As written in earlier chapters, man must tear the self out and replace the vacancy with God and ascribe to Him all that He is deserving to receive.

What is the result? Simply this, if a man will glorify and consider God above all things in life, including the self, then God will unveil Himself more to the believer and place all His resources at their use. For God knows that “His honor is safe in such consecrated hands.”

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