Paul N. F. (9 Aug 2011)
"OBEDIENCE: A NEGLECTED DOCTRINE"


OBEDIENCE: A NEGLECTED DOCTRINE

By A. W. Tozer

        There is what William James called "a certain blindness in human beings" that prevents us from seeing what we do not want to see. This, along with the direct work of the devil himself, may account for the fact that the doctrine of obedience is so largely neglected in modern religious circles.

        That God expects us to be "obedient children" is admitted, of course, but it is seldom stressed sufficiently to get action. Many people seem to feel that our obligation to obey has been discharged by the act of believing on Jesus Christ at the beginning of our Christian lives.

        We should remember that "the will is the seat of true religion in the soul:" Nothing genuine has been done in a man or woman's life until his or her will has been surrendered in active obedience. It was disobedience that brought about the ruin of the race. It is the "obedience of faith" that brings us back again into divine favor.

       A world of confusion and disappointment results from trying to believe
without obeying.
This puts us in the position of a bird trying to fly with one
wing folded. We merely flap in a circle and seek to cheer our hearts with the hope that the whirling ball of feathers is proof that a revival is under way. A good deal of praying at our camp meeting altars has the identical effect of a good cry. It releases pent-up emotions and relaxes tense nerves. The smile that follows is accepted by the eager helpers as evidence that a deep spiritual work has been done. This can be for some people a tragic error, resulting in permanent injury and loss to the spiritual life.

        A mere passive surrender may be no surrender at all. Any real
submission to the will of God must include willingness to take orders from
Him from that time on. When the heart is irrevocably committed to receiving
and obeying orders from the Lord Himself, a specific work has been done,
but not until then.

        We are not likely to see among us any remarkable transformations of
individuals or churches until the Lord's ministers again give to obedience
the place of prominence it occupies in the Scriptures.
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Yours in Christ,
Paul N. F.