A couple of weeks ago I started reading a new devotional every morning. It is a compilation of writings from A.W. Tozer, and it is meant for the Christian leader.
To be honest, I have been convicted by some of the things that I have read. Today’s entry alone gave me reason to pause and consider my own carnality. In the devotion entitled Faith Dares to Fail, Tozer says:
“The man who is elated by success and cast down by failure is still a carnal man. At best his fruit will have a worm in it.” Believe me, there are times when I get down.
But it was yesterday’s devontion that stood out the most out of all the ones I have read recently. In Greatness Has Its Price, Tozer uses painful analogy to point out one reason why most Christians (and churches) are pitifully inadequate and effective, the power of the Holy Spirit aside:
“The amount of loafing practiced by the average Christian in spiritual things would ruin a concert pianist if he allowed himself to do the same thing in the field of music. The idle puttering around that we see in church circles would end the career of a big-league pitcher in one week. No scientist could solve his exacting problem if he took as little interest in it as the rank and file of Christians take in the art of being holy. The nation whose soldiers were as soft and undisciplined as the soldiers of the churches would be conquered by the first enemy that attacked it. Triumphs are not won by men and easy chairs. Success is costly.”
Yet, even though we are told to “be ye holy, even as I am holy,” we treat our faith like a weekend leisure activity, never caring much about the eternal outcome, only the present pleasure of half-hearted activity and even less commitment. Need proof?
- How many verses of scripture have you memorized “that [you] might not sin against God”?
- Is your commitment level to a local sports facility more than your commitment level to a local assembly of believers?
- Do you brag more about your child’s batting average than his boldness to tell others about Jesus?
- When’s the last time you ever voluntarily did any Bible study outside of what was spoonfed to you in church?
Is there any wonder the church, along with most of its members, is weak? We’ve forgotten what it means to “be sober and vigilant.” We’ve become lazy and insubordinate soldiers in the army of our God, yet spend millions in research to determine why we’ve lost ground to the Enemy. We’ve even traded our powerful pulpits for motivational ministries that adjust our “easy chairs.”
Maybe it’s time we take our faith seriously – because the One to whom we will answer to does.