Tozer Devotional

Mon, July 09, 2018

Remembering the Past as We Move Forward

A popular French writer once suggested that it takes intellectual powers approaching genius to escape from the illusion of anniversaries.

Not possessing such powers I can only look wistfully at the mental giant who dwells in such timeless tranquillity and make what terms I can with the circling of the spheres. I know well enough that at midnight, December 31, nothing unusual will actually happen except in my head and the heads of others like me. I will think a new year that is new only because men have arbitrarily called it so, and feel myself passing over a line that is not really there. The whole thing will be imaginary and yet I cannot quite escape the fascination of it.

The Jews start the New Year on one date, and the Christians on another, and we cannot forget that the calendar has been pushed around quite a bit since men began to count time by years. Still the observation of the New Year is useful if it persuades us to slow down and let our souls catch up. And I think that is the real value of watch night services. We might do the same thing any night, but it is not likely that we will, so we may profit by taking advantage of the New Year service to examine our lives and ask of God strength to do better in the future than we have done in the past.

While the backward look should be searching and realistic, it should also be brief, for as a black minister said in my hearing recently, "It's difficult to climb a mountain looking back." A quick glance over our shoulder is good, for it will sober us and remind us that we must some day give an account of the deeds done in the body.


Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced. Psalm 105:4–5


Remembering the past can remind us of God's leading, discipline, faithfulness and grace. But it should not cause us to walk backwards into the future. A thoughtful glance back can prepare us to more confidently look and move forward.


Looking back I am overwhelmed with Your faithfulness, Father. It prepares me to confidently move forward, knowing that You are there.

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“What I believe about God is the most important thing about me.”

A. W. Tozer, a modern day prophet, was a key figure in The Christian and Missionary Alliance. His legacy reaches through time and has impacted countless millions. A prolific author and pastor, Tozer was known for his emphasis on the deeper life movement. His message, informed as it was by A.B. Simpson the founder of The Alliance, brought the missionary call to a massive audience. A series of his sermons are available as audio files.

bookHis books have been published around the world and in many languages. This devotional was compiled from the The Warfare of the Spirit Chapter 23 - A Glance Back and a Look Forward


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