Tozer Devotional

Wed, November 30, 2022

Conformity and Nonconformity

Conformity is the virtue of the slave and can become the vice of the saint.

It is a gloomy lesson of history that whole populations will often enslave themselves to the will of an ambitious political leader if he can promise them security and a few pennies more wages per day. And as often as not, after they have sold their birthright to him by conformity they find that they get the few extra pennies only by long hours of toil, and that the security they need most is protection from their protector.

The dictator, whether he be a political or a religious one, must be able to distribute little favors to the faithful, and these he always manages to have at hand. These favors are like the fish tossed to the performing seal, or like the salt lick of early American days placed near the shooting blind to entice the wary deer within range of the old muzzleloader. But conformity is what the dictator must have if he is to do any dictating worth speaking of.

Now, conformity within limits is a good thing. The musician must conform to the laws of harmony, the engineer to the laws of physics and the farmer to the law of growing things. If I would learn a new language I must bow to its grammar, its vocabulary and its idiom. And civilized society is possible only because the majority of citizens conform quietly to the rules of civilized life.

When this has been said in praise of conformity, there is not much left to say about it that is good. From there on it is almost wholly evil. It is evil because it can be and often is used by the dominant few to enslave the pliable many.


In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. Ephesians 1:11


There is the danger of conforming to what is evil and contrary to God's will for us. However, there is also the responsibility of conforming to what is good just as God works out everything in conformity to the purpose of His will.


Father, may I live in harmonious conformity with Your will and in consistent nonconformity with my old nature and Satan's temptations.

“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 35 - Conformity, a Snare in Religion


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