Tozer Devotional

Sun, October 08, 2017

Believing the Declaratives and Obeying the Imperatives

The last cause I shall name is nonobedience. Truth is given to be believed and obeyed. Certain truths can only be believed, the reason being that they are revelations of fact and contain no command or instruction to be carried out. Other truths must be obeyed or for the hearer they have no meaning.

"I will come back" (John 14:3) is a statement of fact which cannot in the nature of it be obeyed; there is nothing in it to obey; it can only be believed. "Go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19) is a command which can only be obeyed. It is addressed to the will, and the only proper response is obedience. We cannot possibly discharge our obligation to such a passage by trying in some dubious manner to "believe" it, though I am sure many try to do just that. Is it any wonder that confusion arises?

We will go far to simplify our religious concepts and unify our lives if we remember these four points: First, truth is a spiritual entity and can be grasped in its inner essence only as the Spirit of truth enlightens our hearts and teaches us in the deep, mysterious recesses of our souls. Secondly, since God is love we must surrender ourselves to love or we can never know the truth of God in its higher meaning. Thirdly, we must come to the Word with the simple faith of a child, ready to believe it whether we can understand it or not. And lastly, we must obey the truth as we see it, trusting God with the consequences.


He replied, 'My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice.' Luke 8:21


There is truth stated declaratively — we are to believe it. There is truth given in imperatives — commands — we are to believe and obey it. It is the Spirit who teaches as we listen in faith and who empowers us to obey what we have heard. But we must put it into practice.


Forgive me, Lord, for sometimes treating imperatives addressed to me as just declaratives. Is is for me to rise up and carry out those imperatives.

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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 Size of the Soul Chapter 25 - The Causes of Religious Confusion--Part II: Lack of Love, Unbelief and Nonobedience


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