More Than Anything Else
“The man that will have God's best becomes at once the object of the personal attention of the Holy Spirit. Such a man will not be required to wait for the rest of the church to come alive. He will not be penalized for the failures of his fellow Christians, nor be asked to forego the blessing till his sleepy brethren catch up. God deals with the individual heart as exclusively as if only one existed.
If this should seem to be an unduly individualistic approach to revival, let it be remembered that religion is personal before it can be social. Every prophet, every reformer, every revivalist had to meet God alone before he could help the multitudes. The great leaders who went on to turn thousands to Christ had to begin with God and their own soul. The plain Christian of today must experience personal revival before he can hope to bring renewed spiritual life to his church.”
- A. W. Tozer Sermon: Encountering God (via A.W. Tozer - A Man of God)
A.W. Tozer was an American Christian pastor, author, magazine editor, and spiritual mentor in the early-mid 1900’s.
While this quote is not scripture, I do think it is powerful and worth reflecting on for a moment.
“The man that will have God’s best…” refers to the person who is whole-heartedly seeking God’s will and desires to obey God fully because they know that in every situation God’s way is best.
And then, while seeking God’s best, for that man to have the personal attention of the Holy Spirit is remarkable and powerful. We read throughout the Bible of men and women being filled with the Holy Spirit and the powerful things that resulted from that.
“Such a man will not be required to wait for the rest of the church to come alive. He will not be penalized for the failures of his fellow Christians, nor be asked to forego the blessing till his sleepy brethren catch up.”
Have you ever seen a great man or women of God rise up out of a seemly dead church? Or a child born into a broken home and yet grow up to be a powerful instrument of God? The world around us, be it a dying church or dysfunctional upbringing, has no hold on the individual who is seeking God with their whole heart. Our “situation” is never an excuse. If our circumstances were a road block for following God then there would be no thriving church in China, Iraq, or Iran (just to name a few).
God loves his Church and has great plans for it as a body. But, the body is made up of individuals. If the individuals aren’t in tune with him, then the body as a whole will not be as fruitful. So for each of us to be in tune with God and filled with the Holy Spirit is vital to the effectiveness of the Church (2 Peter 1:5-8).
“Every prophet, every reformer, every revivalist had to meet God alone before he could help the multitudes. The great leaders who went on to turn thousands to Christ had to begin with God and their own soul.”
Do you ever long to be used in a mighty way for God? Have you ever dreamed of being the next George Mueller, Jim Elliot, or Billy Graham?
How did they become such great instruments of God? It wasn’t due to great church, great connections, or great circumstances. It was because there came a time when they said, “God, I want you more than anything else.”
Can we honestly say that today? Do we want God more any anything else? More than our homes, jobs, wives, children, mother, or father…. Jesus said, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”
There will be times when we must chose Him over other things, because we cannot serve two masters. So, while we have no lack in Christ, he promises that if we lose our lives for His sake, that we will find it and receive 100 fold from Him (Matthew 16:25).
“The plain Christian of today must experience personal revival before he can hope to bring renewed spiritual life to his church.”
So, whether you are a pastor on staff, a teacher, deacon, or attender you have the ability and opportunity to bring truth and renewed spiritual life to those around you, if you are seeking God first in all things and desiring his best in every aspect of your life.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” - Matthew 6:33