Sunday, March 9, 2008

Power always on the frontiers

"Look around today and see where the miracles of power are taking place. Never in the seminary where each thought is prepared for the student, to be received painlessly and at second hand; never in the religious institution where tradition and habit have long ago made faith unnecessary; never in the old church where memorial tablets plastered over the furniture bear silent testimony to a glory that once was. Invariably where daring faith is struggling to advance against hopeless odds, there is God sending 'help from the sanctuary.'"

A. W. Tozer, "Miracles follow the plow," in The Best of A. W. Tozer, page 242.

We forgive the overstatement here. A seminary, for example, can be a force for revival. But there's no denying the temptations in becoming established, and Christian history is littered with the wreckage of churches, denominations, seminaries, movements and institutions that in their very success went into a death spiral. We never outgrow our need for renewal; we only prove that need.

To be thrust onto absolute dependence on God is a privilege and advantage. James 1:9-10 applies broadly: "Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away."