Spiritual Receptivity

As with everything good in human life, back of this [spiritual] receptivity is God.  The sovereignty of God is here, and is felt even by those who have not placed particular stress upon it theologically…

Important as it is that we recognize God working in us, I would yet warn against a too-great preoccupation with the thought.  It is a sure road to sterile passivity.  God will not hold us responsible to understand the mysteries of election, predestination and the divine sovereignty.  The best and safest way to deal with these truths is to raise our eyes to God and in deepest reverence say, “O Lord, Thou knowest.”  Those things belong to the deep mysterious profound of God’s omniscience.  Prying into them may make theologians, but it will never make saints…

Receptivity… is a gift of God, indeed, but one which must be cultivated as any other gift if we are to realize the purposes for which it was given.

Failure to see this is the cause of a very serious breakdown in modern evangelicalism.  The idea of cultivation and exercise, so clear to the saints of old, has now no place in our total religious picture.  It is too slow, too common.  We now demand glamour and fast-flowing dramatic action.  A generation of Christians reared among push buttons and automatic machines is impatient of slower and less direct methods of reaching their goals.  We have been trying to apply machine-age methods to our relations with God.  We read our chapter, have our short devotions and rush away, hoping to make up for our deep inward bankruptcy by attending another gospel meeting or listening to another thrilling story told by a religious adventurer lately returned from afar.

-A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, ch. The Universal Presence

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