I am about half way through a re-read of an AW Tozer’s classic book about God and His attributes (though I have a feeling that he would not call it “a classic”) The Knowledge of the Holy, as part of a focused reading plan for the summer to help me focus on my One Word for this year – Empower.
I selected, and felt lead to select, this word for this year for the purpose of helping the congregation I serve begin to experience God’s empowerment through the Holy Spirit for both personal spiritual growth and congregational growth as well my own growth.
This book is my first book of a selected eight books that I plan to read throughout the summer with a focus on being empowered by God and allow God to empower others through me. The Knowledge of the Holy is a book to help the reader understand that the God of the Bible is a God who is truly beyond full human comprehension and understanding yet has revealed Himself to humankind through Christ and in other ways. And in this light I have been re-reading it with an new awareness of a God who has empowered me to love, serve, and worship Him.
As I have continued to read I look for passages that relate to the issue of empowerment. Well, I found a great passage in the chapter entitled The Self-Sufficiency of God that speaks to me in the context of the magnificent mission of God to bring people to saving faith in Him.
“Probably the hardest thought of all for our natural egotism to entertain is that God does not need our help. We commonly represent Him as a busy, eager, somewhat frustrated Father hurrying about seeking help to carry our His benevolent plan to bring peace and salvation to the world… Too many missionary appeals are based upon this fancied frustration of Almighty God… I fear that thousands of young persons enter Christian service from no higher motive than to help deliver God from the embarrassing situation. “
Maybe it is due to the age at which I write these words but Tozer’s thought about helping a “somewhat frustrated Father” as a motivation for “Christian service” ring true to me. I understand the passionate call for passionate followers and servants. God calls us to serve Him. All of us.
Even the laity.
But God is not in a hurry. He knows what He is doing and He invites us to follow Him, empowered by His Spirit, with a passionate earnestness but not a frenzied one. So what I take away from this segment, as well as what I have read so far, that the God who empowers us is a God who is measured in His work and mission. Yes His call to us to “follow Me” is an impassioned call. But it is not a call to frenzied activity but to aligned activity with His mission and purpose of making disciples.
And disciples are not massed produced.