The Knowledge of the Holy: The Self Sufficiency of God
[Editor’s Note: This is a 23-Day Series exploring different aspects of God’s nature and personality, using Tozer’s “The Knowledge of the Holy” as a discussion starter. You can read the introduction of the series here.]
Tozer starts today’s chapter with a simple verse: “The Father has life in Himself,” (John 5:26) and spends the rest of the chapter unpacking the profound implications of that small phrase. He details out how every other living thing gets its life from God, but God receives His life from no one. He is the only being Who exists regardless of whether anyone else does. Tozer then goes on to argue if we truly believe this, it has tremendous implications for us who believe in Him. Often we speak and act as if God needs our help. But truly understanding God needs nothing from us changes how we approach Him and how we present Him.
When I started this blog series, I promised I wasn’t going to quote large sections of this book, but this section needs to be highlighted:
Probably the hardest thought of all for our natural egotism to entertain is that God does not need our help…I fear that thousands of younger persons enter Christian service from no higher motive than to help deliver God from the embarrassing situation His love has gotten Him into and His limited abilities seem unable to get Him out of. Add to this a certain degree of commendable idealism and a fair amount of compassion for the underpriviledged and you have the true drive behind much Christian activity today.
When we begin to understand these truths, that God truly does not need our help nor our pity, it changes us. According to Tozer, we begin to understand why faith is so vitally important to the Christian walk and why unbelief is such a deadly sin. It should drive us back to the Scriptures to find the true Jesus, not the one of weak human nature, but of power such that we can’t even look at His unveiled nature and live.
This was a weighty chapter for me. First, as someone who is a doer, it took some weight off my shoulders. I so frequently get caught in the trap of thinking everything that Jesus calls us to do rides on my strength. But Jesus actually calls us to draw on His power to accomplish His will. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light,” (Matthew 11:28-30). In my practical life I have to get much better at waiting for God to do what He desires. I need to find myself living in the light of Christ working in me to accomplish His will.
Secondly, this understanding of God not needing anyone else should compel us to recognize the call of God as an invitation to relationship. If God doesn’t need us, then He invites us because He wants to develop relationship with us in the process. So many times I spend time with Jesus and feel like it’s about the chores we need to get done together. But in everything that Jesus is doing, He’s actually looking to capture our hearts. He’s inviting us to see Him work and love Him for it.
Lastly, this message inspires me to believe that God will move in spite of us. It made me think of all the stories I’ve heard of Jesus appearing to Muslims in dreams and pointing them to believers to hear the Gospel and be saved. It reminded me of the time a girl in our church had a dream that her friend would come to Jesus. After the second girl prayed to accept Christ, she had a dream where Jesus came to her and met her. It reminded me of God sending an angel to Cornelius in Acts 10 to prepare him for the Gospel. Many times through out the Bible God steps in when no man could be counted on. This is the God we serve. Believing He will move with our without us changes how do things.
Some would doubt this would encourage people to follow or serve Jesus. But friends, I want to follow a God who is strong and able. I don’t want to have to prop up my God like the pagan nations that surrounded Israel. They were constantly going to idols who could offer no hope. But we are serving alongside a God who is powerful and able without us. He invites us along to be spectators of His power and majesty. And that should encourage us all to be willing to follow Christ. “Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power…” (Psalm 110:3).
So, as you can tell from my lengthy post, I liked today’s topic and took a lot away. What about you? Leave a comment and help us see what God is showing you.
The Knowledge of the Holy Series
Day 6: The Self Sufficiency of God
Day 7: The Eternity of God
Day 8: God’s Infinitude
Day 9: The Immutability of God
Day 10: The Divine Omniscience
Day 11: The Wisdom of God
Day 12: The Omnipotence of God
Day 13: The Divine Transcendence
Day 14: God’s Omnipresence
Day 15: The Faithfulness of God
Day 16: The Goodness of God
Day 17: The Justice of God
Day 18: The Mercy of God
Day 19: The Grace of God
Day 20: The Love of God
Day 21: The Holiness of God
Day 22: The Sovereignty of God
Day 23: The Open Secret