The God we want?
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A. W. Tozer is one of my favorite authors on matters of faith. I was given the book, The Pursuit of God, by a friend several years ago and my first read through it took me several attempts. Since then, I have read it multiple times.
There have been several blogs in the past few days that reminded me that as humans we struggle with our perception of the Creator. Actually, we struggle with a correct perception. Tozer dedicated a chapter in his book to the Creator-Creature relationship. What are your thoughts on the following excerpt from that chapter?
Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and to bring Him nearer to our own image. The flesh whimpers against the rigor of God’s inexorable sentence and begs like Agag for a little mercy, a little indulgence of its carnal ways. It is no use. We can get a right start only by accepting God as He is and learning to love Him for what He is. As we go on to know Him better we shall find it a source of unspeakable joy that God is just what He is. Some of the most rapturous moments we know will be those we spend in reverent admiration of the Godhead. In those holy moments the very thought of change in Him will be too painful to endure.
When we try to ‘humanize’ God so that He is more approachable, understandable, or acceptable to our sensibilities, is He still God? Or have we created a false god to comfort ourselves?
Maybe the root of this issue is captured in this excerpt from the same chapter:
Another saying of Jesus, and a most disturbing one, was put in the form of a question, “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God alone?” If I understand this correctly Christ taught here the alarming doctrine that the desire for honor among men made belief impossible. Is this sin at the root of religious unbelief? Could it be that those “intellectual difficulties” which men blame for their inability to believe are but smoke screens to conceal the real cause that lies behind them? Was it this greedy desire for honor from man that made men into Pharisees and Pharisees into Deicides? Is this the secret back of religious self-righteousness and empty worship? I believe it may be. The whole course of the life is upset by failure to put God where He belongs. We exalt ourselves instead of God and the curse follows.
When we speak concerning God, do we wish to present an image that is agreeable to scripture or one that will garner favor among men because in the end what we really wish is to exalt ourselves through popularity or human platitudes that are more tolerant than scripture is?