Do You Want to Be Coddled or Crucified?

A. W. Tozer
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The spiritual giants of old would not take their religion the easy way nor offer unto God that which cost them nothing. They sought not comfort but holiness, and the pages of history are still wet with their blood and their tears.

We now live in softer times. Woe unto us, for we have become adept in the art of comforting ourselves without power.

Almost every radical effort of the Holy Spirit to lead us forth to heroic self-crucifixion is now tempered with a fine sophistry drawn from—of all sources—the Word of God itself. I hear it often these days. The trick is to say, half comically, amused at our own former ignorance, “Once I was distressed over my lack of power, my spiritual sterility, as I then thought; but one day the Lord said to me, ‘My child, etc., etc.’” Then follows a quotation direct from the mouth of the Lord condoning our weakness and self-coddling. Thus the very authority of divine inspiration is given to what is obviously but the defensive reasoning of our own hearts.

Those who will justify themselves in that kind of dodging are not likely to be much affected by anything I can say or write. No one is so dead as the man who has turned the very thunders of judgment into a lullaby to soothe him into sound sleep and has made the sacred Scriptures themselves a hiding place from reality.

Do not allow yourself to be patted to sleep in a comfortable church, void of power and barren of fruit.

But to those who will hear I would say with all the urgency at my command: Though the cross of Christ has been beautified by the poet and the artist, the avid seeker after God is likely to find it the same savage implement of destruction it was in the days of old. The way of the cross is still the pain-wracked path to spiritual power and fruitfulness.

So do not seek to hide from it. Do not accept an easy way. Do not allow yourself to be patted to sleep in a comfortable church, void of power and barren of fruit. Do not paint the cross nor deck it with flowers. Take it for what it is, as it is, and you will find it the rugged way to death and life. Let it slay you utterly. Seek God. Seek to be holy and fear none of those things which you will suffer.

For Further Reading:

From the Grave

by A. W. Tozer

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book cover for From the Grave