The Right of Determination
“Promoting self under the guise of promoting Christ is currently so common as to excite little notice.” (Tozer)
There are a few men, past and present, who inspire me to really think. Today it is A.W. Tozer. Spiritual wisdom is, to me, the most valuable kind. So I must clarify then, that I am inspired by God, through men. Take King Solomon for instance, “And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind” (2 Chron. 9:23).
Many of you know the subtle but significant difference between wisdom and knowledge. I am acquainted with a young man, brilliant and eager, who is now truly learning the reality of the two. It is fascinating and at times frustrating to watch, but so worth the energy. Thankfully, there are wise men in his life fervent on aiding his exploration in truth. But what I am reminded by this experience, although I am merely an observer, is that often we need the aid of those wiser than ourselves to help us understand.
“Salvation is from our side a choice, from the divine side it is a seizing upon, an apprehending, a conquest by the Most High God. Our ”accepting” and ”willing” are reactions rather than actions. The right of determination must always remain with God.” (Tozer)
I suppose it may be more difficult for men, or at least that has been my observation, to not only accept but proclaim that the goodness you possess is not of you but of another. Promoting self is a “natural” tendency, and by natural I mean prideful. We want others to think highly of our accomplishments, but what we fail to realize is that we may be robbing God of praise that belongs to Him. Since the beginning of my faith I have clung in relation to the words of King David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23-24).
I want to be an authentic believer. I don’t want my mouth to speak one thing while my heart believes another. I am well aware of my wickedness, my pride, my selfishness. Embracing my faults helps keep my unworthiness, or in essence His grace, in perspective. Wisdom and knowledge are precious as jewels; but trying to understand everything is exhausting. Sometimes we need to allow time to have its place.
So as I am writing, I am trying to make this less “religious” and more “worldly” for the mere fact of wanting others (who maybe don’t know God) to relate. But the fact is, God changes everything. If my lips weren’t overflowing with His name, then I would question my authenticity. I was just laughing about this five minutes ago, but take me and my husband for instance. We talk about our dogs, a lot. Our friends think we’re a little strange and could probably care less. But we love them so much, and others who share that same love for their pets, they understand completely.
On a much larger scale, it is the same with my faith. I talk about it as an overflow of the heart. People may not understand or even care. But those who do, understand completely. So my encouragement to you is this: remember that the right of determination remains with God, but don’t be afraid to respond.