Think About This: “I refuse to be discouraged about anything, but it gives me a heavy heart to walk among Christians who have wandered for 40 long years in the wilderness, not going back to sin but not going on onto the holy life. Wandering in an aimless circle, sometimes a little warmer, sometimes a little colder, sometimes a little holier, sometimes very unholy, but never going on.” – A.W. Tozer
To Be Deeply Crucified – Part 1
Posted on November 1, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”- Galatians 6:14 (KJV)
For all this Biblical savvy I like to think I have, there are those times where I fall back and wonder what it really means to understand that I have been crucified with Christ. If I stare at Romans 6:6, “We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” long enough, I can come into an agreement that freedom is achieved when my own idea of right living gets exchanged for His idea of right living and I fall into obedience to that. But “crucified with Christ” just on that alone… do I really grasp the idea? I blame this moment of heavy contemplation on mornings spent with A.W. Tozer.
I bought a lot of books written by Tozer over a period of time (even a few audiobook’s to listen to in my truck) and he really has my head in a fist fight with my heart. It’s like in my mechanical mind (that I like to think I have) I can seemingly just connect the dots in Scripture that support the understanding for a Savior, but in my “compassionate” heart (which I also like to think I have) I hear, “You ain’t like that. You ain’t like that at all.” And the Tozer statement that moved me into such thinking is, “The primary difficulty in the evangelical Church is that we have been trying to think our way into God. Nothing could be more futile and frustrating.” OUCH…. Am I trying to think my way into God? Hmmm, let me ponder upon this one.
Now before any of you deeper theologians begin to shout out the “You must first yield to the Spirit” anthem allow me to share a little more of Tozer. The anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing wrote, “Of the shortness of this word, and how it may not be come to by curiosity of wit, nor imagination… Remember him of longing of God both tried to think their way through.” In other words, it is not through your thinking or imagination that you will reach God. In all of this, there is an element of the unknown.” Ya see, it’s that unknown stuff that gets me by the tail and makes me stop and think, Am I crucified with Christ on the surface (how does that work?) or am I truly deeply crucified with Him?
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” – Colossians 3:1-3
Many-a-folk can say they have a deep love for Jesus Christ and all though I wish not to diminish that, would that include being deeply crucified with Him? Tozer states in his book, The Crucified Life, that there are two contradictory elements when it comes to Christendom. And it ain’t Calvinism vs Arminianism or Liberalism vs Fundamentalism; it’s the reason why we think Jesus came into the world. Okay so now here’s where the gloves come off in the fist fight between head and heart, because I stand a good chance of trying to think my way into the Savior. And this is where it does get futile and frustrating… so what’s a boy to do?
Well for the moment, this boy has to end this discussion for now but when I pick it back up, I will try to examine the reason why Jesus came into the world through the reckoning of A.W. Tozer. But until then, I wonder if you, like me, have that same fist fight going on within you? If you are, that’s great because it says you are still considering the things of God within you and you are working out the plan of Salvation for your life, but if you’re not, please consider this. There are three kinds of men (and women) the spiritual, the natural, and the carnal. The spiritual walks in maturity of his faith; the natural walks in the things of this world and the carnal walks the fence between the two. If you find yourself content to straddle the fence heed these words…
“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” – Revelation 3:15-16 (ESV)
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, a father, and has recently become a grandpop. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at email@example.com.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2