A. W. Tozer grabbed my attention today with his reading based from Matthew 13:58, "And he did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief." Jesus was in his hometown of Nazareth. They couldn't deal with the thought that he might be more than he seemed to them growing up. (Frankly, how could his sinlessness escape their notice?!) But that's not the point here.
Here's Tozer's point:
How many blessed truths have gotten snowed under. People believe them, but they are just not being taught, that is all. I think of our experience this morning. Here was a man and his wife, a very fine intelligent couple from another city. They named the church to which they belonged, and I instantly said, "That is a fine church!" "Oh, yes," they said, "but they don't teach what we came over here for." They came over because they were ill and wanted to be scripturally anointed for healing. So I got together two missionaries, two preachers, and an elder, and we anointed them and prayed for them. If you were to go to that church where they attend and say to the preacher, "Do you believe that the Lord answers prayer and heals the sick?" he would reply, "Sure, I do!" He believes it, but he doesn't teach it, and what you don't believe strongly enough to teach doesn't do you any good.
It is the same with the fullness of the Holy Ghost. Evangelical Christianity believes it, but nobody experiences it. It lies under the snow, forgotten. I am praying that God may be able to melt away the ice from this blessed truth, and let it spring up again alive, that the Church and the people who hear may get some good out of it and not merely say "I believe" while it is buried under the snow of inactivity and nonattention.
Buried Does Not Mean Non-Existent!As a pastor, I am, of course, alerted to Tozer's warning. I don't want to be guilty of saying we believe something, but then never practicing it. I fear that his accusation is accurately aimed! We did, in fact, pray over a young woman two Sunday's ago. And I can say that I have preached and taught that we should do this. Our Elders believe in it. They join with me readily and willingly. Praise the Lord! But there is a part of me that still feels as if it is not truly inculcated into the very spiritual fabric of the body of Christ. Lord, my prayer is this: Please open our eyes to see and experience the Holy Spirit's power in our lives and to put that continuously into practice. Dig out the doctrines which have been buried by the drifts of presumption and neglect.