Once a week, I sit down with a friend and we talk Tozer. We’re doing 3 chapters a week of his book Knowledge of the Holy. I originally planned to share something on my blog from each chapter, but that’s a bit much… so, probably about once a week I’ll pick something from our 3 chapters to write about.
This week, it’s chapter 6. I LOVE CHAPTER SIX! — The Self-Sufficiency of God
I’m pretty sure I highlighted at least half of the chapter. So, this chapter might make its way into more than one blog post. For now I’d like to start with this nugget of goodness:
The problem of why God created the universe still troubles thinking men; but if we cannot know why, we can at least know that He did not bring His worlds into being to meet some unfulfilled need in Himself, as a man might build a house to shelter him against the winter cold or plant a field of corn to provide him with necessary food. The word necessary is wholly foreign to God.
God does not NEED … anything. He is enough. He defines enough and pushes its definition beyond any other enough we’ll ever know. Nothing … nothing … nothing is necessary to God. Not me, not you, not our churches, not our organizations, not our worship, not our love. Nothing. He needs nothing.
So, were every man on earth to become atheist, it could not affect God in any way. He is what He is in Himself without regard to any other. To believe in Him adds nothing to His perfections; to doubt Him takes nothing away. Almighty God, just because He is almighty, needs no support. […] Twentieth century Christianity has put God on charity. So lofty is our opinion of ourselves that we find it quite easy, not to say enjoyable, to believe that we are necessary to God. But the truth is that God is not greater for our being, nor would He be less if we did not exist. That we do exist is altogether of God’s free determination, not by our desert nor by divine necessity. Probably the hardest thought of all for our natural egotism to entertain is that God does not need our help. We commonly represent Him as a busy, eager, somewhat frustrated Father hurrying about seeking help to carry out His benevolent plan to bring peace and salvation to the world, but, as said the Lady Julian, “I saw truly that God doeth all-thing, be it never so little.” The God who worketh all things surely needs no help and no helpers.
We are so full of ourselves. Confession: I am so full of myself! I know these things are true… that God doesn’t need me… but sometimes, somewhere inside me I forget that. Thank you Tozer for the eloquent reminder/slap in the face/shove to the floor. So, let’s look at that paragraph again because, well, I need to.
- Every man on earth could become atheist and it would NOT affect God in any way. He is what He is in Himself without regard to any other.
- We think so highly of ourselves that we easily and enjoyably believe God needs us, but HE DOES NOT.
- We exist simply because God chose for us to exist. Not because we deserve to or because He needs us to.
- God does NOT need our help.
- God is NOT the busy, eager, frustrated Father we sometimes make him out to be.
- God does NOT need our help (worth the repeat) to bring peace and salvation to the world.
Of course, this is not to say that we are not supposed to be a part of the working out of God’s plan. We just need the right perspective while we do it. It’s not to help him. It’s not to make it possible for Him. It’s not because we’re great. It’s because He requires our obedience. It’s because He is WORTHY of our love and devotion. It’s because He has poured out His grace and mercy on us and we gratefully and humbly respond with living for Him.
So there you go. A little Tozer in your lap. Chew away. More of chapter 6 to come later.