Hearing But Not Obeying
It has been the unanimous testimony of the greatest Christian souls that the nearer they drew to God the more acute became their consciousness of sin and their sense of personal unworthiness. The purest souls never knew how pure they were and the greatest saints never guessed that they were great. The very thought that they were good or great would have been rejected by them as a temptation of the devil. They were so engrossed with gazing upon the face of God that they spent scarce a moment looking at themselves. They were suspended in that sweet paradox of spiritual awareness where they knew that they were clean through the blood of the Lamb and yet felt that they deserved only death and hell as their just reward.
This feeling is strong in the writings of Paul and is found also in almost all devotional books and among the greatest and most loved hymns. The quality of evangelical Christianity must be greatly improved if the present unusual interest in religion is not to leave the church worse off than she was before the phenomenon emerged. If we listen I believe we will hear the Lord say to us what He once said to Joshua,
“Arise, go over this Jordan, thou and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel” [Josh. 1:2].
Or we will hear the writer to the Hebrews say,
“Therefore, leaving the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection” [Heb. 6:1a].
And surely we will hear Paul exhort us to “be filled with the Spirit” [Eph. 5:18]. If we are alert enough to hear God’s voice we must not content ourselves with merely “believing” it. How can any man believe a command? Commands are to be obeyed, and until we have obeyed them we have done exactly nothing at all about them. And to have heard them and not obeyed them is infinitely worse than never to have heard them at all, especially in the light of Christ’s soon return and the judgment to come.
Part 2 of 2. An excerpt from Keys to the Deeper Life by A. W. Tozer. Originally appearing in Sunday Magazine, 1957. For a biographical sketch of Tozer (1897-1963) see www.christianbook.com/html/authors/481.html
 i.e. good in character, See Matt. 19:16-17; Isaiah 6:1-6
 See Heb. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 3:18
 See John 14:15,21
To see how God used Hebrews 6:1 in the life of pastor Mark Miller, visit his testimonial video here.
Typing: courtesy of Deborah Cooke