I have a reading list—books I want to work my way through during 2022. Actually, most of these are holdovers from 2021. But I am hopeful I will make good progress on them this year.
A strategically placed basket hold several of these books. The top one is A. W. Tozer's Experiencing the Presence of God. I have "invited" him to be my guest blogger today with the following quote from his book.
The pattern God has given us is a mirror reflecting God's truth from above. These truths are not relative and floating; they are true beyond debate. However, in this day of the panel discussion, half a dozen people sit around and pool their ignorance. Nobody knows anything about the topic, but they sit around and discuss it.
Our admonition is, do not doodle with the plan. Do not improvise. Do not stick in a single board or plank. Do not put one thread into the garment of God. Do not dare lay one foundation or put one pillar upright except God tells you to do it. Do not deviate from the pattern given by God Himself.
The trend today is for preachers not to be so dogmatic. After all, so they say, there is another side to everything. But there is only one side to what God says—and that is God's side. We, therefore, dare not allow ourselves to take another side and begin debating. The Word of the Lord is not debatable. And the commandments of Christ are not there to be discussed by a panel. They are there to be obeyed in humility and tears, in the power of the Holy Ghost within us.
What God has revealed to us in His Word is built into the Christian faith. They are the threads God works into the holy garment. They represent the philosophy by which all men live. This is where true freedom lies—not in making it up as you go along, but discovering the immutable decrees of God.
The Word of the Lord stands. Here it is. What are you going to do about it? "The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). "These are My words," says God, "and let no man add anything to them lest he be cursed. And let no man take anything away." God's words are not for me to edit and tinker with, but to believe and obey.
We are committed to the Bible pattern, and no man has any authority to add anything to it. No man has any authority to subtract anything from it, to alter it in any way, to remold it nearer to his heart's desire. "Look that thou make them after their pattern" (Exod. 25:40).
Some people are afraid of this kind of teaching. They do not want to be confined, or fenced in. They feel that to hold any dogmatic view like that is to be narrow, tame and static. That is the devil's argument, because the answer to it all is that the misery of the world is the result of our not believing God's pattern.
All the miseries in the world come originally from the human race not following the pattern shown on the mount. God laid down a few certain rules for them and said, "If you want to live in the light of my face, live like this."
Of course, everybody thought they knew better. Eve thought she knew better than the rest, and the result is the mess we are in. There will not be a tear shed in the world today—around the whole wide globe—but what is the result of broken hearts. The effect is people thinking they know better than God about things, taking things out of God's hands and taking them into their own. If Adam and his people—his race—had obeyed the pattern on the mount and lived the way God told them to, there would be no Cold War and no hot war and no bereavement and no cancers and no tuberculosis and no murders. (p 98-100, emphasis mine)
And I might add, no opioid crisis or gender dysphoria, or inequality or abuse.