The church that lacks power first lacks obedience.
Speaking of apathy toward obedience, A. W. Tozer says, "Until this is corrected, we can hope for very little power in our churches…”
Obedience is what no revival, no reformation, and no Spirit-filled person has ever been without.
It separates true faith from dead faith.
It bears fruit and is followed by power.
It is costly, but we cannot afford to withhold it.
Paths to Power points Christians and churches to the age-old way of obedience, the only road to revival. Delivering a charge to weak churches, A. W. Tozer calls us to rise up, gather the wood, and ascend the mountain. Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. But His belief cost him something. Does ours?
I’ve received A.W. Tozer’s Paths to Power from Moody Publishers. Although short in length, the stimulating message in this book encourages the Christian to honestly, and thoroughly, examine his, or her, life so that the Christian can truly understand, and live out (or, should I say, “obey”) the Word of God.
Tozer’s argument is brief, poignant, insightful, and hard-hitting, but encouraging. And, he presents seven major positions which he has carefully identifies as hindrances to the modern Church’s ability to function effectively as the First Church did. These are:
The modern Church’s general lack of understanding, focus and commitment to its God-given mission, purpose, and work in the earth.
Man’s failure to identify and carry-out his earthly duties, versus God’s duties.
To carry out the instructions for godly living which God carefully provided in the Holy Bible.
The lack of productivity in the modern Church, and resulting inability to demonstrate the fruits of God’s Word.
The easily observable phenomenon that the lifestyles of many modern Christian’s looks more similar to that of their non-Christian counterparts than those of the early Church.
The lack of outpourings of the Holy Spirit into the lives of the modern Christian Church, and some of the unscriptural teachings and beliefs concerning it which are held by many modern Christians.
The lack of unity which is very evident and widespread in the modern Church.
Although this book was first published in the 1940s, its description of a modern Church which (1) fails to demonstrate the power of God, and (2) to take full responsibility for its own sinful actions, (3) confuses the Bible’s teachings on such foundational teachings as atonement, redemption, salvation, justification and grace, in order to justify a life which exhibits questionable morals, (4) and over-emphasizes the “grace” of God, (5) the lack of spiritual unity which is still widespread throughout the modern Church, and a plethora of other serious matters which ultimately result in the generally, “powerless” modern Christianity which we can easily see, today— one that is in great contrast to the Christianity of the First Church.
“Paths to Power” is the first book by A.W. Tozer that I’ve read, and now, I expect to include his works in my home library because his approach to teaching biblical concepts seems to be simple, straightforward, and heartfelt. His passion for the Christian to truly know God is evident from the beginning to the end of this book. Moreover, his usage of plain and clear language makes this book usable and enjoyable for the serious student of the Bible, and for the person who is simply curious to know more about the Christian life.
I highly recommend this book to every member of every church, and to every Christian— especially to those who are members of, or are influenced by Western Christianity, because, with this book, Tozer is challenging and encouraging every person who considers himself, or herself, to be a Christian to undergo self-evaluation and to compare his, or her, life to the teachings of the Bible, and to make the changes in the areas of that life, as needed.