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Wants or Wishes

By A.W. Tozer


      The third class of blessing consists of spiritual treasures which are ours by blood atonement but which will not come to us unless we make a determined effort to possess them. To make things clearer let me set forth four propositions touching this heritage of joy which God has set before us; 3. You will have as little as you are satisfied with. God giveth to all men liberally, but it would be absurd to think that God's liberality will make a man more godly than he wants to be. The man, for instance, who is satisfied to live a defeated life will never be forced to take victory. The man who is content to follow Christ afar off will never know the radiant wonder of His nearness. The man who is willing to settle for a joyless, barren life will never experience the joy of the Holy Spirit or the deep satisfaction of fruitful living. It is disheartening to those who care, and surely a great grief to the Spirit, to see how many Christians are content to settle for less than the best. Personally I have for years carried a burden of sorrow as I have moved among evangelical Christians who somewhere in their past have managed to strike a base compromise with their heart's holier longings and have settled down to a lukewarm, mediocre kind of Christianity utterly unworthy of themselves and of the Lord they claim to serve. And such are found everywhere. 4. You now have as much as you really want. Every man is as close to God as he wants to be; he is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he wills to be. Our Lord said, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" (Matt. 5:6). If there were but one man anywhere on earth who hungered and was not filled the word of Christ would fall to the ground. Yet we must distinguish wanting from wishing. By "want" I mean wholehearted desire. Certainly there are many who wish they were holy or victorious or joyful but are not willing to meet God's conditions to obtain. That God has placed before His redeemed children a vast world of spiritual treasures and that they refuse or neglect to claim it may easily turn out to be the second greatest tragedy in the history of the moral creation, the first and greatest being the fall of man.

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