Mired In The “Rote”

A.W. Tozerby A.W. Tozer

He replied, “Because you have so little faith, I tell you the truth. If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.'” Matthew 17:20-21

Everybody knows just what will happen, and this has become our deadliest enemy. We blame the devil, the “last days,” and anything else we can think of, but the greatest enemy is not outside of us. It is within—it is an attitude of accepting things as they are. We believe that what was must always determine what will be, and as a result, we are not growing in expectation. As soon as someone begins talking like this, the Lord’s people respond by getting busy. What I am talking about, however, is internal. It is a matter of the soul and mind that ultimately determines our conduct. Let me show you the progressive stages. I begin with what I will call the “rote.” This is repetition without feeling. If someday someone would read the Scripture and believe it and would believe what is sung in the great Christian hymns, there would be a blessed spiritual revolution underway in a short time. But too many are caught up in the rote, repeating without feeling, without meaning, without wonder and without any happy surprises or expectations. In our services God cannot get in because we have it all fixed up for Him. We say, “Lord, we are going to have it this way. Now kindly bless our plans.” We repeat without feeling, we repeat without meaning, we sing without wonder, and we listen without surprise. That is my description of the rote.

by A.W. Tozer