Tag: Free Will

The Rod and the Cross

A.W. Tozerby A.W. Tozer

And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:27

For the Christian cross carrying and chastisement are alike but not identical. They differ in a number of important ways. The two ideas are usually considered to be the same and the words embodying the ideas are used interchangeably. There is, however, a sharp distinction between them. When we confuse them we are not thinking accurately; and when we do not think accurately about truth we lose some benefit that we might otherwise enjoy.

The cross and the rod occur close together in the Holy Scriptures, but they are not the same thing. The rod is imposed without the consent of the one who suffers it. The cross cannot be imposed by another. Even Christ bore the cross by His own free choice. He said of the life He poured out on the cross, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself” (John 10:18). He had every opportunity to escape the cross but He set His face like a flint to go to Jerusalem to die. The only compulsion He knew was the compulsion of love.

by A.W. Tozer

 

Choosing God’s Will

A.W. Tozerby A.W. Tozer

I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart. Psalm 40:8

No act that is done voluntarily is an abrogation of the freedom of will. If a man chooses the will of God he is not denying but exercising his right of choice. What he is doing is admitting that he is not good enough to desire the highest choice nor is he wise enough to make it, and he is for that reason asking Another who is both wise and good to make his choice for him. And for fallen man this is the ultimate use he should make of his freedom of will. Tennyson saw this and wrote of Christ, Thou seemest human and divine, The highest, holiest manhood, Thou; Our wills are ours, we know not how; Our wills are ours, to make them Thine. There is a lot of sound doctrine in these words–“Our wills are ours, to make them Thine.” The secret of saintliness is not the destruction of the will but the submergence of it in the will of God.

The true saint is one who acknowledges that he possesses from God the gift of freedom. He knows that he will never be cudgled into obedience nor wheedled like a petulant child into doing the will of God; he knows that these methods are unworthy both of God and of his own soul. He knows he is free to make any choice he will, and with that knowledge he chooses forever the blessed will of God.

by A.W. Tozer