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Your Cross of Christ

A.W. Tozer | Dr. Stephen Phinney


If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. (Luke 9:23)


 

Why? Why does the God of healing allow such suffering, doubt and disbelief amid His faithful witnesses? We are set to go on a journey to answer that question. IOM America has dedicated our ministry focus for 2023 on gathering stories of the believer's co-crucifixion with Christ - with a special emphasis on victory stories of pain, suffering and times of disbelief.


If you claim Jesus as your Savior, you have a story. If you don't have a story, you are likely not indwelt by Christ, minimally have not embraced your co-crucifixion in Jesus.


We would like to start our year long story time with A.W. Tozer. While he doesn't need an introduction, he is mostly known as a pastor, author, and spiritual mentor. At a young age, walking home from work one day, he heard a street preacher say: "If you don't know how to be saved, just call on God." When young Tozer got home, he climbed into his attic and did just that.


In many ways, that simple act would characterize Tozer's entire life and ministry. In his early 20s, just after his ordination ceremony, he retreated to a quiet place in the woods and prayed what he later wrote down and titled, "The Prayer of a Minor Prophet." In it he said:



It seems God granted his request, for Tozer gave himself to three main tasks: prayer, study, and proclamation. He was known to arrive at his office in the early morning, change into a pair of old pants so he wouldn't wrinkle his slacks and pray for up to three hours at a time - beginning on the couch, but soon moving to the floor, face buried in the carpet.


He made time for sustained study as well, mostly meditating on Scripture, but also reading deeply of many authors – early church fathers, writers of the Middle Ages, Reformers, Puritans, philosophers, and even his contemporaries – impressive, considering his formal education ended at the sixth grade.


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