Today’s Reading: Numbers 36:1-Deuteronomy 1:46 (additional reading Psalm 66:1-20 and Proverbs 11:24-26)

Key Verse: “The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain.” Deuteronomy 1:6

In A.W. Tozer entitled “Rut, Rot or Revival”. The text of the first sermon is Deuteronomy 1:6 which says, “..you have stayed too long in this place.”

Tozer maintains that if most of the church were asked,

“What is the worst enemy the church faces today?” Most would come up with the wrong answer. He says that many would say that the worst enemy of the church is liberalism. But the simply fact is that most bible believing churches do not have much trouble with liberalism and that we need to stop hiding behind liberalism as our worst enemy.

Tozer goes on to say, “The treacherous enemy facing the church of Jesus Christ today is the dictatorship of the routine, when the routine becomes ‘lord’ in the life of the church. Programs are organized and the prevailing conditions are accepted as normal. Anyone can predict next Sunday’s service and what will happen. This seems to be the most deadly threat in the church today. When we come to the place where everything can be predicted and nobody expects anything unusual from God, we are in a rut. The routine dictates, and we can tell not only what will happen next Sunday, but what will occur next month and, if things do not improve, what will take place next year. Then we have reached the place where what has been determines what is, and what is determines what will be.” (A. W. Tozer. Rut, Rot or Revival: pp.3-4).

Basically, Tozer marks out a process of how this happens.

  • Firstly, “But too many are caught up in the routine, repeating without feeling, without meaning, without wonder and without any happy surprises or expectations.”
  • Secondly, “We go one step further and come to what I call a rut, which is bondage to the routine. A rut is like a grave with both ends kicked out.”
  • The third stage is the most horrid of all it is rot. “This when we can’t visualize anything better, a lack of desire for improvement.”

Tozer was talking about the life of the church, but I think we must always remember that the church is built up of individuals and so often the process which we have just read doesn’t only apply to the church but also to our individual lives.

Are you stuck in a rut? What is your inspiration when you wake in the morning? Do you fall straight into a routine, imitating the past? I believe the words of Moses apply just as much to us today and the children of 1,000s of years ago. “..you have stayed too long in this place!” It’s time to move on in your relationship with God. It’s time to see him do greater and bigger things in your life! It’s time to know him more. It’s time to move on in your prayer life, in your Bible reading, in your worship, in your service, in your giving. It’s time to move on!

Reflection

  • Have you been stuck somewhere for too long?
  • which things are holding you back?

Prayer

Father, Thank You for leading us through life and guiding our steps. Help us to keep our eyes focused on you and not to get stuck into our own routines of comfort. In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

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