Tuesdays with Tozer--Wounds
Why do so many Christians expect God to shield us from suffering?

It is amazing to me! There are people within the ranks of Christianity who have been taught and who believe that Christ will shield His followers from wounds of every kind.

If the truth were known, the saints of God in every age were only effective after they had been wounded. They experienced the humbling wounds that brought contrition, compassion and a yearning for the knowledge of God. I could only wish that more among the followers of Christ knew what some of the early saints meant when they spoke of being wounded by the Holy Spirit.

Think for a moment about the apostle Paul. I suppose there is no theologian living or dead who quite knows what Paul meant when he said, "From henceforth let no man make trouble for me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus" (Galatians 6:17). Every commentary has a different idea. I think Paul referred to the wounds he suffered because of his faith and godly life.

–A.W. Tozer (Men Who Met God, p. 59)

I cringe when people suggest that becoming a follower of Jesus will provide a shield from hurt, pain, and loss. After all, Jesus was nailed to a tree, betrayed by a best friend, and stared death in the eyes. Yes, he triumphed, but he also never went numb. He felt. He sensed. He ached. He cried out.

We will, too.

Sometimes when I invite people to know Jesus I'll tell them flat out: Becoming a follower of Jesus will not make you skinnier, richer, or more powerful. The words are usually met with nervous laughter, because everyone knows that it's uncomfortably true. I'm grateful for Tozer's timeless words.

What do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions people have about becoming a follower of Jesus?

May 25, 2010

Displaying 1–7 of 7 comments

tsquare21

May 26, 2010  10:24pm

- A PRAYER FROM JESUS - This prayer is from Jesus that we may here from Him, that He may meet our needs. It only consist of three simple steps. 1) We need to read one scripture. This will focus us in the word that brings everlasting life. 2) Since this prayer is from Jesus we need to direct our prayer to Him personally. To often Christian focus they're prayer‘s to G_D the father. Scripture proclaims that Jesus should be the focus of our prayer. 3) The simplest part of this Prayer is to ask Jesus one question. Please, all that is required for this question is to make it simple. Let Jesus Himself finish the question when He gives you that understanding through prayer. The PRAYER The scripture that is the focus of this prayer is "ACTS 2:38". It's not necessary to do any study into this scripture. Jesus Himself willl bestow the understanding that will resonate in your heart. The most important part of this prayer is that we need to direct our prayer directly to Jesus. If you normally would say Father in your prayer, change your focus from the Father to Christ Jesus by lifting Jesus name up every time you would normally use Father in your prayer. Maybe the hardest part of this prayer is the question that we need to ask Jesus. For man as we are, always try to understand the question and may add many additional quires. The simplest question is all that is required. Simply ask Jesus ‘WHY, Jesus why'

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ibrow

May 25, 2010  3:20pm

"And the 11th Commandment is: It's got to be fun!"

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Tom B.

May 25, 2010  3:12pm

1. You (and Tozer), hit the nail on the head, Margaret. Nobody really likes to suffer, yet one of our culture's ethos and driving myths is the pursuit of happiness. We tend to live a lifestyle devoid of suffering at all causes. When I asked random students on a college campus to explain their purpose of life, the two most given answers were to obtain happiness and bliss. What happens when we allow our cultural baggage to penetrate our hermeneutic and theology? In part, we are left with domesticated disciples who follow two masters: Christ being the first and "the god of my perceived happiness" being the later. Then we sprinkle this with a dose of health and wealth and Voila! We have created a recipe in which Christ can look more like us instead of us like Him. Christ can and will heal wounds according to His will. He may also allow suffering to take place; and during that suffering, guess who's there feeling our pain and providing comfort?

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len

May 25, 2010  2:38pm

And the river runs wide And the river runs deep And I spit in the eye Of safe company When I dive right down To the undertow Well, the deeper I drown Lord, the higher I'll go. John Mellencamp, "To the River"

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Bryon

May 25, 2010  1:13pm

Thanks for sharing this. I think a corollary misconception is that the Gospel will prevail in an environment devoid of persecution. In the US, many people claiming to be Christ-followers work diligently to eliminate any aspects of culture that make Christ-followers uncomfortable. Yet, as I look at the history of the church the Gospel has been most pronounced and made the biggest influence in societies where it was persecuted. Now, I don't want to experience persecution any more than the next person, but we need to remember that God tends to work most noticeably in situations He's least expected.

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SWE

May 25, 2010  10:19am

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about becoming a follower of Jesus is that he will fix all your problems. Broken marriage - Jesus will fix it. Crummy job - Jesus will fix it. Wayward kids - Jesus will fix it. Not enough money - Jesus will fix it. This doesn't seem to square with Scripture. Martin Luther suggested that part of every Christian's calling is to suffer. That doesn't market well, does it? Most of evangelicalism has been affected by the prosperity gospel more than we would like to admit.

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Mike C.

May 25, 2010  10:19am

The problem is deep down inside, we all secretly want to believe a prosperity Gospel b/c we desire to be the center of our lives, and not God. Suffering destroys that picture as it reminds us that we really don't have any control of how our lives turn out. We cannot prevent disaster from befalling us b/c we're not God. God never promised us physical safety, but that our flesh will be remade new one day and we will see Him face to face.

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