The words below are from the A.W. Tozer book, The Pursuit of God. I typed it verbatim and planned on taking some lines out to shorten it. In the third paragraph, I removed a couple of sentences. However, I couldn’t remove any more. It all conveys an essential message to our busy selves who often define rest as being away from work or sleeping. Attaining soul-rest does not mean resting physically. While both are equally important, soul rest is found in Christ alone, in a manner of meekness.
Excerpt from A.W. Tozer’s Book, The Pursuit of God:
Blessed are the Meek
Let us examine our burden. It is altogether an interior one. It attacks the heart and the mind and reaches the body only from within. First, there is the burden of pride. The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. Think for yourself whether much of your sorrow has not arisen from someone speaking slightingly of you. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal, there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol.
How then can you hope to have inward peace?
The heart’s desperate effort to protect itself from every slight, to shield its touchy honor from the wrong opinion of friend and enemy, will never let the mind have rest. Continue this fight through the years and the burden will become intolerable. The sons of earth are carrying this burden continually. Challenging every word spoken against them, cringing under every criticism, smarting under each fancied slight, tossing sleepless if another is preferred before them.
Such a burden as this is not necessary to bear.
Jesus calls us to His rest, and meekness is His method. The meek man cares not at all who is more significant than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort. He develops toward himself a kindly sense of humor and learns to say, “Oh, so you have been overlooked? Have they placed someone else before you? They have whispered that you are pretty small stuff after all. Moreover, you feel hurt because the world is saying about you the very things you have been saying about yourself? Only yesterday you were telling God that you were nothing, a little worm of the dust. Where is your consistency? Come on, humble yourself and cease to care what men think.”
He has stopped being fooled about himself.
He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God has declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is, in the sight of God, more important than angels. In himself, nothing; in God, everything. That is his motto. He knows well that the world will never see him as God sees him and he has stopped caring. He rests perfectly content to allow God to take His own values. He will be patient to wait for the day when everything will get its own price tag, and real worth will come into its own. Then the righteous shall shine forth in the kingdom of their Father. He is willing to wait for that day.
In the meantime, he will have attained a place of soul rest. As he walks on in meekness, he will be happy to let God defend him. The old struggle to defend himself is over. He has found the peace which meekness brings.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. – Matthew 5:5 NLT
In the Beatitudes in Matthew 5, Jesus is speaking to crowds about daily living in the presence of the kingdom of God. The words of Jesus here are contrary to how the culture defines what is virtuous. Speaking on meekness at the beginning of the chapter, Tozer states, “instead of meekness, arrogance.” Our most inward being doesn’t long to be gentle; rather it desires to chase our own desires and self-righteousness arrogantly. Instead, in meekness, we trust the word of God, what He says about us and His eternal inheritance.
Related Post: Don’t Fix a Weakness at the Expense of a Strength
Weak and Helpless
As Tozer put it, when we acknowledge that God calls us weak and helpless, while also calling us more valuable than angels, there is a comfort in that paradox. The world will also call us weak and helpless, but with no additional assurance. And when we agree with our status as weak and helpless creatures of God, yet even in agreement with God’s value he places on us, we no longer have to put up a wall of defense against the world.
This line made me laugh.
You now feel hurt because the world is saying about you the very things you have been saying about yourself?
In himself, Nothing; In God, Everything
When we honestly assess ourselves, we know we are of little worth and value when left to ourselves. If we examine the depths of our flesh, we are prideful in our own strength.
However, in our meekness, we find rest in Him. We see far more than physical rest. Our soul receives the rest it desires, a rest only satisfied through meekness.
To which man can assuredly say, “In himself, nothing; in God, everything.”