God has created a magnificent tag-team – A.W. Tozer and Craig Groeschel. These two guys (one dead and one living) are absolutely pounding my heart and changing the way I pray these days. By the way, in case you’re wondering… Tozer is the dead one.
Groeschel preached a series called Practical Atheist (watch it here) and Tozer wrote a book called, Divine Conquest (buy it here). Groeschel’s definition of a practical atheist is “Someone who believes in God but lives as if He doesn’t exist.”
Reading from Tozer this morning, I took these words like a Chuck Liddell shot to the jaw:
Is it not true that for most of us who call ourselves Christians there is no real experience? We have substituted theological ideas for an arresting encounter; we are full of religious notions, but our great weakness is that for our hearts there is no one there.
Whatever else it embraces, true Christian experience must always include a genuine encounter with God. Without this, religion is but a shadow, a reflection of reality, a cheap copy of an original once enjoyed by someone else of whom we have heard. It cannot but be a major tragedy in the life of any man to live in a church from childhood to old age and know nothing more real than some synthetic god compounded of theology and logic, but having no eyes to see, no ears to hear, and no heart to love.
The spiritual giants of old were men who at some time became acutely conscious of the real Presence of God and maintained that consciousness for the rest of their lives.
My prayer these days is that you and I will have a revolutionary, authentic encounter with God that will transform our attitudes, behaviors, perspectives, and values… an encounter that will move us from being practical atheists to passionate followers of a living God with whom we are in a relationship.