Faithlife Sermons

God's Selfhood and Prayer

Prayer - A.W. Tozer  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Have you ever gone to God in prayer without needing something?
Grocery list
I hope we never view that God exists simply to grant our wishes.
He is a good God.
List examples of where we use God to get our way.
God encourages us to ask, and if what we are asking for falls within His will for our lives, He will grant our prayers.
We must think of God as the Holy One, not a glorified Santa Claus.
When God answers our prayer, the sweet thing is, once answered, we still have God.
In God’s self, there is no sin.
Most of the sins we commit are rooted in self and selfishness.
God loves himself.
The Trinity loves all parts of itself, therefore, God loves himself.
God is the originator of love.
The words I and I am refer to self.
A friend of Tozer who would refer to himself as one instead of using the word I.
Nothing wrong with using I or I am as long as you are using these in the right context.
God said I AM.
He was saying He is the one who began the whole thing.
He always was.
There is no starting point with God. He was always there.
Think of this. When we use the words I am in the correct context and view ourselves in the proper stance with God, we are saying we are little echos of God.
God is proud of his children
Job 1:8 ESV
And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”
He was proud of Job and the life he lived and the choices he made.
God is thrilled when we say “I am” in the little echo voice.
He is the one who said of himself, “I AM THAT I AM.”
We were made in the image of God.
Because of this, there is nothing wrong with having a healthy self-respect.
We must keep it in context and always remember that we are the little echos of God.
We are also the only creatures God created who have the gift of speech.
Another name for God the Son is the Word.
God thought of us that much.
The essence of sin is when we want to act independently of God.
We want to put ourselves on God’s throne and rule our own lives.
This happens when we forget we are the echo, not the originator of the voice.
The definition of sin is fallen selfhood.
Malachi 4:2 ESV
But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.
All creatures of His creation move around Him.
Best of those creatures who move around Him is man, whom He created in His own image.
Another analogy
Sun=God, we=planets
Romans 1:26 ESV
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;
We left our God and tried to become our own little god.
Isn’t this the way a sinner acts?
He wants to control his own life. He wants to be independent of God.
He wants to put his I am in capital letters.
Sin has manifestations
Paul gives us a list
Galatians 5:19–21 ESV
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
All of these things listed are symptoms of a deep issue: our asserting self.
Existentialists say that man simply is.
They don’t recognize God.
They want to put “I am that I am” in all capital letters.
God is the only one who can do that.
When we do this, that is sin.
All the evils in the world are simply manifestations of the inward disease of man: sin.
However, we really shouldn’t think of sin as a disease. It should be thought of more as an attitude.
God made us like himself and gave us free will.
We took that and decided we could make decisions on our own and not have to listen to the things God had told us.
There may be many different evidences of sin in our lives. But when you boil them down, you will always find the root cause is self.
When people accept Christ as their Savior, one of the things they have to do is take themselves off the throne and put God back there.
This is very hard for people to do.
“Can you imagine it? The great God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, said, ‘This is My name throughout all generations, My memorial forever: I AM THAT I AM. I never was created; I was not made, I AM. I made you for My love. I made you to worship, honor, and glorify Me. I made you to love you and hold you and give Myself to you. But you turned away from Me. And you made yourself god and you put yourself on that throne.’ This is sin.”
John 3:3 ESV
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
What does this mean?
a renewal, a rebirth
It also means getting of the throne and putting God back where he belongs in your life.
It is the devil who leads the world now.
Ephesians 2:2 ESV
in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
Satan is at work in all aspects of our lives not only in America, but around the world.
We need to be careful and make sure we are not saying I am that I am in capital letters. When we do that, we have sinned and taken God off his throne and put ourselves there.
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