“The vessel God wants for his work is not prepared by hearing a lot of things, but by seeing and receiving and being satisfied. Its understanding is based on the life of Christ within, not on information about him. We must beware of just passing on to others what we hear. No matter how precious or profound the teaching may be, we are not to be disseminators of information.” (Watchman Nee. Changed Into His Likeness. Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 1967, 1978, p. 51)
A. W. Tozer distinguished between scribes and prophets. Scribes are experts on what someone else says. Prophets have living words to speak. (Gem talked about this in a recent blog post). Too many times we say things about God without enough personal knowledge of God. God invites us to intimate encounter, to experienced grace, to actual participation in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). If I am not actually walking with God, what difference will information I pass on about Him make? The world has enough scribes spouting religious ideas without any life in them.
As a voracious reader, my great challenge is to guard against first teaching what I read. I must live it first. I must teach from experienced truth, not just from someone else’s experienced truth. The Pharisees managed to make a living word into a dead letter. Lord, protect me from such an awful fate.
What insights into who God is, how He works and what He says have been most encouraging to you lately? How might He be inviting you to live those insights today before you talk about them?
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