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The Great Antecedent: A.W Tozer

Abstract light

I read and mediated on this Tozer piece this morning…. It comes from his book "The Divine Conquest" I have always said that God is always previous, that He is the first of all moves in life; Tozer ruminates on this as looks at the "unbeginning One." Grab some coffee (Tozer blend ) read, and ask yourself just how large a concept of God do you have, how you experience Him is limited by your concept of Him.



The Great Antecedent

For all things God is the great Antecedent. Because He is, we
are and everything else is. He is that "dread, unbeginning One,"
self-caused, self-contained and self-sufficient. Faber saw this when he
wrote his great hymn in celebration of God's eternity.

Thou hast no youth, great God,

An Unbeginning End Thou art;

Thy glory in itself abode,

And still abides in its own tranquil heart:

No age can heap its outward years on Thee:

Dear God! Thou art Thyself Thine own eternity.

Do not skip this as merely another poem. The difference between a
great Christian life and any other kind lies in the quality of our
religious concepts, and the ideas expressed in these six lines can be
like rungs on Jacob's ladder, leading upward to a sounder and more
satisfying idea of God.

We cannot think rightly of God until we begin to think of Him as
always being there, and there first. Joshua had this to learn. He had
been so long the servant of God's servant Moses, and had with such
assurance received God's word at his mouth, that Moses and the God of
Moses had become blended in his thinking, so blended that he could
hardly separate the two thoughts; by association they always appeared
together in his mind. Now Moses is dead, and lest the young Joshua be
struck down with despair, God spoke to assure him, "As I was with Moses,
so I will be with thee." Moses was dead, but the God of Moses still
lived. Nothing had changed and nothing had been lost. Nothing of God
dies when a man of God dies.

"As I was—so I will be." Only God could say this. Only the Eternal
One could stand in the timeless I AM and say, "I was" and "I will be."


"No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of
your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with; I will never leave
you nor forsake you." Joshua 1:5


We cannot think rightly of God until we begin to think of Him
as always being there, and there first.


Let us think rightly of You, Lord, by realizing that You have
always been there and that You were there first.

From The Poet’s Heart


Poetry has a way of working deep, interpreting the language of the soul. In many ways, prayer is a form of freestyle poetry, as is song. A life-lived in honesty is visual poetry, containing all the beauty and ash of life. While I was reading this morning, the following verse became a translator of the heart. I sense and see in it's words how the song of our life, whether well-sung, or not, caught God's ear, it's melody drew Him, and He came near…breathe and read…

Dei Gratia,



You came
down from your throne and

Stood at
my cottage door.

I was
singing all alone in a corner,

And the
melody caught your ear. You

down and stood at my cottage door.

are many in your hall, and

are sung there at all hours. But

The simple
carol of this novice struck

At your
love. One plaintive little strain

with the great music of the

and with a flower for a prize you

down and stopped at my cottage




Powerful Prayers Vol. VIII: Kenneth Phifer

Powerful prayers
I Want To Stop Running

Eternal God, you are a
song amid silence,

A voice out of quietness,

A light out of darkness,

A presence in the

A coming out of the void.

You are all of these
things and more.

You are mystery that
encompasses meaning,

Meaning that penetrates


You are God,

I am man.

I strut and brag.

I put down my fellows

And bluster out assertions
of my achievements.


And then something

I wonder who I am,

And if I matter.

Night falls,

I am alone in the dark and

Someone dies,

I feel so powerless.

A child is born,

I am touched by the
miracle of new life.

At such moments I pause…

To listen for a song amid

A voice out of stillness,

To look for a light out of


I want to feel a Presence
in the emptiness.

I find myself reaching for
a hand.

Oftentimes, the feeling
passes quickly,

And I am on the run again:

Success to achieve,

Money to make.


O Lord, you have to catch
me on the run

Most of the time.

I am too busy to stop,

Too important to pause for

I hold up too big a
section of the sky

to sit down and meditate.

But even on the run,

An occasional flicker of
doubt assails me,

And I suspect I may not be
as important

To the world

As I think I am.


Jesus said each of us is
important to you.

It is as if every hair of
our heads were numbered.

How can that be?

But in the hope that it is

I would stop running,

Stop shouting,

And be myself.

Let me be still now.

Let me be calm.

Let me rest upon the faith
that you are God,

And I need not be afraid.



(* from
Kenneth Phifer’s book “A Book of Uncommon Prayer”)



Monty’s Rumination…


There truly is not much
for me to say about this prayer. 
The deep, heartfelt words paint a very real tapestry that many will
instantly connect with.


When I first meditated on
this prayer, I was at a monastery with some other pastors, and one line
captured my attention more than any other:


“I hold up too big a section of the sky to
sit down and meditate.”


Even now, those words roll
over me and leave me feeling somewhat uneasy. I’m uneasy because that is very
often how I feel. My biblical theology tells me that it is God who holds up the
sky, but if that is so, why does so much of it seem to depend on me?


My  practical theology tells me that it is
impossible for me to hold up a big section of the sky, and that if I think I
am, I need to let it go, but if that is true, why does it seem so many people
and things really do

depend on me?


We are forever in the
catch-22 of monergism and synergism, how much is mine and how much is God’s.
When we think that too much depends on us, we posses weary souls, tired feet,
and frazzled emotions. When we think that too much depends on us, we create God
in our own image. When we create God in our own image, there is no one left who
is stronger than ourselves to lift us from the tangled web of living. When we
think too much depends on us, our self-importance creates an ego that fills the
universe, so of course there is no time to relate with a God who is smaller
than we are.


Yet, in our over inflated
bigness, Jesus still loves us, still calls us, still waits…


As he graciously reminds
me of His power, passion, and presence, I relax, realizing He not only holds up
all of the sky, but He made it too. Then I breathe the final words of the


“I would stop running, stop shouting, and be
myself. Let me be still now. Let me be calm. Let me rest upon the faith that
you are God, and I need not be afraid.”


God has your corner of the


Dei Gratia…Monty