In the beginning God created the baryonic universe.

18. We Must Die If We Would Live

"Let me die... lest I die... only let me see Your face." That was the prayer of St. Augustine. "Hide not Your face from me," he cried in an agony of desire. "Oh! that I might repose on You. Oh! that You would enter into my heart, and inebriate it, that I may forget my ills, and embrace You, my sole good."

This longing to die, to get our opaque form out of the way so that it might not hide from us the lovely face of God, is one that is instantly understood by the hungry-hearted believer. To die that we might not die! There is no contradiction here, for there are before us two kinds of dying, a dying to be sought and a dying to be avoided at any cost.

To Augustine the sight of God inwardly enjoyed was life itself and anything less than that was death. To exist in total eclipse under the shadow of nature without the realized Presence was a condition not to be tolerated. Whatever hid God's face from him must be taken out of the way, even his own self-love, his dearest ego, his most cherished treasures. So he prayed, "Let me die."

The great saints daring prayer was heard and, as might he expected, was answered with a fullness of generosity characteristic of God. He died the kind of death to which Paul testified: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me." His life and ministry continued and his presence is always there, in his books, in the church, in history; but wondrous as it may be, he is strangely transparent; his own personality is scarcely seen, while the light of Christ shines through with a kind of healing splendor.

There have been those who have thought that to get themselves out of the way it was necessary to withdraw from society; so they denied all natural human relationships and went into the desert or the mountain or the hermit's cell to fast and labor and struggle to mortify their flesh. While their motive was good it is impossible to commend their method. For it is not scriptural to believe that the old Adam nature can be conquered in that manner. It is altogether too tough to be killed by abusing the body or starving the affections. It yields to nothing less than the cross.

In every Christian's heart there is a cross and a throne, and the Christian is on the throne till he puts himself on the cross; if he refuses the cross he remains on the throne. Perhaps this is at the bottom of the backsliding and worldliness among gospel believers today. We want to be saved but we insist that Christ do all the dying. No cross for us, no dethronement, no dying. We remain king within the little kingdom of Mansoul and wear our tinsel crown with all the pride of a Caesar; but we doom ourselves to shadows and weakness and spiritual sterility.

If we will not die then we must die, and that death will mean the forfeiture of many of those everlasting treasures which the saints have cherished. Our uncrucified flesh will rob us of purity of heart, Christ-likeness of character, spiritual insight, fruitfulness; and more than all, it will hide from us the vision of God's face, that vision which has been the light of earth and will be the completeness of heaven.

From The Root of the Righteous by A. W. Tozer. Lightly updated to the language of the 21st century by D. N. Pham. (c) 2012.

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Reach for the Calling Creator

Root of the Righteous - A.W. Tozer

1. The Root of the Matter

2. We Must Give Time to God

3. God Is Easy to Live With

4. Listen to Who Listens to God

5. We Must Hear Worthily

6. That Utilitarian Christ

7. On Receiving Admonition

8. The Great God of Entertainment

9. Bible Taught or Spirit Taught?

10. The Terror of the Lord

11. Not Without Reformation

12. Faith Is a Perturbing Thing

13. True Faith Brings Committal

14. The Great Disparity

15. Our Enemy Contentment

16. Christ Is the Pattern

17. The Cross Is a Radical Thing

18. Must Die to Live

19. Christ Died For Our Hearts

20. Stand in Christ's Triumph

21. To Be or to Do

22. Make Room For Mystery

23. The Whole Life Must Pray

24. Nothing Without Lordship

25. A Sweet Lute, Sweetly Played

26. The All-importance of Motive

27. The Presence and the Program

28. The World's Most Tragic Waste

29. The Hunger of the Wilderness

30. Our Fruit Will Be What We Are

31. Baptism of Clear Seeing

32. Narrow Mansions

33. Sanctification of Our Desires

34. In Praise of Disbelief

35. Thankfulness As a Therapeutic

36. Understanding Dry Spells

37. About Hindrances

38. The Uses of Suffering

39. Praise God For the Furnace

40. Victory in the Disguise

42. Something Beyond Song

43. Three Degrees of Love

44. We Need Cool Heads

45. We Can Afford to Wait

46. God, the First and the Last

ON THE BOOK SHELF

Knowledge of the Holy - A.W. Tozer

The Pursuit of God - A.W. Tozer

The Dwelling Place - A.W. Tozer

Plumber of Lisburn - A.W. Tozer

Spiritual Power Vows - A.W. Tozer

Root of the Righteous - A.W. Tozer

Essays - A.W. Tozer

Fourfold Gospel - A.B. Simpson

Gospel of Healing - A.B. Simpson

Life of A.B. Simpson - C&MA

Mark Gospel 1/4 - A MacLaren

Mark Gospel 2/4 - A MacLaren

Mark Gospel 3/4 - A MacLaren

Mark Gospel 4/4 - A MacLaren

Gospel of St. John - F.D. Maurice

To the Romans - R.V. Foster

To the Romans, vol I - C. Gore

To the Corinthians - J.S. Riggs

To the Philippians - R. Rainy

To the Galatians - Luther

To the Hebrews - H.C.G. Moule

To the Hebrews - T.C. Edwards

Wisdom of James - A.T. Robertson

Epistles of John 1/2 - W. Alexander

Epistles of John 2/2 - W. Alexander

Kingdom of Heaven - E. Burbidge

Deuteronomy - C.H. Mackintosh

Religion and Theology - J. Tulloch

The Being of God - St Anselm

The Existence of God - St Anselm

God Became Man - St Anselm

The Other Wise Man - H. Van Dyke

First Christmas Tree - H. Van Dyke

A Christmas Carol - C Dickens

Thoughts on the Universe

Computer Notes

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