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Possessed Nothing

posted Apr 6, 2010, 8:29 PM by Edward Jue   [ updated Apr 6, 2010, 10:30 PM ]
February 2010

In The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing, Tozer used the story of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac to illustrate the teaching of Matthew 5:3 (NIV) which states “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” As Tozer pointed out, God had created all the wonderful things in the world for human to enjoy, but He has reserved a special place in our heart for Himself. Yet, often we filled this special place with the material and emotional blessings from God instead of Himself. As a result, we were drawn away from Him. Tozer noted that God saw the danger in Abraham of placing his beloved son, Isaac, in the shrine of his heart and God stepped in to save him by testing him.

Although the bible did not describe in detail the agony Abraham had gone through internally, Tozer suggested that the struggle would be comparable to what Jesus experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane.[1] For Abraham, Isaac was more than his son of old age; he was the promise from God and the line for the future Savior. He was more precious than anything Abraham had, including his own life. It was exactly this reason, God took him through the journey of wrestling, emptying, detaching and foregoing the “things” in his life. Abraham’s willful obedience to God even up to the moment of raising his hand with the knife was no easy task, but it was the precise step and necessary timing for God to “correct the perversion that existed in” Abraham’s heart.[2] It was the means and method in which Abraham became empty and blessed at the same time because what he gained was an eternal closeness with God that could not be shaken by the world any longer. To put it in Tozer’s word, “He had everything, but he possessed nothing.”

In the bible, one can see many other examples that echo Tozer’s statement. From Job, Esther, King David, Apostle Peter to Apostle Paul, God tested each of them with different circumstances so they could clear out the worldly possession in their lives and be blessed with God Himself. If these saints did not abandon their lives, they could not have become the blessing for many others. “Whoever loses his life for me (Jesus) will find it.”[3] To enjoy the riches of the Kingdom, one must possess nothing. It contraries to the teaching of this world, but is the key to the true blessing of eternal joy, peace and hope in God.

[1] A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, (Las Vegas: IAP, 2009), 20
[2] Ibid., 21
[3] Matthew 16:25 (New International Version)