Mortify the Flesh

In Daily Devotional by A. W. Tozer

Theme of the Week: Sacrifice and Death

Bible Verse: “Therefore, put to death what belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5 CSB

Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:1-17

In these terrible days in which we live, we have not only accepted the flesh in its morally fine manifestation as being quite proper, but we have created an ignoble theology of “extenuating circumstances” by which we excuse the flesh.

People do not hesitate anymore to say, “Oh, was I mad!” and then a minute later, lead in prayer. But he is just mumbling words. I have no confidence in a man who loses his temper. I do not believe that a man who blows up and loses his temper is a spiritual man, whether he is a preacher, a bishop, or a pope. He is a carnal man and needs to be cleansed by fire and blood.

But we have excused people who say, “I was mad.” If you were mad, you were sinning, and you need to be cleansed from your bad temper. But we have incorporated the flesh into our orthodoxy, and instead of being humble, we magnify the proud fellow.

When I was a young fellow, I always loved guns. I had a .22 revolver and loved to shoot. Just for fun when I had nothing else to do, and that is rare now, I would go out shooting with another fellow, and we shot what we called a mud hen.

It looked like a great big duck, but when we dressed it, it was the biggest hypocrite you ever saw. It was practically all feathers. It was not much bigger than an oversized robin when we got down to the real bird. That describes most Christians.

We stand our feathers on end so people do not know how small we are. The word mortify comes from the same Latin word as mortuary—a place where you put dead people. It means “to die.” But we do not talk about that much anymore. We talk about it, but we do not believe in getting reduced. But you will never be a spiritual man until God reduces you to your proper size.

Mortify is a New Testament word. Turn your back upon yourself and reckon yourself to be dead indeed and crucified with Christ. Then expect the blood of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to make real what your faith has reckoned. And then begin to live it.


Taken from From the Grave: A 40-Day Lent Devotional, by A.W. Tozer, ©2017 The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.
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About
A. W. Tozer
A. W. Tozer began his lifelong pursuit of God at the age of seventeen after hearing a street preacher in Akron, Ohio. A self-taught theologian, Tozer was a pastor, writer and editor whose powerful use of words continues to grip the intellect and stir the soul of today's reader. Among his best-loved books are the classics The Pursuit of God and Attributes Of God.
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A. W. Tozer
A. W. Tozer began his lifelong pursuit of God at the age of seventeen after hearing a street preacher in Akron, Ohio. A self-taught theologian, Tozer was a pastor, writer and editor whose powerful use of words continues to grip the intellect and stir the soul of today's reader. Among his best-loved books are the classics The Pursuit of God and Attributes Of God.