I love A.W. Tozer, my brother in the Fellowship of the Burning Heart… though he’s often hard to read because of how convicted I usually feel afterward. One of the best collections of his is entitled, The Root of the Righteous. It is well worth getting and reading… and then reading again. By the way, it was first published in 1955. (That fact will explain why he’s often called a modern-day prophet.)
Here are a few quotes from the first chapter, also entitled, The Root of the Righteous…
One marked difference between the faith of our fathers as conceived by the fathers and the same faith as understood and lived by their children is that the fathers were concerned with the root of the matter, while their present-day descendents seem concerned only with the fruit.
Our fathers looked well to the root of the tree and were willing to wait with patience for the fruit to appear.
[Impatient Christians today] imitate their fruit without accepting their theology or inconveniencing ourselves too greatly by adopting their all-or-nothing attitude toward religion.
The bough that breaks off from the tree in a storm may bloom briefly and give to the unthinking passerby the impression that it is a healthy and fruitful branch, but its tender blossoms will soon perish and the bough itself wither and die. There is no lasting life apart from the root.
Much that passes for Christianity today is the brief, bright effort of the severed branch to bring forth its fruit in its season. But the deep laws of life are against it. Preoccupation with appearances and a corresponding neglect of the out-of-sight root of true spiritual life are prophetic signs which go unheeded.
A church that is soundly rooted cannot be destroyed, but nothing can save a church whose root is dried up. No stimulation, no advertising campaigns, no gifts of money and no beautiful edifice can bring back life to the rootless tree.
In every generation the number of the righteous is small. Be sure you’re among them.