Tozer and ‘The Speaking Voice’

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17).
The Bible is foundational to our faith. But it is more than the written word of God that brings us to that faith. Apart from the Holy Spirit’s witness heard in our spiritual heart, the Bible is just words written about God. By the Holy Spirit speaking to our heart, the words of the Bible become God’s word personally spoken to us. It is one thing to read about God; it is quite another to hear Him spiritually speaking to us. Though the former is factual, the latter is piercing, life-giving and life-changing.

A. W. Tozer, in his book, The Pursuit of God, (Camp Hill, Pa: Christian, 1993), taught the following in the chapter entitled, “The Speaking Voice:”

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

An intelligent, plain man, untaught in the truths of Christianity, coming upon this text, would likely conclude that John meant to teach that it is the  nature of God to speak, to communicate His thoughts to others. And he would be right. A word is a medium by which thoughts are expressed, and the application  of the term to the eternal Son leads us to believe that self-expression is inherent in the Godhead, that God is forever seeking to speak Himself out to His  creation. The whole Bible supports this idea. God is speaking. Not God spoke, but God is speaking. He is, by His nature, continuously articulate. He  fills the world with His speaking voice…

…The Bible is the written Word of God, and because it is written it is confined and limited by the necessities of ink and paper and leather. The voice of  God, however, is alive and free as the sovereign God is free. “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).  The life is in the speaking words. God’s word in the Bible can have power only because it corresponds to God’s word in the universe. It is the present Voice which makes the written Word all-powerful. Otherwise it would lie locked in slumber within the covers of a book…

…”Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God” (Hebrews 11:3). Again we must remember that God is referring here  not to His written Word, but to His speaking Voice. His world-filling Voice is meant, that Voice which antedates the Bible by uncounted centuries, that Voice  which has not been silent since the dawn of creation, but is sounding still throughout the full far reaches of the universe…

…God is here and He is speaking–these truths are back of all other Bible truths; without them there could be no revelation at all. God did not write a  book and send it by messenger to be read at a distance by unaided minds. He spoke a Book and lives in His spoken words, constantly speaking His words and  causing the power of them to persist across the years…

…We have not given sufficient attention to that deep utterance in the book of John, “That was the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into  the world” (1:9). Shift the punctuation around as we will, the truth is still there: The Word of God affects the hearts of all men as light in the soul.  In the hearts of all men the light shines, the Word sounds, and there is no escaping them. Something like this would of necessity be so if God is alive and  in His world. And John says that it is so. Even those persons who have never heard of the Bible have still been preached to with sufficient clarity to remove  every excuse from their hearts forever. “Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their  thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another” (Romans 2:15). “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are  clearly seen, being understod by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (1:20)…

…The Bible will never be a living book to us until we are convinced that God is articulate in His universe…
I believe that much of our religious unbelief is due to a wrong conception of and a wrong feeling for the Scriptures of Truth. A silent God suddenly began to  speak in a book and when the book was finished lapsed back into silence again forever. Now we read the book as the record of what God said when He was for a  brief time in a speaking mood. With notions like that in our heads how can we believe? The facts are that God is not silent, has never been silent. It is the  nature of God to speak. The second Person of the Holy Trinity is called the Word. The Bible is the inevitable outcome of God’s continuous speech. It is  the infallible declaration of His mind for us put into our familiar human words.
I think a new world will arise out of the religious mists when we approach our Bible with the idea that it is not only a book which was once spoken, but a  book which is now speaking
…It is more than a thing; it is a voice, a word, the very Word of the living God.


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