Spiritual Warfare and the Beast Within

Weekend Musings

Ever heard of a thing called “dispositional sins”? Me neither. But when my wife sent me this devotional from A.W. Tozer, I knew that I had seen them too often in my own life. Every read of Tozer is an apologetic for reading “older books.”

Spiritual Warfare and Sin: Dispositional Sins

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
Ephesians 4:31

Dispositional sins are fully as injurious to the Christian cause as the more overt acts of wickedness. These sins are as many as the various facets of human nature. Just so there may be no misunderstanding let us list a few of them: Sensitiveness, irritability, churlishness, faultfinding, peevishness, temper, resentfulness, cruelty, uncharitable attitudes; and of course there are many more. These kill the spirit of the church and slow down any progress which the gospel may be making in the community. 

Many persons who had been secretly longing to find Christ have been turned away and embittered by manifestations of ugly dispositional flaws in the lives of the very persons who were trying to win them….

Unsaintly saints are the tragedy of Christianity. People of the world usually pass through the circle of disciples to reach Christ, and if they find those disciples severe and sharp-tongued they can hardly be blamed if they sigh and turn away from Him….The low state of religion in our day is largely due to the lack of public confidence in religious people.

—A. W. Tozer;  Of God and Men, pp 84-85.

“Oh Lord, if the “state of religion” was low in Tozer’s day, how far into the abyss is it in ours? We need to see this beast that lies in our hearts that ruins the testimony of power in the gospel. Make of us a people who repents and is transformed from the “dispositional sins” that our brother A.W. names, so that Your glory would fill the earth like the water covers the sea. Do this for the advance of Your kingdom and joy of those who have yet to see Your greatness. In Christ’s name. Amen.”

2 thoughts on “Spiritual Warfare and the Beast Within

  1. Marty,
    I have been putting off reading this post but I knew it was something I must read.

    Now I have read it I am so grateful to God for highlighting it to me; to you for posting it; and to Tozer for originally penning it.

    A painful post: as I read that list of dispositional sins I was aware that most of them apply to me! Oh Lord have mercy!

    Yet, I am beginning today an Advent time of penitence (not something I usually do, but I feel it would be good this Advent). The timing is wonderful! I now know I need to repent of much more than simple expressions of sins, but of the very roots of many of them.
    Thank you!


    1. Mark,
      How humbling the word of God can be! I like what you are doing with Advent. That’s a great idea. May God be pleased to draw you near as we move through this great season. Blessings my British brother.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.