Does "receiving Christ" really mean anything?

I picked up a bunch of great books at a school sale recently, and Tozer’s “The Pursuit of God” was among them.  It’s a book that’s been on my list for some time.  I guess I needed it to fall below 75 cents!

This book is not a light read!  I’m also finding that it’s not a book I can read without a highlighter handy.  Just two pages in, and I’ve been stopped already.

“The whole transaction of religious conversion has been made mechanical and spiritless. Faith may now be exercised without a jar to the moral life and without embarrassment to the Adamic ego. Christ may be “received” without creating any special love for Him in the soul of the receiver. The man is “saved,” but he is not hungry nor thirsty after God.”

Tozer made these observations around 1957, but I don’t think it is a problem we have moved past.  I’ve had similar thoughts about “conversion” over recent months.  The whole process, especially among the strictest adherents to free will, can easily turn into accepting Christ on our own terms.  What does “accepting” mean anyway?  It sounds like we are limply conceding that Christ exists, and putting that belief on a shelf along with all of our other thoughts and feelings.  Shouldn’t an experience where we are confronted by God’s grace and salvation reorder our priorities?

To say “I’ve received Christ” or “I’ve been saved” to me have always sounded too passive.  I’m not suggesting we abandon the terms, or proposing any new ones.  But we need to think differently.  Salvation requires that we submit our lives to Christ.  But, although they sound similar, submission and passivity are not the same!  Surrendering your will does not mean you remain prostrate.  We are not merely losing our will, we are acquiring his.  Salvation demands a response.  We must pursue.  If we do not “hunger and thirst for righteousness”, that indicates we are content with our situation.  A real encounter with Christ will point out our emptiness apart from him, and will cause us to draw ever closer.

Are you content with “receiving Christ”, or are you responding to him?