This is a wonderful book! I read it over the course of this spring. I picked up the kindle version for free on a whim and appreciated it so much! So many pieces touched my heart and made me think. I’ve been meaning to put together this post for a while. Just to collate my thoughts on some quotes and possibly help others to think on it as well. It’s a great book.
The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
“At the heart of the Christian message is God Himself waiting for His redeemed children to push in to conscious awareness of His Presence. That type of Christianity which happens now to be the vogue knows this Presence only in theory. It fails to stress the Christian’s privilege of present realization. According to it’s teachings we are in the Presence of God positionally, and nothing is said about the need to experience that Presence actually. The fiery urge that drove men like McCheyne is wholly missing. And the present generation of Christians measures itself by this imperfect rule.”
“The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God and the Church is famishing for want of His Presence. The instant cure of most of our religious ills would be to enter the Presence in spiritual experience, to become suddenly aware that we are in God and that God is in us. This would lift us out of our pitiful narrowness and cause our hearts to be enlarged.”
Knowing the presence of God only in theory was a problem I had when I was younger. I never really encountered God and I never really met anyone that seemed (to my child’s eyes and mind) to have encountered God in a real way in their life. I never internalized the fact completely that God does act, his word means something for us beyond the sometimes trite sunday school lessons and the Holy Spirit moves and speaks to ths day completely unlimted by our human knowledge. When I went to college I got involved with a campus ministry and finally realized just how incredible and involved in our lives God actually is. God speaks (however He pleases) and is completely present in our lives and world.
“A man may say, “These words are addressed to me,” and yet in his heart not feel and know that they are. He is the victim of a divided psychology. HE tries to think of God as mute everywhere else and vocal only in a book.”
“Self is the opaque veil that hides the Face of God from us. It can be removed only in spiritual experience, never by mere instruction.”
“Our pursuit of God is successful just because He is forever seeking to manifest Himself to us.”
I used to think that the only way God speaks is through the Bible. I now know otherwise. God cannot be limited by our expectations. Though we should check for accuracy with the Bible everytime something is said so as to not confuse ourselves.
I like how Tozer says that the only thing blocking us from seeing God is ourself and that only can be removed by God, not only the teaching of people…and God is continually looking to show us his face.
“No one is in mere distance any further from or any nearer to God than any other person is.”
“To put it differently, we have accepted one another’s notions, copied one another’s lives and made one another’s experiences the model for our own.”
After I found out that God does still speak today, I used to be ridiculously jealous whenever someone else talked about what God was doing in their life. I used to think “why not me??” and wonder if I wasn’t close enough to God. But then I figured out that God speaks differently to everyone and not everyone will have the same experiences and that, in fact, no one can be any more saved than anyone else. No one is holier or closer to God. Everyone has the same blotch on their record. All sin is the same and all forgiveness is the same. End of story. It’s great.
“In the beginning God.” Not matter, for matter is not self-causing. It requires an antecedent cause, and God is that Cause. Not law, for law is but a name for the course which all creation follows. That course had to be planned, and the Planner is God. Not mind, for mind also is a created thing and must have a Creator back of it. In the beginning God, the uncaused Cause of matter, mind and law. There we must begin.”
God is because he says, “I am”.
“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.”
God is inescapable.