The Pursuit of God

by A. W. Tozer

I first came to know about AW Tozer at my previous church where a quote from him would appear in almost every one of my pastor’s sermons. I just assumed that everyone knew the wonder that is A. W. Tozer. So imagine my amazement when I went to the local Christian bookshop not only to find that no books written by A. W. Tozer were available but the shop assistant had no idea who I was talking about. This is a great pity and so I will do all I can to make sure the world can reach into the deep revelations of Jesus and His Word that Mr Tozer has been so kind as to scribe into books for us. We would do well not only to leave all the reading of Christian classics to the pastors but to take ownership of the Christians classics: yes ladies us too. If we don’t read older books we subject ourselves to the crushing wheel of having to learn from our own experiences rather than learning from the wisdom of those who have gone through what we will all go through. John Piper calls it ‘chronological snobbery’ when we refuse to listen to others
who have been before! A. W. Tozer is famous for his deep passion for God and his pursuit of deep personal knowing of God and His presence. If you have ever wanted to know God intimately, you have to read this book.

 

We all know that we should be pursuing a personal relationship with God. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what that means. Tozer in The Pursuit of God speaks reflectively about drawing closer to God’s heart and knowing His presence. It is in no way a prescriptive book: he is not teaching on how to pray or how to engage in biblical disciplines, like Richard Foster does in the Celebration of Discipline. Tozer says in one place in this book ‘we are more likely to explain than to adore’ and in this book he explores adoration rather than attempting to define or explain what it means to adore God practically. Tozer is so on fire from God that it feels like it jumps off the pages and into your heart!

“To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too- easily satisfied religionist, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart.” This is what the book is about. It’s about experience with God but not coming for entertainment. As he says God wills that we should push on into His presence and live our whole life there. This is to be known to us in conscious experience. “It is more than a doctrine to be held, it is a life to be lived.” He
explains further on, “Only fire can give even a remote conception of it. In fire He appeared at the burning nus; in the pillar of fire He dwelt through all the long wilderness journey. The fire that glowed between the wings of the cherubim in the holy place was called the shekinah, the presence, through the years of Israel’s glory, and when the Old had given place to the new he came at Pentecost as a firey flame and rested upon each disciple.” He goes on later to say that this fire will purge us and clean us. Tozer includes beautiful prayers at the end of each chapter – actually, the first time I read this book I typed up all of the prayers and put them on the inside of my cupboard door so that I could read
through them every morning while I got dressed! 
Tozer writes with great command of the English language and sometimes the writing is not as simple as we might be used to as he uses an older vocabulary. I actually recommended this book to a friend and she said she struggled so much with the language that she couldn’t read it. I also have had to re- read some sentences or read them out aloud. So if you are not a reader or you don’t often read older classics I reading this book on the weekends when you are feeling refreshed or when you haveyour coffee. Take some notes, and get ready to ponder..