Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer is scheduled as a devotional read in Ambleside Year 7. I started reading it so I could discuss it with Nougat who isn't doing year 7 but he's reading it this year as he hadn't read it previously.

Tozer became a Christian at the age of 15. He'd had a life of hardship and because of his impoverished home situation, not much of an education, but by dint of diligent study and good books he started a process of self-education and became skilled in the use of the English language. It is said that when he felt he needed an understanding of Shakespeare's works that he read them on his knees and asked God to give him an understanding of their meaning. He believed that seeking God and seeking truth were the same thing.
The Pursuit of God was written to help those who were hungry for the things of God. Tozer said that his fire, if not large, was real, and he invited others to light their candle at its flame.

We had some good conversations about what Tozer wrote in this book.
Some of my favourite quotes are:

It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it. The motive is everything. Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act......For such a man, living itself will be sacramental and the whole world a sanctuary. 

The Bible will never be a living book to us until we are convinced that God is articulate in His universe......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.

One of Nougat's favourite quotes was about honour. Tozer uses the opposite behaviours of Eli the priest (who epically failed to honour God) and the Biblical characters (who honestly tried to glorify God in their lives) and says:

See how God winked at weakness and overlooked failures as He poured upon His servants grace and blessing untold. Let it be Abraham, Jacob, David, Daniel, Elijah or whom you will; honour followed honour as harvest the seed. The man of God set his heart to exalt God above all; God accepted his intention as fact and acted accordingly. Not perfection, but holy intention made the difference.

We talked about holy intention, weakness and failure. We talked about how God looks at the heart and our motivation and the freedom that comes from knowing God's heart towards us in these things. We talked through how everything we do can be sacramental, that is, an outward expression of an inward grace.
An altogether worthwhile and encouraging read which opened up some good discussions between my 16 year old son and me.

The book is available free at Gutenberg.


dawn said...

Good stuff. I should read that one of these days. I liked this by you, " He believed that seeking God and seeking truth were the same thing." It has taken many years to begin learning this.

Cindy said...

One of my favorite books!

hopeinbrazil said...

I love Tozer. His Knowledge of the Holy is required reading in my Christian Theology classes.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

I must move this up on my TBR list!