As I shared last week, lately I have been re-reading a classic work by A. W. Tozer called The Pursuit of God (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1982). Tozer’s passion in this book is to ignite a passion in God’s people to pursue God himself rather than mere knowledge about God. In his zeal he sometimes overstates his case, that is, he inadvertently minimizes the role of biblical truth, but on the whole he presents a very balanced and moving case.
Tozer is passionate about God and he simply wants others to share this passion with him. He wants the slumbering body of Christ to arise and behold the glory of her Lord and enter into deep communion with him.
“The modern scientist has lost God amid the wonders of His world; we Christians are in real danger of losing God amid the wonders of His Word. We have almost forgotten that God is a person and, as such, can be cultivated as any person can. It is inherent in personality to be able to know other personalities, but full knowledge of one person by another cannot be achieved in one encounter. It is only after long and loving mental intercourse that the full possibilities of both can be explored” (13).
Thus, Tozer writes “deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God” (17). He is not so much interested in the religious externals of this pursuit, that is, precisely what a person does to go hard after God, rather, he’s more concerned with focusing our attention on the fact that God himself is the point of the pursuit. It is only when we long for God himself with a great passion that the religious externals take on meaning and the fruit of the Spirit is born in and through our lives.
“When religion has had its last word, there is little that we need other than God himself. The evil habit of seeking God-and effectively prevents us from finding God in full revelation. In the and lies our great woe. If we omit the and we shall soon find God, and in Him we shall find that for which we have all our lives been secretly longing” (18).
At a few points I wish Tozer would have stated his case somewhat differently but I must say that I could not agree more about the case he is making. How I long to have a “mighty longing for God,” one which totally consumes everything else in my life. I pray that you too will long for this kind of longing, and that together we will seek after and, by grace, “find God.”