The Pursuit of God (A.W. Tozer)
In recent times, my life’s cry and focus has been to seek after God and his presence above all else. You know how mystic and somewhat unattainable the topic of God’s presence can easily be, so this book was an easy draw given the season I am in.
“To have found God and still pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love.” ― Tozer
In this book, Tozer brings the scripture “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God…” (Psalms 42:1 NKJV) to life. He gives language to the hunger that exists in us as we wish or pray for the more of God. It will draw one to go beyond being satisfied with just Sunday church attendance. The book is so practical that I doubt one would be able to read it through without moments of pause, awe and worship. I had MANY such moments.
He simplifies our approach towards God in a number of ways; all of which are helpful. I will only look at two.
One is by likening it to the way one would approach any human relationship. If you’d like to improve a friendship or any relationship, you won’t just read about it or talk to others about it. In this era of social media, we don’t often really take time to pause and study and ponder much of anything anymore. We skim through and go on to the next thing. In our pursuit to strengthening relationships, one will also go to the person and make it a priority to find out what makes them tick and with intention go after what delights them in that way. Pursuit towards God is much the same: a constant ‘going after’ just as we do with natural relationships. It is however not easy doing this to an invincible Being which is one of the things that can make people feel intimidated by going after this. Others see this as ‘works’ and as such, give it a miss and thus miss out on incredible experiences with the ‘person’ of Jesus.
“Jesus calls us to his rest, and meekness is His method. The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort.”―
One of the other approaches that stuck to my mind is that of the ‘blessedness of possessing nothing.’ The idea behind this as I understand it anyway, is not that one should not own anything, but more so that we are to be mindful of not clinging so much to our possessions (family, careers, wealth etc), to the detriment of our ultimate possession – HIM. At times we can prioritize everything else and lose our grip and gaze off of him. I suppose the idea of ‘having stuff but not allowing stuff to have you’ comes to mind here. As I grow in life (financial especially), I force myself to constantly deny self, remember my source, evaluate my priorities, and check the state of my heart with the sobering thought that all this is temporal, and that I am to live with an eternal mindset.
Lastly, the prayers at the end of each chapter are a great guide since we sometimes struggle with the ‘how’ of starting us off on our journey to deeper intimacy with Christ. This is a book I will go back to time and time again.