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The Pursuit of God


Among his works, A.W. Tozer’s most notable piece is probably “The Pursuit of God”. It’s a book that’s on my list for rotational re-readings. It has now come up and I’m going through it again.

AW Tozer changed my mind about a lot of things pertaining to the topic. I’ve grown in my understanding and discovery of God through that book. I highly recommend that you read it. I believe “The Pursuit of God” is in public domain. You can download a free PDF copy courtesy of The NTS Library.

What is the pursuit of God?

The pursuit of God is a chasing after. It’s tracing or tracking evidences of His presence. Finding out where He’s been, trailing to discover where He is or where He will be. It’s profiling and grasping His identity.

Are you pursuing God?

When you pursue God, the object of your pursuit is Him. Now, you may think that’s an easy and obvious given. But it’s not so simple. Christians can falsely believe that they are pursuing God when all they’re after is what He can give and what He can do for them.

One can be deep in prayer yet fail to pursue God. And it’s quite telling when the conversations you have with Him mostly revolve around your life instead of Him' around your plans instead of Him; around your petitions or requests. instead of His Heart.

In Matthew 6:32-33, Jesus reminds us of the simple fact that God is already aware of our needs. And when we pray, God wants a real conversation with us. God desires that we pursue Him first and foremost. God desires that we love the Giver more than the gifts.

Pursue God the right way

There are wrong ways to pursuing God and we must examine whether our methods are right.

1. Accumulating knowledge is not the pursuit of God.

One can get addicted to accumulating knowledge in the belief that the way to pursue is to know ABOUT Him. That’s an entirely different thing.

You can read all the books. Go from the beginning of Scriptures down to the end. You can immerse yourself in Christian writings and never encounter God.

Case, in particular, would be the Pharisees. Jesus cited in John 5:36 how they searched the Scriptures thinking they got it all figured out. Yet in all their studies, they couldn’t come to realize and trust that Jesus was the Messiah.

2. Focusing on “supernatural personal revelation” is not the pursuit of God.

Our supernatural God will encounter us in supernatural ways. But focusing on that as your main means of pursuing God is wrong.

I’ve met people who’d rather wait for some “special revelation” than open the Scriptures and discover God there. I’ve seen Christians who kept waiting for unnatural signs in order to perceive God and His will. 

The Bible has been written and preserved to this day for those very purposes; to discover God and to determine His will for our lives. The Bible is God speaking to us, revealing Himself to us.

We must be careful to pursue God in the right way. Else, we will never cross paths with Him. Scriptures, of course, take a foundational role.

Other factors come into play. We must trust. We must yield. We must trade our preconceived notions and plans for His truth and direction for our lives. We must take the Bible’s principles and in childlike trust, make them our own. We must take the promises of Scriptures and put them to the test.

Like when God promises to give you the wisdom you need, seek His Word and take time to deliberate instead of hastily making a decision or acting according to your own instinct and planning.

When God promises that He will honor those who honor Him, step out in faith and respectfully stand up for your beliefs.

That’s how you encounter Him. That’s how you experientially witness God at work in your life. That’s how you know who He is. That is how you find Him. That is how you catch up to Him. And that is how He comes alongside you when you’re lagging close behind.

Let me end by sharing my reading notes on the Introduction to “The Pursuit of God”.

Reading: Introduction
Marked
Here is a masterly study of the inner life by a heart thirsting after God, eager to grasp at least the outskirts of His ways, the abyss of His love for sinners, and the height of His unapproachable majesty—
…The crowded ways of life, the cries of race and clan in haunts of wretchedness and need…dark with fears… paths where hide the lures of greed.” Above the noise of selfish strife, we hear Thy voice, O Son of Man.
It is the result of long meditation and much prayer. It is not a collection of sermons.
It does not deal with the pulpit and the pew but with the soul athirst for God. The chapters could be summarized in Moses’ prayer, “Show me thy glory,” or Paul’s exclamation, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”
It is theology not of the head but of the heart.
The ten chapters are heart searching and the prayers at the close of each are for the closet, not pulpit.

Personal Notes:
1. Samuel Wermer hit all the right spots in the introduction. Tozer’s book is exactly as he described it.
2. This book is less about increasing knowledge but more about increasing one’s awareness and understanding of the God he wants to grasp.
3. It aims to go past your head and through your heart.
4. Its contents drip from NOT one’s studious study and readings but one’s communion with God.
5. Indeed, one athirst for God realizes that the more he comes to know God, the less He actually knows about God and that he’s still got a long, long way to go.
6. When it comes to knowing God, we are barely scratching the surface.
7. In the chaos and distractions, God rises above and speaks. And if we just lift our eyes and ears off from self-preoccupation, we'll hear Him, we'll find Him.

Next up: Preface to The Pursuit of God

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