Tag Archives: Finding God

A.W. Tozer on The Pursuit of God

In this hour of all-but-universal darkness one cheering gleam appears: within the fold of conservative Christianity there are to be found increasing numbers of persons whose religious lives are marked by a growing hunger after God Himself. They are eager for spiritual realities and will not be put off with words, nor will they be content with correct “interpretations” of truth. They are athirst for God, and they will not be satisfied till they have drunk deep at the Fountain of Living Water.

This is the only real harbinger of revival which I have been able to detect anywhere on the religious horizon. It may be the cloud the size of a man’s hand for which a few saints here and there have been looking. It can result in a resurrection of life for many souls and a recapture of that radiant wonder which should accompany faith in Christ, that wonder which has all but fled the Church of God in our day.

But this hunger must be recognized by our religious leaders. Current evangelicalism has (to change the figure) laid the altar and divided the sacrifice into parts, but now seems satisfied to count the stones and rearrange the pieces with never a care that there is not a sign of fire upon the top of lofty Carmel. But God be thanked that there are a few who care. They are those who, while they love the altar and delight in the sacrifice, are yet unable to reconcile themselves to the continued absence of fire. They desire God above all. They are athirst to taste for themselves the “piercing sweetness” of the love of Christ about Whom all the holy prophets did write and the psalmists did sing.

There is today no lack of Bible teachers to set forth correctly the principles of the doctrines of Christ, but too many of these seem satisfied to teach the fundamentals of the faith year after year, strangely unaware that there is in their ministry no manifest Presence, nor anything unusual in their personal lives. They minister constantly to believers who feel within their breasts a longing which their teaching simply does not satisfy.

I trust I speak in charity, but the lack in our pulpits is real. Milton’s terrible sentence applies to our day as accurately as it did to his: “The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed.” It is a solemn thing, and no small scandal in the Kingdom, to see God’s children starving while actually seated at the Father’s table. The truth of Wesley’s words is established before our eyes: “Orthodoxy, or right opinion, is, at best, a very slender part of religion. Though right tempers cannot subsist without right opinions, yet right opinions may subsist without right tempers. There may be a right opinion of God without either love or one right temper toward Him. Satan is a proof of this.”

Thanks to our splendid Bible societies and to other effective agencies for the dissemination of the Word, there are today many millions of people who hold “right opinions,” probably more than ever before in the history of the Church. Yet I wonder if there was ever a time when true spiritual worship was at a lower ebb. To great sections of the Church the art of worship has been lost entirely, and in its place has come that strange and foreign thing called the “program.” This word has been borrowed from the stage and applied with sad wisdom to the type of public service which now passes for worship among us.

Sound Bible exposition is an imperative must in the Church of the Living God. Without it no church can be a New Testament church in any strict meaning of that term. But exposition may be carried on in such way as to leave the hearers devoid of any true spiritual nourishment whatever. For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.

This book is a modest attempt to aid God’s hungry children so to find Him. Nothing here is new except in the sense that it is a discovery which my own heart has made of spiritual realities most delightful and wonderful to me. Others before me have gone much farther into these holy mysteries than I have done, but if my fire is not large it is yet real, and there may be those who can light their candle at its flame.


Taken from the preface of The Pursuit of God, by A.W. Tozer.

Finding God's Will

Men who follow after God are often asked, “how does God guide you?” Is it by signs and wonders or a still small voice? Perhaps he guides through open and closed doors or through fleeces laid out? Does God bring to mind things from his word or while in prayer? Is there a special peace that accompanies such leadings? Where does godly council fit in?

I may not be very holy, and I have not followed after God for very long or followed him very well, but I have my answer to such questions. It is not a matter of how to follow but a matter if we will follow at all. The leading of God is not dependent upon the skill of the follower but on that of the leader. No one sings songs about how well they follow after God. Instead, we sing, “He leadeth me! He leadeth me! By his own hand he leadeth me!”

This is a wonder too great to express without the aid of the Holy Ghost. Follow after him and he will lead you. Can it really be that simple? Yes! As surely as he led Abraham and Moses across desert lands, so too will he lead you. As trustworthy as he was with Müller and Taylor, so too will he be with you. This promise is to you and to your children and to all who are far off. He will be your God, and you will be his people. He will be that voice behind you that says; “Here is the way, walk in it.”

Do not concern yourself with how that voice will sound. You might as well fret over whether the voice will be a tenor or baritone as ask whether it will be a sign or a gentle feeling. More than likely, the leading will come in a completely unexpected way. God delights to blow our socks off, he doesn’t often meet our expectations—he explodes them.

Yet I will answer the question asked. God often leads me by not leading me. He lets me go on in silence, not knowing what I am doing. Then later, he turns my head to look back at what has been accomplished since I last found my bearings and I see something wonderful. I see every step carefully placed in the exact right spot. I see that if I had gone to the left or to the right, some disaster would have befallen, yet God led me perfectly though the treacherous minefield—never letting me misstep. I believe that he does it this way, so that I might have full assurance that it was due to no skill of my own. The amazing thing that God accomplished was never in my head: I never knew about it until after it was already too late for me to impact it. Yet it was through my hand that God worked his might upon the world.

Our God is amazing.

Stop trying to figure him out and start following after him!

A Story of Regeneration

Who doesn’t like a good conversion story?
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFGDDfGGTDE[/youtube]
Besides being heart-warming, this video is a good example to those struggling with their view of regeneration of what it looks like in reality.

If you like Paul Washer, here are a couple of longer videos that I like of him:

What Is Owed Us?

Like everything else in Christianity, communion is never owed to the Christian. There is a large temptation when seeking after God, to think, “If I do this particular thing, then God will owe me his presence.” The older, wiser Christian learns that this is wrong fairly quickly, but then often gets stuck in a more mature version of the same thought: “If I do this particular thing, with the right attitude, then God will owe me his presence.” This is just as wrong as the first thought.

How long will it be, until we learn the truth of the words, “Apart from me you can do nothing.”

The beginning of that phrase says this, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

I often mistakenly look at this as a commandment that can be followed. If I abide in God, then I will be able to do things. So I must first abide in God. That must be something I, in my own power, am able to do. If not in my own power, then there must be something that I can do, that God will always reward by drawing near to me. In my experience, there is no such thing. Instead, the words, “Apart from me you can do nothing” apply even to our abiding with God.

What must we do then? Apply the principle taught in 2Tim 2:24-25(ref). We read our Bibles, we pray, we do everything we can to humble ourselves and exult in the Lord. Yet even in all of that, God will likely never draw near if we say to ourselves; “Look at what a good job I am doing.” Instead, say to yourself, “God may perhaps grant me repentance.” It is not owed for our service, but God delights to give it, so we wait on it, we look for it around every corner.

Then, so often, it comes. It comes unexpectedly: in my experience, always unexpectedly. Joy floods in.

God, may we have this attitude in everything we do, that we will, in humility, run hard after you, saying all the while, “God may perhaps grant repentance.”

A Seeker's Prayer

I was ministering to someone and wrote this prayer for her. I had hoped to write it as a prayer that someone who was seeking God could pray as a non-Christian (what her state seemed to be) but would also be appropriate for her if she already knew God.

Oh God most high and holy, I understand
    that you are worthy to be praised with my every breath,
    and loved with all the love that I am able to offer
        and more besides.

Occupy the throne of my heart,
Take full possession of my life
    and reign supreme in me.
Tear aside every sin in my life
    and make yourself my highest love.
Don't allow my vile passions and lusts
    to resist your Spirit in this work
Show me your mighty power in this way
    and make me yours forever.

I am learning what it means,
    that I am dead in my sins and iniquities.
I have done so many things that I know are grievous to you.
    More than that, I have not loved you as I should:
        with all of my heart, soul, and mind.
I confess all of these sins before you.
I come to you knowing
    that I have no right, of myself, to do so;
    but that you have purchased my right
        to make this request to you
    you welcome poor sinners
        to come to you and find rest and freedom.
So I ask:
    please free me from my sins,
    please give me rest in you.

I understand that your son, Jesus Christ,
    has died to save wicked people, like me, from their sins.
He took on the sins of the world,
    that hopeless sinners might be declared righteous and holy.
Help me to understand,
    that righteousness is hid with Christ on high;
    that I am not more righteous when I am living rightly
    nor am I less righteous when I am living sinfully;
    but if I trust in my own good behavior,
        I am completely wicked before you;
    but if I trust in Christ,
        I am as righteous as you are
            because I trust in your holiness
                applied to me on the cross.
            and this righteousness is the same
                yesterday, today, and forever.

Then teach me to live on you
    and to live for you.
Guide me down paths of righteousness
    that I might live all of life for your namesake.
Teach me how to live as Christ lived,
    that I might resemble you.

I throw myself to your care.
I know that I cannot save myself,
    I have tried and only found failure.
Great God in heaven, save me.