I want to take this opportunity to announce that I would very much like to include you, dear reader, in my journey towards spiritual leadership validation (S.L.V.), also known among the ranks of the clergy as ‘Ordination.’ To do this, I plan on briefly reviewing here each book I read along the way. I’ll also be sharing abbreviated versions of position papers I will be writing on such topics as ‘Christ our Savior,’ ‘Sanctifier,’ ‘Healer’ and ‘Coming King.’ Today, I’m sharing some of my insights and observations from a spiritual classic by A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God.
According to the author, the purpose of this book is simple – to help Christians go beyond the stale satisfaction of learning the orthodox truths about God so they might instead be satiated with God Himself.
“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…There may be a right opinion of God without either love or one right temper toward Him. Satan is a proof of this…This book is a modest attempt to aid God’s hungry children so to find Him” (Tozer 9,10).
In the span of 10 short chapters, Tozer makes a case for the importance of pursuing God Himself, even after we are saved. “God always comes previous,” he encourages, affirming the central role of grace in the process of ‘being made holy,’ but he doesn’t shy away from the role of human choice – “In practice, however, (that is, where God’s previous working meets man’s present response) man must pursue God. On our part there must be positive reciprocation if this secret drawing of God is to eventuate in identifiable experience of the Divine.” His summary of this life-long journey ‘towards’ God? “To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love” (Tozer 12,13,15).
So how do we ‘pursue’ God? Next time I’ll share some of my favorite quotes from the various chapters that have deeply spoken to me and, I trust, will speak into your journey as well.