Sunday, June 03, 2007

A.W. Tozer, Pursuit of God

One of my favorite Christian authors is A. W. Tozer, an American pastor in the first half last century described as a Christian mystic.

One of Sarah Stone's posts reminded me of his work, so I was thumbing through his classic, The Pursuit of God, this morning. Here's a quotation that was a big deal for me when I was a young Christian.

"I do not want to leave the impression that the ordinary means of grace have no value. They most assuredly have. Private prayer should be practiced by every Christian. Long periods of Bible meditation will purify our gaze and direct it; church attendance will enlarge our outlook and increase our love for others. Service and work and activity; all are good and should be engaged in by every Christian. But at the bottom of all these things, giving meaning to them, will be the inward habit of beholding God. A new set of eyes (so to speak) will develop within us enabling us to be looking at God while our outward eyes are seeing the scenes of this passing world."

Thoughts? Do you think he's right?


Ben Dubow said...

Thanks for sharing that quotation Brad. Tozer's works are classic!

I agree with his notion of the eyes... similarly I believe we need to do the same thing with our ears... bothtuning into heaven and tuning in to what is happening in from of us on earth. It is then--when our eyes and ears are right--that we will be able to be prompted by the Holy Spirit in so many ways...

Great stuff for a Sunday morning!

Brad Wright said...

Good point about the ears... more of a continuous awareness of God as we go through the day.

This contrasts with how I proceed sometimes, with various chunks of God-focused time during the week (prayer, bible reading, church services)and the rest "real life" that doesn't though informed by my God beliefs, doesn't necessarily involve God.

Sigh... think I need to read Tozer again.

S.S.Stone said...

I get more out of private meditative prayer than I do at mass - once debated my pastor I failed to see the need/importance of going to church.. all about sharing/celebrating as community- realize that now but at the time was resistive in my thinking..

"both tuning into heaven and tuning in to what is happening ...... on earth" -very nice. What better way to know the Spirit than being totally open to Him, in mind & body.

"continuous awareness of God as we go through the day"...yes, seeing God in all things...reminds me of a time when I came out of noon mass on campus -the homily was about seeing GOD in all things especially in others. A man stood waiting for me,he had backed his car into my only mode of trasportation, crushing my bike beyond repair..He was sooo apologetic-my first thoughts were:" ok, now you have to see Jesus in this man!" and I did..due in part of just hearing "the Word"...I remember that day well! I thought the Spirit was really putting me to the test to see if the WORD rang true in my heart.*smile*

Casey Ross said...

Tozer is one of my favorites. Knowledge of the Holy is always on my current reading list.

The ability to go throughout the day and see and hear life through God's perspective is an amazing gift. Oftentimes, though, you may wish you could go back and see and hear life through the old lens. The lens we've constructed over the years is much safer and more manageable. You cannot ignore people and life when you see and hear it as God sees and hears it.

Brad Wright said...

Sarah, I'm certainly happiest when I'm consistently doing meditative prayer... a wonderful counterbalance to the busyness and thoughtlessness of everyday life. I just hope that I have people run over my bike to teach me lessons!

Casey, sadly I spent too much time in my old lens, for the reasons you cite. Safety, familiarity, etc... I cycle in and out of awareness of these things, and when I'm in, I also wonder why I spent so much time out!

Knumb said...

"The Practice of the Presence of God" by (or more, about) Brother Lawrence is close to this concept.

Reading this post, I hear a bell ringing that I am practicing the presence of my job, my hobbies, and honey-dos... and financial concerns. When I do turn to God, it's during a spot in my day.

Hmmm.... I need to keep my eyes, ears, and other senses more open.

Mike & Netty said...

A.W. Tozer is a precious saint that has been instrumental in our journey of sanctification! God bless.