“We pursue God, because and only because, He first put an urge in us to pursuit.” Thus begins A.W.Tozer’s treatise on “The Pursuit of God”. Tozer, filled with the thrill of knowing and pursuing God, encourages the reader to be filled with this same joy of following hard after his Maker.
In his usual poetic prose he encourages us to be children of ‘the burning heart’, responding in a personal way to the God who created us and longs to have fellowship with us.
“In the deep heart of man is a shrine where none but God is worthy to come.” We were created for His good pleasure. Sin has complicated this in everyman’s heart. Idols sit on the throne where only Jesus should sit. The self-life of ‘me and mine’, always seeking to possess, can only be defeated at the cross. The true surrendered heart is what God desires. “Because God has made us for Himself, our hearts are restless until they rest in Him” - Augustine.
Tozer explains the importance of seeking life in God alone. “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever” – Westminster Catechism. To enter into His presence behind the veil should be our goal. At the heart of the Christian message is God Himself waiting for His redeemed children to push into conscious awareness of His presence.
Remunerating the attributes of God, our knowledge of Him stimulates our love for Him. The highest love of God is not intellectual. It is spiritual. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” John 4:24.
Our goal is to apprehend God, Tozar affirms. We must grow in personal experience. Psalms 34:8 “O taste and see that the Lord, He is good.” We can know God like any other person, and he longs for this fellowship with us. God has given us five physical senses. He has also given us spiritual faculties. Obey the Spirit’s urging and begin to use them. Faith enables these senses to function. Don’t push the spiritual world into the future. Relationship with the Creator of the universe is available to all who seek it today.
Be conscious of the fact that God is always with us, as we gaze on His creation, as we seek to have fellowship with Him. “Our pursuit of God is successful just because, He is forever seeking to manifest Himself to us.” We see and read of the mighty men of God. We read their stories. They are no different from us. Something in them urged them God-ward. When they felt the longing they did something about it. They followed hard after God, and their lives are a tribute to the adventures they found in Him.
God is a God who speaks. “In the beginning was the Word”, John 1:1. God spoke through the Word, Jesus, and His written word, the scriptures. He speaks through creation and revelation. Everyone hears that voice, saved or unsaved. We have the choice of how we answer Him. Respond and have a life of loving communication with our heavenly Father, or ignore it and go our own way to our destruction.
Seek His face. Gaze on the beauty of the Almighty! Heb 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus…” Faith comes from knowing Him, who He is, what He does. Develop the habit of looking for Him in everything that happens. “When the eyes of the soul looking out meet the eyes of God looking in, heaven has begun right here on earth.” All of the pursuit of God, this seeking and finding, this trust and hope will result in meekness and rest. By nature we all carry the burden of sin, many of our heartaches and illnesses are a direct result of our failure. It is a crushing thing. Rest is a release from that burden, the burden of pride, arrogance, resentfulness, bitterness. It is not something we do, it comes when we cease to do; His own meekness is our rest. Meek man cares not at all who is greater than he. In himself nothing; in God everything. “Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”, Matt. 11:28. Do all you do to the glory and exaltation of God and peace will rule your lives.
This little book is a gem. A powerful reminder in a small volume of the importance of following hard after our Lord, of forsaking this world and living in His glorious realm, of taking our eyes off of ourselves and onto our precious Savior. Only then will we be fit for the good works He has appointed for us to accomplish. This little book should be in every Christian’s library to be read again and again as a reminder of the need and reward of pursuing our God.
Book review written by Diane Caston