Several years ago my former employer, Moody Publishers, acquired almost every book A.W. Tozer (1897–1963) ever wrote.
In God’s kindness, I had just started working at Moody—and my job included reading every book we would print.
So I read a lot of Tozer. I found in him a lifelong conversation partner.
Tozer is invigorating and infuriating. Invigorating because his love for God and skill with language combine to move hearts as few authors do. Infuriating (I jest) because you can’t read a chapter without being deeply convicted.
I’m particularly fond of The Pursuit of God, Born After Midnight, and The Christian Book of Mystical Verse (a compilation of poems and hymns from across the centuries). I was glad to see them included in the A.W. Tozer Collection, along with many others I’ve heartily recommended over the years.
Here is an especially moving reflection from The Root of the Righteous, which is also included in the collection.
God Is Easy to Live With
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
From a failure to properly understand God comes a world of unhappiness among good Christians even today. The Christian life is thought to be a glum, unrelieved cross-carrying under the eye of a stern Father who expects much and excuses nothing. He is austere, peevish, highly temperamental and extremely hard to please. The kind of life which springs out of such libelous notions must of necessity be but a parody on the true life in Christ.
It is most important to our spiritual welfare that we hold in our minds always a right conception of God. If we think of him as cold and exacting, we shall find it impossible to love him, and our lives will be ridden with servile fear. If, again, we hold him to be kind and understanding, our whole inner life will mirror that idea.
The truth is that God is the most winsome of all beings and his service one of unspeakable pleasure. He is all love, and those who trust him need never know anything but that love. He is just indeed and he will not condone sin; but through the blood of the everlasting covenant he is able to act toward us exactly as if we had never sinned. Toward the trusting sons of men his mercy will always triumph over justice.
The fellowship of God is delightful beyond all telling. He communes with his redeemed ones in an easy, uninhibited fellowship that is restful and healing to the soul. He is not sensitive or selfish nor temperamental. What he is today we shall find him tomorrow and the next day and the next year. He is not hard to please, though he may be hard to satisfy. He expects of us only what he has himself first supplied.
If you want a good recommendation for reading Tozer, start with The Pursuit of God. In my humble opinion, it’s a book every Christian should read.