This collection of 52 favorite chapters represents the major themes from the works of A. W. Tozer. Each reveals deep, refreshing insight, conviction and originality of thought. Excerpts from such Tozer classics include The Pursuit of God, Of God and Men and Born After Midnight. Warren Wiersbe, who compiled the text, says, “A. W. Tozer had the gift of taking a spiritual truth and holding it up to the light so that, like a diamond, every facet was seen and admired.”
Aiden Wilson Tozer (1897-1963) was born on a small farm in what is now Newburg, PA. His family moved to Akron, Ohio, when he was just a young boy. At the age of 17, Tozer heard a street preacher, responded to the calling of Christ, and began his lifelong pursuit of God. After becoming an active witness of Jesus as a lay preacher, he joined The Christian and Missionary Alliance and was soon serving as the pastor of West Virginia’s Alliance Church, in 1919. He transferred to the Southside Alliance Church in Chicago in 1928, and his ministry continued there for 31 years. During that time he preached on the Moody Bible Institute’s radio station. In the 1940s Tozer was invited to speak at Wheaton College, and seldom a year passed after World War II that he didn’t preach in the college’s Pierce Chapel. In 1950 he became the editor of The Alliance Life magazine and served in that capacity until his death.
Self-taught, with no formal Bible training, Tozer has been called a twentieth-century prophet within his own lifetime. Through years of diligent study and constant prayer, he sought the mind of God. A master craftsman in the use of the English language, he was able to write in a simple, cogent style the principles of truth he had learned. For Tozer, “there was no substitute for knowing God firsthand.” He wrote many of his books with one idea in mind—that his reader would achieve the heart’s true goal in God and maintain that relationship with Him.
Tozer moved to Toronto in 1959 and spent the final years of his life as the pastor of Avenue Road Church. He and his wife, Ada, lived a simple, non-materialistic lifestyle and let much of the royalties from his books go to those in need. The Tozers had seven children, six boys and one girl. James L. Snyder, said of Tozer that his “preaching as well as his writings were but extensions of his prayer life. He had the ability to make his listeners face themselves in the light of what God was saying to them.”
“The best way to control our thoughts is to offer the mind to God in complete surrender. The Holy Spirit will accept it and take control of it immediately. Then it will be relatively easy to think on spiritual things, especially if we train our thought by long periods of daily prayer. Long practice in the art of mental prayer (that is, talking to God inwardly as we work or travel) will help to form the habit of holy thought.” (Page 45)
“How tragic that we in this dark day have had our seeking done for us by our teachers. Everything is made to center upon the initial act of ‘accepting’ Christ (a term, incidentally, which is not found in the Bible) and we are not expected thereafter to crave any further revelation of God to our souls. We have been snared in the coils of a spurious logic which insists that if we have found Him we need no more seek Him.” (Page 17)
“‘What must I do to be saved?’ The answer was always the same: surrender to Christ; get to know God personally; grow to become like Him.” (Page 7)
“All our heartaches and a great many of our physical ills spring directly out of our sins. Pride, arrogance, resentfulness, evil imaginings, malice, greed: these are the sources of more human pain than all the diseases that ever afflicted mortal flesh.” (Page 29)
“The evil habit of seeking God-and effectively prevents us from finding God in full revelation. In the ‘and’ lies our great woe. If we omit the ‘and,’ we shall soon find God, and in Him we shall find that for which we have all our lives been secretly longing.” (Page 18)
A. W. Tozer (1897–1963) was a dynamic preacher, prolific writer, and a no-nonsense man of God. Aiden Wilson Tozer responded to the call of Christ at the age of 17. After becoming an active witness of Jesus as a lay preacher, he joined The Christian and Missionary Alliance and was soon serving as the pastor of West Virginia’s Alliance Church.
In 1928, he transferred to the Southside Alliance Church in Chicago where he served for 31 years. During that time he preached on the Moody Bible Institute’s radio station and was often invited to speak at Wheaton College in Pierce Chapel. Tozer spent the final years of his life as the pastor of Avenue Road Church in Toronto and the editor of The Alliance Life magazine.