If you are thirsting for more of God, Tozer’s timeless classic will draw you into a deep, abiding relationship with the One who “nourishes the soul.” This spiritual masterpiece exposes the roadblocks that keep us from fully knowing God, reveals our responsibility of the pursuit, and ultimately leads us into the very presence of God Himself. Much of what you read here came out of the crucible of Tozer’s own personal experience. Dr. David J. Fant, Jr., one of Tozer’s biographers, said that “Tozer literally wrote The Pursuit of God on his knees. Perhaps that explains its power and the blessing that has rested on it.”
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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.”
Are you thirsting for more of God? So was A. W. Tozer. His resulting classic work The Pursuit of God is a guide for the believer for how to have a deeper, abiding relationship with the One the author says "nourishes the soul."
Tozer opens the book—a culmination of his personal journey to better understand the essence of God's nature—with a chapter titled "Following Hard after God." In it Tozer states why human beings pursue God: "Because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit." He then explores this intercourse between man and God and how it is deeply personal to the individual. Tozer encourages readers that "the man who has God for his treasure" has all things forever.
He then presents a chapter on the blessedness of possessing nothing and why it's crucial for the believer to take this concept seriously.
A journey into what it means to enter the Holy of Holies in God's heavenly tabernacle, to go "within the veil," follows. Here Tozer helps readers understand the mystery of what Jesus did through his death by opening a way for every worshiper "to come by the new and living way straight into the divine Presence."
In one of the most powerful and moving chapters of the book entitled "God's Speaking Voice," Tozer boldly declares God has never stopped speaking:
God is here, and He is speaking—these truths are the back of all other Bible truths; without them, there could be no revelation at all. God did not write a book and send it by messenger to be read at a distance by unaided minds. He spoke a Book and lives in His spoken words, constantly speaking His words and causing the power of them to persist across the years.
And in a poignant exploration of the doctrine of faith, Tozer focuses on the importance of faith to the life of the believer's soul, defining his understanding of faith as "the gaze of a soul upon a saving God."
He finishes the book, what many call "a masterpiece," by considering how people tend to divide the sacred and the secular—and how dividing life into two such departments ultimately impacts a person's relationship with God.
Though many resources focus on what it means to follow God, Tozer's The Pursuit of God moves readers to a deeper level of pursuing God wholeheartedly and making every deed, big and small, a "priestly ministration."
“For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.” (Page 9)
“God wills that we should push on into His presence and live our whole life there.” (Page 34)
“We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit. ‘No man can come to me,’ said our Lord, ‘except the Father which hath sent me draw him’ (John 6:44), and it is by this prevenient drawing that God takes from us every vestige of credit for the act of coming. The impulse to pursue God originates with God, but the outworking of that impulse is our following hard after Him. All the time we are pursuing Him we are already in His hand: ‘Thy right hand upholdeth me.’” (Pages 11–12)
“He had everything, but he possessed nothing. There is the spiritual secret. There is the sweet theology of the heart which can be learned only in the school of renunciation.” (Page 27)
“God’s gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution.” (Page 22)