As a freshman at the University of Illinois in 1983, I began attending Twin City Bible Church in Champaign. Before too long, I received an invitation to the Pastor’s house for an afternoon of getting to know him and his wife, along with some other folks in the church.
I don’t recall much about that gathering, but one of the get-to-know-you questions was regarding books, and a fellow newcomer mentioned A.W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God as a favorite. Whatever he said piqued my curiosity, and before too long, I picked it up and I found myself reading this classic.
Classic is the right word. Tozer was a pastor in Chicago in the mid-20th century who didn’t own a car, ostensibly so that he could get to know his parishioners who needed to drive him around. Kind of quirky, but not an altogether bad idea I suppose. Nevertheless, whatever his pecularities, he was a man on fire for the Triune God, and his love for Christ is displayed gloriously.
If you’ve not read it, it’s definitely in my top 2 or 3 books on prayer. While I wouldn’t exalt all the same “seeking saints” as he does in the book, there is no question that Tozer himself was like David, a “man after God’s own heart.”
Here’s a sample:
“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. This is set before us as the last word in orthodoxy, and it is taken for granted that no Bible-taught Christian ever believed otherwise.
“In the midst of this great chill there are some, I rejoice to acknowledge, who will not be content with shallow logic. They will admit the force of the argument, and then turn away with tears to hunt some lonely place and pray, “O God, show me thy glory.” They want to taste, to touch with their hearts, to see with their inner eyes the wonder that is God. I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God…”