Monday, November 17, 2008

Wisdom from A.W. Tozer

During a train trip from Chicago to Texas in the late 1940s, A.W. Tozer began to write The Pursuit of God. He wrote all night, and when the train arrived at his destination, the rough draft was done. The following is an excerpt from that work:

Every age has its own characteristics. Right now we are in an age of religious complexity. The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us. In its stead are programs, methods, organizations and a world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart. The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship, and that servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we, in this day, know God only imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely at all.

If we would find God amid all the religious externals we must first determine to find Him, and then proceed in the way of simplicity. Now as always God discovers Himself to "babes" and hides Himself in thick darkness from the wise and the prudent. We must simplify our approach to Him. We must strip down to essentials (and they will be found to be blessedly few). We must put away all effort to impress, and come with the guileless candor of childhood. If we do this, without doubt God will quickly respond.

When religion has said its last word, there is little that we need other than God Himself. 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.

I find it interesting how “current” the thinking of Tozer is today even though this was written sixty years ago. We are caught up in an age where many fail to realize the peace that only God brings. We are too busy; we are too “intelligent” to simplify our approach to Him. It is time for us to seek God and not God-and something more. There is nothing more. When we truly make knowing God our highest priority, everything else will fall into place. This is simply another way to say, “But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well,” (Matthew 6:33).
Seek God first. It is that simple and that complex. When are we going to abandon our misplaced priorities and come with child-like faith to the Father? When we do that, everything else will fall into place!

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