Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fall Into Reading Challenge: The Pursuit of God

I just finished up The Pursuit of God written by A.W. Tozer as part of the Fall Into Reading Challenge. For those of you, like me, who thought this might be an easy read by looking at the small size of the book... think again!! In perfect Tozer fashion this book is complex, in depth and takes many re-readings of certain "meaty" sections. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. But I almost wish I would have read it with a small group of some sort in order to discuss it and more fully reflect on some of the heavier topics throughout the book. Even now, only days after finishing the book, I'm still a little like "Wow... what did I just read?" Each chapter was powerful in and of itself but I often failed to draw the connection between each chapter.  To be completely honest it may have just been me and my "pregnant brain" too, and the fact that I typically read a chapter in the morning after/during my quiet time (not always my most alert moments of the day :)) 

A few of my favorite chapters in the book were on the presence of God, Faith and God's speaking Voice. 

I wanted to pull out a few of the quotes that stuck out to me as I read through these chapters:

"And always He is trying to get our attention, to reveal Himself to us, to communicate with us. We have within us the ability to know Him if we will but respond to His overtures. (And this we call pursuing God!) We will know Him in increasing degree as our receptivity becomes more perfect by faith and love and practice."

This was such a fresh reminder to me that if I will draw near to God He WILL draw near to me. His presence is all around me, all the time, He is waiting to reveal Himself to me.... am I paying attention, am I practicing looking for His presence? The results will far exceed anything I could hope for. I am so ready for that!! 

"God's word in the Bible can have power only because it corresponds to God's word in the universe. It is the present Voice which makes the written Word all-powerful." 
"It is important that we get still to wait on God. And it is best that we get alone, preferably with our Bible outspread before us. Then if we will we may draw near to God and begin to hear Him speak to us in our hearts. I think for the average person the progression will be something like this: First a sound as of a Presence walking in the garden. Then a voice, more intelligible, but still far from clear. Then the happy moment when the Spirit begins to illuminate the Scriptures, and that which has only been a sound, or at best a voice, now becomes an intelligible word, warm and intimate and clear as the word of a dear friend."

I have nothing to really add to this - I have had the true blessing of hearing God speak to my heart. It took a deliberate drawing near and quieting of my soul but, oh, how it was worth it. Those moments are some of the most treasured in my life. 

"Faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God.... Faith is a redirecting of our sight, a getting out of the focus of our own vision and getting God into focus." 

I love that Tozer defined faith without using the word believe - for me, this was helpful. Faith is an area in my spiritual life that I am currently praying for more of... for now, I suppose I will just leave it at that. 

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