Theology Thursday: Intentional Pursuit of God
Aiden Wilson Tozer, (1897-1963) was known as an author, pastor and dedicated shepherd to align people with Jesus. Pastoring churches most of his life, he was connected to the challenges of Christian living as well as his continued hunger to know God better. Just after the turn of the century, prior to television, cell phones and the world of tech in which we live, Tozer was concerned for the distractive influences that would rob Christians of their dedication to Jesus Christ.1
In This Article:
A Life Pursuing God
Probably one of Tozer’s best-known books was, “The Pursuit of God”. Written on an overnight train ride armed with just a Bible, pen and a notepad, this message has penetrated the hearts of many Christians for decades who have passionately desired for more of the Lord in their lives.
It is interesting to note that so much of the words of Tozer were almost prophetic for today as he painted a picture of a sick and self-absorbed church if we did not realign ourselves with the simple gospel message. Moreover, he also noted the potential for the church to slide into apathy and no longer pursue God, instead expecting him just to show up for them. Tozer suggests that the current generation of Christians are not as patient and does not tolerate waiting. This generation struggles with time-consuming practices to reach their goals.1
The ironic note about this is that Tozer died in 1963!1 Far from the time-consuming tools we have today that distract us from entering a simple intimate relationship with God. Perhaps it is best just to let Tozer’s words stand for themselves when he challenged his congregation and all his readers to pursue God and not get distracted from the world. He summed up much of the maladies of the church by claiming that people are becoming superficial in their faith. People expect entertainment from going to the church, and forget to understand that their religious belief is lacking depth.1
As it may be understood, Tozer did not acquire a following of people that wanted a “feel good” faith, but sober-minded people desiring the challenge to know God better.
A Life Crucified in Christ
Further chiseling away at the life of this world that diverts us from the call of God and godly living, Tozer continues challenging our faith in another significant and personally convicting work of “The Crucified Life.” He defined this life as, “a life wholly given over to the Lord in absolute humility and obedience: a sacrificial pleasing to the Lord.”1
He also clearly expressed the opposition to attaining this life. Tozer explains that we take too much pride in ourselves. We put up a good front and try to hide what we perceive as less than ideal in order to save our reputation and authority.1 This was the challenge to enter into this life of intimacy with Christ Jesus. First, one must come to grips with his or herself. Putting that old self to death, a surrender to Christ begins to well up from a heart that is dedicated to the transforming power of the cross.
A Life Walking in the Spirit
Tozer’s profound teaching on the need and reality of the Holy Spirit saturating a Christian life still echoes a reality today. Those that hunger for more of the presence of God in their heart and lifestyle choose to walk in the Spirit with the Holy Spirit as a guide. Tozer's powerful invitation leaves no question. He asks you welcome the Holy Spirit to fill you completely so you can walk in Jesus' footsteps and stand against the world's "easy ways" — opposing evil and wrongdoings.1
The call to holiness, the joy of living in communion with a living and powerful God, the way of life that leads to heaven was the message of A. W. Tozer. His model of loving God within the depths of our soul motivates us to explore more deeply the yet experienced horizons of God’s goodness, provision and power.
Do you want to further explore the powerful influences of our faith? The theology and ministry programs offered by GCU’s College of Theology can provide you with Christ-centered instruction to guide you on your mission. Read more Theology Thursday and fill out the form on this page to learn more.
1 Tozer, A. W. (2017). The Essential Tozer Collection. Bethany House Publishers.
Approved by the faculty for the College of Theology on May 10, 2023.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.
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