How to Know God: The Unembarrassed Interchange of Love

He’s one of my absolute very favourite writers. A self-taught theologian, A.W. Tozer, was a pastor, writer and editor whose powerful use of words continues to grip the intellect and stir the soul of today’s reader. He came to be known as the Prophet of Today because of his penetrating work on more than 40 books on the deeper spiritual life. His book, The Pursuit of God, stays permanently on my nightstand. It’s a grace to welcome the writings of the distinguished A. W. Tozer to the farm’s front porch today…

by A.W. Tozer

God is a person, and in the deep of His mighty nature He thinks, wills, enjoys, feels loves, desires and suffers as any other person may.

In making Himself known to us He stays by the familiar pattern of personality.

He communicates with us through the avenues of our minds, our wills and our emotions.

The continuous and unembarrassed interchanged of love and thought between God and the soul of the redeemed man is the throbbing heart of New Testament religion. 

This intercourse between God and the soul is known to us in conscious personal awareness.

It is personal:

It does not come through the body of believers, as such, but is known to the individual, and to the body,  through the individuals who compose it.

It is conscious:

It does not stay below the threshold of consciousness and work there unknown to the soul….

but comes within the field of awareness where the man can know it as he knows any other fact of experience.

You and I are in little (our sins excepted) what God is in large.

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Being made in His image we have within us the capacity to know Him.

In our sins we lack only power.

The moment the Spirit has quickened us to life in regeneration our whole being senses its kinship to God and leaps up in joyous recognition. That is the heavenly birth without which we cannot see the kingdom of God.

It is, however, not an end but an inception, for now begins the glorious pursuit, the heart’s happy exploration of the infinite riches of the Godhead.

That is where we begin, I say —  but where we stop no man has yet discovered, for there is in the awful and mysterious depths of the Triune God neither limit nor end.

 Shoreless Ocean, who can sound Thee?

Thine own eternity is round Thee, Majesty divine!

To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too easily satisfied religionist, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart.

St. Bernard stated this holy paradox in a musical quatrain that will be instantly understood by every worshiping soul:

We taste Thee, O Thou Living Bread

And long to feast upon Thee still:

We drink of Thee, the Fountainhead

And thirst our souls from Thee to fill.

Come near to the holy men and women of the past —  and you will soon feel the heat of their desire after God.

They mourned for Him, they prayed and wrestled and sought for Him day and night, in season and out,

and when they had found Him —

the finding was all the sweeter for the long seeking.

 

 As the heart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” This thirst for an intimate relationship with God, claims A.W. Tozer, is not for a select few, but should be the experience of every follower of Christ. But, he asserts, it is all too rare when believers have become conditioned by tradition to accept standards of mediocrity, and the church struggles with formality and worldliness. Using examples from Scripture and from the lives of saints who lived with this thirst for God, Tozer sheds light on the path to a closer walk with God.

Tozer is one of my most favourite authors/theologians ever, and this newly covered life changing, The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine is a must read and may be one of my ultimate favorite books.

[ Our humble thanks to Moody Publishers for their partnership of today’s devotion ]

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