A. W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God reveals a pastor’s heart. “I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God,” he writes. I share his purpose here.
So much competes for our time and focus. In this smart phone-social media age, it’s drivel that competes for our clicks. The algorithms know what you pursue by keeping up with your clicks and offering you more of the same. When you take stock, you realize you aren’t pursuing your true longings.
Tozer was speaking to believers who know what matters – a relationship with God through Christ Jesus – but do not act as though it is a lifelong pursuit. “The whole transaction of religious conversion has been made mechanical and spiritless,” he writes. “The man is ‘saved,’ but he is not hungry nor thirsty after God.” God has revealed Himself to be a Person, and you are made in His image. You can learn what He thinks, desires, enjoys, and loves. He communicates with your soul through the avenues of your mind and emotions. He uses Scripture, prayer, and other believers to intensify your desire for Him. Join the pursuit!
Moses asked, “Let me know Your ways that I may know you,” (Exo. 33:13) and that was after he met God on the mountain. David cried out, “Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth” (Psa. 73:25). Paul was blunt. “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil. 3:8). History tells stories of believers who lived lives of joy amidst sacrifice, consequence despite failings, and focus over distraction because they fanned the flames of their desire for God.
Pursuing that desire has a simple result. “The man who has God for his treasure,” Tozer writes, “has all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight…and he has it purely, legitimately, and forever.”
“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psa. 37:3-4).