‘The Pursuit of God’ – Book Review

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This was a difficult read. Not in a negative sense but in a more literal sense. The message was dense and full of serious theology. I loved it! I love books like that, but it was hard to digest. It was hard because it got me at the heart, the centre of my whole being and caused me to really ponder on how much my heart really longs for God…

This post will be a review on the wonderful book, ‘The Pursuit of God’ by A. W. Tozer.

“Be thou exalted” is the language of victorious spiritual experience. It is the little key to unlock the door to great treasures of grace. A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, page 78.

Content

  1. Unfolding thoughts. Tozer writes this book as though it were a collection of letters or journal entries of his findings and deeper understanding of God. I love that, personally, because I can relate to that style of writing. I love to write of what the Lord is teaching me in my journal as a way of keeping track of the lessons taught and also as a way of thinking through my thought processes and clearly laying them out.
  2. It challenges you. As I mentioned briefly above, this book got to the heart of the matter. It’s title alone ‘The Pursuit of God’ allows you to recognise that this is an ongoing journey if you will, a battle. Through the Christian walk it can sometimes feel like that, where you are fighting to see clearly and to stay focused on the prize – eternity with Our Father, knowing Him more and more – forever. It makes you examine your own heart (besides, if a openly Christian book does not do this you have to question why not?!)
  3. It uncovers the hunger past men of the faith had for God… and you desire that too! Whilst reading this book, many wonderment statements came into my mind. “This is so amazing, look what God downloaded into this man!”, “So powerful”, “I want to search God’s Scriptures and know more about this bit…” Pursuing God is truly about getting to know Him more, sitting in His Word, reading it for yourself and asking the Lord to break it down for you.

Let the average man be put to the proof on the question of who is above, and his true position will be exposed. Let him be forced into making a choice between God and money, between God and men, between God and personal ambition, God and self, God and human love, and God will take second place every time. Those other things will be exalted above. However the man may protest, the proof is in the choices he makes day after day throughout his life. A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, page 78.

Style and Writing

  1. It’s timeless. People say times have changed with information and technology expanding rapidly, but it terms of human battles and struggles, nothing is new under the sun. A. W. Tozer’s writing is as though he were talking about todays affairs: not dedicating enough time to the Word, being distracted, man being their own god, pursuing our own goals rather than the will of our Father in Heaven. Those are all too common excuses, which although the book was written in the 50’s, are very relevant in today’s world. These are the last and evil days, yesterday, the 1900’s and 2000 years ago.
  2. The chapters were essays in themselves. Each chapter could stand alone if it were taken away from the rest of the book. That’s how focused and fine tuned it was. They were written with exhortation and warning. There was always a beginning a middle and an end to his points, yet they all flowed together to make his one major point about the pursuit of God.
  3. Has many quotable sentences. The book is full of perfectly worded sentences that could dazzle anyone reading your Facebook status or morning tweet.

I’ll leave you with a quote from the preface by Tozer himself:

For it is not mere words that nourishes the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and centre of their hearts. A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, page 5.

Only God can break our stone cold hearts to fill us with His love, His grace and the knowledge of Himself so that then, and only then, can we truly pursue Him

Thanks for reading!

Gayle

‘The Path of Loneliness’ – Book Review

I’m sure those who follow me on Twitter have stumbled across a few of my tweets on this book. I absolutely loved it! Elisabeth Elliot was a wonderful writer and I am honoured to still be learning from her even as she has gone to meet with The Lord. This short, brief post will give a quick review on the things I loved about her book, ‘The Path of Loneliness’.

  1. It has character. I say this because I felt like I could hear her narrating it throughout. It wasn’t colloquial, but it wasn’t hard and thick English, which would usually make a tough read. If you’re someone who enjoys a first person narrated book, you’ll love this one. Even if you don’t particularly, Elliot’s writing has a way of being slightly removed so that you really hear the voice of God more in what she’s saying.
  2. The realness. Widowed twice, (yet still so modest and strong in her tone about it) Elisabeth Elliot is truthful and honest about her loneliness. Where she could not speak on a particular aspect of loneliness, she drew on the stories of real life, faith-driven women to fill the gaps. This made the book all the more richer, and you could say credible as well, because it is not only her own experiences, but others as well. The Lord is faithful and admirable in the way He teaches many the same lesson – truly remarkable.
  3. I felt like she was mentoring me throughout. This is more on a personal note, if I’m honest. ‘Finding Your Way Through The Wilderness To God’ is the subheading and it really does describe my current season. Through this book she has reminded me to look to the cross through suffering and has taught me to offer up my loneliness as a gift (that God has given me) back to Him. I felt the admonition and the encouragement simultaneously.
  4. Caters to everyone. No area in this topic is left untouched. Loneliness can occur in any stage of life; early, late, during a midlife crisis or deathbed; whether married, divorced, single, in a courting relationship, widowed, dating, childless, homeless, in a job or without one. Even generally, as we walk with The Lord, there may be times where God plucks on our heart strings the tune of loneliness, those moments are a unique and beautiful call back to Him, I’ve learnt.
  5. Short chapters. These were blissful. I mainly had the opportunity to read this book on my many TfL journeys to and from work, but these few-pages-long chapters literally made me want to keep reading and not stop. And that was the case! I would randomly get excited about what Aunty Liz was going to speak about in her next chapter – which is another thing!
  6. It’s seamlessness. Every time I picked up ‘The Path of Loneliness’ to read, it flowed perfectly from one point to another. This is how my last two points link! I felt like she truly journeyed me through what it means to be lonely, and not necessarily how to combat it, but how to wrap it up and present it back to God effectively and with humility.

Before I give anymore details on the book, grab a copy online and read it for yourself! From cover to cover, this book has really been a wonder to read. I’m praying The Lord ministers His truth to you if you get a chance to read it and gives you a deeper understanding through the Holy Spirit of what it means to serve the Lord despite your loneliness/wilderness experience. Those who have read this book before or any of Elisabeth Elliot’s many other books, let me know how you found them. Please also send me recommendations, I’d love to read more about what God taught her and has now left behind for us to still learn from today.

Until next time folks!

Gayle