Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Pursuit of God

The Pursuit of GodThe Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an excellent devotional book. Many quotes from A.W. Tozer's other books and many quotes from other people. Here is a quote from the last chapter by Tozer, "It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it." I highly recommend this book!

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Here are some great quotes from the book:

God is not satisfied until there exists between Him and His people a relaxed informality that requires no artificial stimulation. The true friend of God may sit in His presence for long periods in silence. Complete trust needs no words of assurance.  p. 10

Make your heart a vacuum and the Spirit will rush in to fill it.  p. 12

God impoverishes only to make rich, becoming in secret Himself the substitute for all that He takes away from the soul.  ~Jeanna Guyan p. 16

Idolatry is not only the adoration of images . . . but also trust in one's own righteousness, works and merits, and putting confidence in riches and power.  ~Martin Luther p. 20

Hold loosely all that is not eternal.  ~Agnes Maude Royden p. 21

Every advance that we make for God and for His cause must be made at our inconvenience. If it does not inconvenience us at all, there is no cross in it! If we have been able to reduce spirituality to a smooth pattern and it costs us nothing - no disturbance, no bother and no element of sacrifice in it - we are not getting anywhere with God.  p. 23

He [Abraham] had everything, but he possessed nothing. There is the spiritual secret. There is the sweet theology of the heart which can be learned only in the school of renunciation The books on systematic theology overlook this, but the wise will understand. pp. 30-31

Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.  ~Augustine p. 39

A man's spiritual health is exactly proportional to his love for God. ~C. S. Lewis p. 53

God works powerfully, but for the most part gently and gradually.  ~John Newton p. 58

God is too wise not to know all about us, and what is really best for us. He is too good not to desire our highest good. If what He has appointed for us does not seem to us the best, or even to be good, we need to remember that He sees further that we do, and that we shall understand Him in time when His plans have unfolded themselves.  ~Henry Parry Liddon p. 60

Christian faith is a grand cathedral, with divinely pictured windows. Standing without, you see no glory, nor can imagine any. But standing within, every ray of light reveals a harmony of unspeakable splendors.  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne p. 70

Every man will have to decide for himself whether or not he can afford the terrible luxury of unbelief. p. 71

Why doesn't the sky fall down? Why is it that stars and planets do not go tearing apart and ripping off into chaos? Because there is a Presence that makes all things consist - and it is the Presence of the One who upholdeth all things by the Word of His power. This is basically a spiritual explanation, for this universe can only be explained by spiritual and eternal laws.  p. 74

It takes real faith to begin to live the life of heaven while still upon the earth, for this requires that we rise above the law of moral gravitation and bring to our everyday living the high wisdom of God. And since this wisdom is contrary to that of the world, conflict is bound to result. This, however, is a small price to pay for the inestimable privilege of following Christ.   p. 80

A thousand voices clamor for our attention, and a thousand causes vie for our support. But until we have learned to be satisfied with fellowship with God, until He is our rock and our fortress, we will be restless with our place in the world.  p. 81

To be “spiritually minded” simply means to look at earth from heaven’s point of view. The spiritually minded believer makes his decisions on the basis of eternal values and not the passing fads of society. ~Warren Wiersbe p. 82

How far away is heaven? It is not so far as some imagine. It wasn’t very far away from Daniel. It was not so far off that Elijah’s prayer and those of others could not be heard there. Men full of the Spirit can look right in to heaven.  ~Dwight L. Moody p. 84

Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.  ~C. S, Lewis p. 85

A philosopher once asked “Where is God?” The Christian answered, “Let me first ask you – where is He not?” p. 92

We do not need to go "somewhere" to find God, any more than the fish needs to soar to find the ocean or the eagle to plunge to find the air.  ~Rufus Jones p. 93

God does not communicate things to us so much as He just is Himself in us. We are the vessels, the containers, so that the first work after the new birth is to cultivate the habit of receptivity.  ~Norman Grubb p. 99

My unassisted heart is barren clay,
That of its native self can nothing feed:
Of good and pious works Thou are the seed,
That quickens only where Thou sayest it may:
Unless Thou show to us Thine own true way
No man can find it: Father! Thou must lead.   ~Michelangelo p. 99

~True Spiritually~

First is the desire to be holy rather than happy.
A man may be considered spiritual when he wants to see the honor of God advanced through his life.
The spiritual man wants to carry his cross.
Again a Christian is spiritual when he sees everything from God's viewpoint.
Another desire of the spiritual man is to die right rather than to live wrong.
The desire to see others advance at his expense is another mark of the spiritual man.
The spiritual man habitually makes eternity-judgments instead of time-judgments.  p. 102

Our nature hungers for God even when it broke with Him long ago, perhaps the more intensely the longer ago it was. It experiences a sort of famine. But the devil rides it and spurs it on, to distract it from its own need. He changes its hunger into haste. That is why people today are in such a hurry. Their speed is to distract their hunger.  ~Louis Evely p. 104

God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other.  ~C.S. Lewis p. 106

No one questions the need of times of formal address to God, but few admit in any practical way the need of quiet waiting upon God, gazing into His face, feeling for His hand, listening for His voice. God has special confidences for each soul. Indeed, it would seem as though the deepest truths come only in moments of profound devotional silence and contemplation.  ~Charles H. Brent p. 107

There is hardly ever a complete silence in our soul. God is whispering to us well nigh incessantly. Whenever the sounds of the world die out in the soul, or sink low, then we hear these whisperings of God. He is always whispering to us, only we do not always hear because of the noise, hurry, and distraction which life causes as it rushes on.  ~Frederick W. Faber p. 115

When conscience begins to be awakened by God, we either become subtle hypocrites or saints, that is, either we let God's law working through conscience bring us to the place where we can be put right, or we begin to hoodwink ourselves, to affect a religious pose, not before other people, but before ourselves, in order to appease conscience - anything to be kept out of the real presence of God because wherever He comes, He disturbs.  ~Oswald Chambers p. 116

Does not all nature around me praise God? If I were silent, I should be an exception to the universe. Does not the thunder praise Him as it rolls like drums in the march of the God of armies? Do not the mountains praise Him when the woods upon their summits wave in adoration? Does not the lightning write His name in letters of fire? Has not the whole earth a voice? And shall I, can I, silent be?  ~ Charles H. Spurgeon p. 118

It is in lonely solitude that God delivers His best thoughts, and the mind needs to be still and quiet to receive them.  ~Charles R. Swindoll p. 122

Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.  ~Charles H. Spurgeon p. 126

I prayed for faith and thought that some day faith would come down and strike me like lightning. But faith did not seem to come. One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God." I had up to this time closed my Bible and prayed for faith. I now opened my Bible and began to study and faith has been growing ever since.  ~Dwight L. Moody p. 128

Faith wears everyday clothes and proves herself in life's ordinary situations.  ~Bertha Munro p. 129

I am so made that worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life: faith is oil.  ~ E. Stanley Jones p. 130

True faith is never found alone; it is always accompanied by expectation. The man who believes the promises of God expects to see them fulfilled. Where there is no expectation there is no faith.  p. 131

Faith reposes on the character of God and if we believe that God is perfect we must conclude that His ways are perfect also.  p. 132

To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances! To seek Him is the greatest of all achievements! To find Him is the greatest human achievement!  ~Raphael Simon p. 142

Has it ever occurred to you that 100 pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which one must individually bow. So 100 worshipers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become "unity" conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified.  p. 148

God fully expects the church of Jesus Christ to prove itself a miraculous group in the very midst of a hostile world. Christians of necessity must be in contact with the world but in being and spirit ought to be separated from the world - and as such, we should be the most amazing people in the world.  p. 150

We find the Bible difficult because we try to read it as we would read any other book, and it is not the same as any other book.  p. 152

Fellowship with God leads straight to obedience and good works. That is the divine order and it can never be reversed.  p. 152

No one can long worship God in spirit and in truth before the obligation to holy service becomes too strong to resist.  p. 152

Worship is the highest and noblest act that any person can do. When men worship, God is satisfied! And when you worship, you are fulfilled!  ~Raymond C. Ortlund p. 156

The well-defined spiritual life is not only the highest life, but it is also the most easily lived. The whole cross is more easily carried than the half. It is the man who tries to make the best of both worlds who makes nothing of either. And he who seeks to serve two masters misses the benediction of both. Both he who has taken his stand, who has drawn a boundary-line sharp and deep about his religious life, who has marked off all beyond as forever forbidden ground to him, finds the yoke easy and the burden light. For this forbidden environment comes to be as if it were not . . . And the balm of death numbing his lower nature releases him for the scarce disturbed communion of a higher life. So even here to die is gain.  ~Henry Drummond p. 164

It's ludicrous for any Christian to believe that he or she is the worthy object of public worship; it would be like the donkey carrying Jesus into Jerusalem believing the crowds were cheering and laying down their garments for him.  ~Charles Colson p. 167

The humble person has changed humiliation into humility.  ~Bernard of Clairvaux p. 180

Dear Christ, make one that which we are and that which we appear to be. ~Calvin Miller p. 180

I used to think that God's gifts were on shelves one above another and that the taller we grew in Christian character the more easily we could reach them. I now find that God's gifts are on shelves one beneath the other and that it is not a question of growing taller but of stooping lower.  ~F. B. Meyer p. 183

What you possess in the world will be found at the day of your death to belong to someone else, but what you are will be yours forever.  ~Harry Van Dyke p. 183

Lord, make me childlike. Deliver me from the urge to complete with another for place or prestige or position. I would be simple and artless as a little child. Deliver me from pose and pretense. Forgive me for thinking of myself. Help me to forget myself and find my true peace in beholding Thee. That Thou may answer this prayer I humble myself before Thee. Lay upon me Thy easy yoke of self-forgetfulness that through it I may find rest. Amen. p. 184

Teach me, my God and King,
In all things Thee to see;
And what I do in anything,
To do it as for Thee!  ~George Herbert p. 185

Monday through Friday employment is pure; it's sacred - just as sacred as your Sunday activities.  ~Charles Swindoll p. 187

Do little things as if they were great because of the majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ who dwells in you; and do great things as if they were little and easy because of His omnipotence.  ~Blaise Pascal pp 187-188.

Who is the greatest saint in the world? It is not he who prays most or fasts most; it is not he who gives most alms, or is most eminent for temperance, chastity, or justice; but it is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God's goodness, and has a heart always ready to praise God for it.  ~William Law p. 188

There is no work better than another to please God; to pour water, to wash dishes, to be a cobbler, or an apostle, all is one; to wash dishes and to preach is all one to please God.  ~William Tyndale p. 197

Lord, turn the routines of work into celebrations of love.  ~unknown p. 198

We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan, for love of Him; and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before Him who has given me grace to work; afterward I rise happier than a king.  ~Brother Lawrence p. 199

Christianity is neither contemplation nor action. It is participation. Contemplation is looking at God as if He were an object. But if you participate in God in the sense that you let yourself be penetrated by Him, you will go to the cross like Him, you will go to work like Him, you will clean shoes, do the washing up and the cooking, all like Him. You cannot do otherwise because you will have become part of Him. You will do what He loves to do.  ~Louis Evely p. 202

Where is the church at 11:25 on Monday morning? The church then is in the dentist's office, in the automobile sales room and repair shop, and out in the truck. It is in the hosspital, in the classroom, and in the home. It is in the offices, insurance, law, real estate, whatever it is. That is where the church is, wherever God's people are. They are doing what they ought to be doing. They are honoring God, not just while they worship in a building but out there.  ~Arthur H. DeKruyter p. 203

It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it.  p. 204

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