A. W. Tozer on the most moving story in all of literature:
A group of literary men was talking about pathos in literature. They were discussing books that moved you to tears. Matthew Arnold said of Burns that his poetry was so poignantly beautiful, piercingly pathetic, that it was hard sometimes to read because it wounds you so deeply. Somebody asked Mr. Dickens what literature he thought had the most pathos. “Oh,” he said, “there is no question– the story of the Prodigal Son. There is nothing like it in all literature.”
This quote from Tozer reminds me of an old song that says, “you can have all the world but give me Jesus.”
God takes great pleasure in having a helpless soul come to Him simply and plainly and intimately. He takes pleasure in having us come to Him. This kind of Christianity doesn’t draw big crowds. It draws only those who have their hearts set on God, who want God more than anything else in the world. These people want the spiritual experience that comes from knowing God for Himself. They could have everything stripped away from them and still have God.
These people are not vastly numerous in any given locality. This kind of Christianity doesn’t draw big crowds, but it is likely to draw the hungriest ones, the thirstiest ones and some of the best ones. And so God takes great pleasure in having helpless people come to Him, simply and plainly and intimately. He wants us to come without all that great overloading of theology. He wants us to come as simply and as plainly as a little child. And if the Holy Spirit touches you, you’ll come like that.
A.W. Tozer on having God and nothing else:
God made you in His image and you’re stuck with it, sinner and Christian both. You’re made in the image of God, and nothing short of God will satisfy you. And even if you happen to be one of those “nickle-in-the-slot, get saved, escape hell and take heaven” Christians (that poor little kindergarten view of heaven), remember one thing– even you will find over the years that you are not content with “things plus God.” You’ll have to have God minus all things.
You may ask me, “Don’t you have things?” Sure I do. God knows that I don’t have much, only a lot of books. I have a wife and some children and grandchildren and friends– I have all that. Continue reading God Minus All Things
A. W. Tozer on why we are not happy:
As Lady Julian thought about this she said, “If this is all true, then why be we not all of great ease of heart and soul? Why aren’t Christians the happiest, the most easeful people in all the wide world?” Then she answered her own question: “Because we seek to have our rest in things that are so little. This hazelnut into which is condensed all that is– we try to find our pleasure in those little things.”
What is it that makes you happy? What cheers you up and gives you a moral lift? Is it your job? Is it the fact that you have good clothes? Is it that you’ve married well or have a fine position? Just what is it that brings you joy? Continue reading God Plus Something Else
A. W. Tozer on the bigness of God:
“It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in… To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing” (Isaiah 40:22, 25-26).
Now this passage is probably the most daring flight of imagination ever made by the human mind. We have here in Isaiah that which is vaster and more awesome than anything that ever came out of the mind of Shakespeare. It is the thought of the great God, the Shepherd of the universe, with its billions and trillions of light years, with its worlds so big that our whole solar system would look like a grain of sand by comparison. And God stands out yonder and calls all of these millions of worlds as His sheep; He calls them all by name and leads them all across the vast sky. Continue reading Shepherd of the Universe
A.W. Tozer on Christian unity:
Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred 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 each one must individually bow.
So one hundred 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.
A.W. Tozer on Experiencing the Presence of God:
The great passion in the heart of every human being is to experience the awesome majesty of God’s presence. The highest accomplishment of humanity is entering the overwhelming presence of God. Nothing else can satiate this burning thirst.
The average person, unable to understand this passion for intimacy with God, fills his life with things, hoping somehow to satisfy his inward longing. He chases that which is exterior, hoping to satisfy that inner thirst, but to no avail.
St. Augustine captured the essence of this desire in his CONFESSIONS: “Thou hast created us for Thyself and we are restless until we rest fully in Thee.” This explains the spirit of restlessness pervading every generation and every culture- always striving but never coming to the knowledge of the truth of God’s presence.