My very good friend and sister-in-Christ, Julie Nolta, visits often. She lives out of town but works in Eugene, so I have the great privilege of hosting her several days a month. Julie is also the one who edits my blogs and adds the illustrations that tell in beauty what I attempt to say in words. Julie is a gift to me.
On a recent visit, we were talking about ideas I might share with you. She knows my love of books. It’s hard to miss, given my seven floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and my small piles of books on every flat surface in my home.
I admit to a pretty narrow genre, which rarely includes history, geography or fiction. I’m drawn to the self-help kind that lead me to a deeper knowing of God and how to journey with Him. Like my visits with friends, these books are rarely a one-and-done read.
While I was brainstorming blog topics with Julie, she suggested sharing my books with you. Exciting idea!
So this morning as I stood in my loft perusing my shelves, I asked the Lord for starters. His nudge was immediate:
The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer.
The Lord has used this little paper back dozens of times – probably more –to draw me to Him.
I take it on nearly every personal retreat and often throw it in my suitcase when preparing for a vacation. Tozer’s words inspire me! They're that simple and that profound.
An American, who lived from 1897 to 1963, Tozer is credited with over sixty books, many compiled after his death, which were based on his sermons and magazine articles.
I admit, I have read only a few excerpts from some of his books, but this one, The Pursuit of God, has transformed my life.
The right hand corner of my worn-out copy reads: “Horizon Books $1.95.” Just inside the cover is an address label from my first home on Ingalls way in Eugene, a place we lived from 1977 – 1980. The pages are yellowed and few have escaped my margin notes in pen.
I used to lead retreats at Canby Grove Conference Center and was excited to discover Tozer used to preach there. I feel a connection with this amazing man and am eager to meet him in heaven. I’m guessing on that level playing field, feeling intimidated will be off the table.
The Pursuit is not a quick read. Its ten chapters include such topics as:
The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing
The Speaking Voice
The Gaze of the Soul
However, just listing the contents makes me want to stop writing and start reading. If your heart aches to seek more of God… or if you want that kind of heart, I know of no more motivating book to read.
To whet your appetite, here are a few excepts from chapter one: “Following Hard After God.”
“The impulse to pursue God originates with God, but the outworking of that impulse is our following hard after Him, and all the time we are pursuing Him we are already in His hand.”
“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 interchange of love and thought between God and the soul of the redeemed man is the throbbing heart of New Testament religion.”
I hope you’ll get to know this “friend” of mine. As the introducer, may I humbly say, “It was my pleasure.”
Pull up a chair and sit still
Photo: Freestocks.org from Pexels
Tozer says: “To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love.” His words nudge me to pick up my Bible and begin a personal dialogue with Jesus.
How about you? Have you read The Pursuit of God? What did you think? Have similar books drawn you closer to Jesus? Share your thoughts below. I’d love to hear from you.