This past semester, a great friend of mine John was reading The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer. He thought it to be a deeply profound book that effectively articulated the difference between knowing about someone, like reading a biography about them, and actually knowing them, like cultivating a real, actively engaged relationship with them and enjoying them for who they are.
Of course, this someone A. W. Tozer was talking about was God.
Being a great friend of mine, John surprised me one day with my own copy of The Pursuit of God. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be reading this book myself, and posting some quotes that I find to be worth sharing with others, namely, you. I’ll also be sharing some questions that I’ll be asking of myself, and I hope you will be asking of yourself.
Here we go.
Quote #1: “Orthodoxy, or right opinion, is, at best, a very slender part of our religion. Though right tempers cannot subsist without right opinions, yet right opinions may subsist without right tempers. There may be a right opinion of God without either love or one right temper toward Him. Satan is proof of this.” -John Wesley, quoted in The Pursuit of God
Quote #2: “There are today many millions of people who hold ‘right opinions,’ probably more than ever before in the history of the Church. Yet I wonder if there was ever a time when true spiritual worship was at a lower ebb. To great sections of the Church the art of worship has been lost entirely…” -A. W. Tozer The Pursuit of God
Quote #3: “Imagine that, after you’ve read a review of an album, someone asks you questions about that album—asks what the songs sounded like and what the lyrics were about. There’s a chance you could answer all the questions about that album without ever actually hearing the songs. Jesus comes to help us hear the songs.” -Rob Bell, What We Talk About When We Talk About God
1. Am I more concerned about “being right” and being able to “win an argument,” or am I more concerned about cultivating a heart that seeks to love God and love others as God loves them? In other words, am I more concerned with knowing about the song of salvation (Ps. 40:3), being able to answer questions about it, or knowing the song of salvation, hearing it, and then singing it for everyone else to hear?
2. Do I need to have “right opinions” in order to worship God? How can I pursue worshipping God in “spirit and in truth” (Jn. 4:24) without making it into a cognitive exercise or an emotional “high” to be felt? (“You can fall in the ditch on both sides of the road.” -Dr. Jeff Cook)