The Pursuit of God – Chapter 1

Quote #1: “We taste Thee, O Thou Living Bread,
And long to feast upon Thee still:
We drink of Thee, the Fountainhead
And thirst our souls from Thee to fill.” -St. Bernard, quoted in The Pursuit of God

Quote #2: “Right now we are in an age of religious complexity.  The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us.  In its stead are programs, methods, organizations and a world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart.  The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship, and that servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we, in this day, know God only imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely at all.” -A. W. Tozer The Pursuit of God

Quote #3: “The evil habit of seeking God-and effectively prevents us from finding God in full revelation.  In the “and” lies our great woe.  If we omit the “and” we shall soon find God, and in Him we shall find that for which we have all our lives been secretly longing.” -Tozer Pursuit of God

Quote #4: “The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One.” -Tozer Pursuit of God

A few thoughts before each question:

(1) Many times, Jesus uses highly metaphorical language to describe Himself; for example, He refers to Himself as “bread” for the hungry (Jn. 6:35), “living water” for the thirsty (Jn. 7:38), and the “light of the world” for those in darkness (Jn. 8:12).  It’s hard to quantify or rationalize these concepts in our minds…unless, of course, we’re hungry, thirsty, or in utter darkness.  It’s in these times and places, when we’re hungry, thirsty, in darkness – when we’re broken, humbled, and at the end of who we are – that we stop trying to rationalize, and we simply receive.  It’s a gift, after all.  Jesus feeds us, give us something to drink, and sheds light on all our darkness.  He continues to do so day in and day out.  May we, as St. Bernard states, long to feast upon the Bread of Life, and may our thirst never quench for the Living Water, Jesus Christ.  May we truly “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:8).

Question #1: Have I reached a point in my life where I am no longer hungry or thirsty for God?  What is filling my need for my soul’s nourishment other than Jesus?

(2) Tozer writes of “programs, methods, organizations and a world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart.”  And this was in 1948! I shudder at the phrase “nervous activities which occupy time but can never satisfy the longing of the heart.”  Busy, busy, busy!  It’s interesting – with all the things Jesus did, He always designated time off for prayer, silence, and solitude (Lk. 22:41; Mt. 6:30-32; Mt. 14:22-23).  In fact, Jesus spent an entire night alone with His Father in prayer (Lk. 6:12).  Inhale, exhale – it’s going to be okay.

Question #2: Do I take time to be with God in prayer, silence, and solitude?  When do I sense major disconnects in my life, or times when the peace of God seems to be a nice thought, but an impossible reality?

(3) This quote is my second favorite of all four listed.  It’s short, simple, self-explanatory, and straight to the point.

Question #3: What are the “God-ands” in my life?  How can I get to the place where I just seek God, and not, say God-and-job, God-and-relationship, God-and-money, or God-and-knowledge?

(4) This one is my favorite. A good friend of mine has recently been struggling with God and faith; we would often have long conversations in his car about it during the summer months.  One day, I could sense that he really wasn’t okay – at all .  So right then and there, in his car, as he was sharing his questions, struggles, and worries with me, I prayed that God would give me words to say to him.  I listened for a while, and then he said this: “Brian, I don’t get the rest of it, but man, I really dig Jesus a lot.  He just makes sense.”  I replied, “[Friend’s name], if you have Jesus, you have everything.”  God gave me those words that day, and they’ve stuck with me ever since.  Evidently, he gave those same words to A. W. Tozer too.

Question #4: Is Jesus enough?

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