Aiden W. Tozer was a 20th century prophet. Someone once remarked that “Listening to Tozer was like opening the door of a blast furnace.” He marched to a different beat. He often found himself out of step with the direction of the church. He was not afraid to tell Pastors, church leaders or congregations alike that they were wrong, nor was he reluctant to tell them how God could make things right. He once gave this appraisal of his own ministry: “I guess my philosophy is this: Everything is wrong until God sets it right.” The cost of his commitment to the telling the truth no matter the audience is seen in his following comment: “I have preached myself off every Bible Conference platform in the country.”
One cannot read Tozer without being impressed with his grasp of the English language, his broad exposure to the classics and his deep insights into the heart of God. It is even more astounding when you discover that Tozer had no formal education. He was self taught. It is said that he read Shakespeare on his knees asking God to help him understand their meaning. His life was bathed in prayer and the Word. Biographer Dr. David J. Fant, Jr. reported that Tozer wrote “the Pursuit of God” on his knees, adding, “Perhaps that explains its power and the blessing that has rested on it.” No question.
Here are a few quotes to motivate you to embrace the blast furnace. It will be hot, but also life changing!
From: “The Pursuit of God”
“The man who has God for his treasure has all things in one. Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness. Or, if he must see them go, one after the other one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight. Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for he now has it all in One, and he has it purely, legitimately and forever.” 20
From: “The Incredible Christian”
“At the heart of the Christian system lies the cross of Christ with its divine paradox. The power of Christianity appears in its antipathy toward, never in its agreement with, the ways of fallen man. The truth of the cross is revealed in its contradictions. The witness of the church is most effective when she declares rather than explains, for the gospel is addressed not to reason but to faith. What can be proved requires no faith to accept. Faith rests upon the character of God, not upon the demonstrations of laboratory or logic. 11
“The Christian soon learns that if he would be victorious as a son of heaven among men on earth he must not follow the common pattern of mankind, but rather the contrary. That he may be safe he puts himself in jeopardy; he loses his life to save it and is in danger of losing it if he attempts to save it. He goes down to get up. If he refuses to go down he is already down, but when he starts down he is on his way up….he is strongest when he is weakest and weakest when he is strong. Though poor he has the power to make others rich, but when he becomes rich his ability to enrich others vanishes. He has most after he has given most away and has least when he possesses most….He loves supremely one in whom he has never seen, and though himself poor and lowly he talks familiarly with One who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and is aware of no incongruity in doing so.” 12
“Faith is simply the bringing of our minds into accord with the truth. It is adjusting our expectations to the promises of God in complete assurance that the God of the whole earth cannot lie.” 27
“If God has singled you out to be a special object of His grace you may expect Him to honor you with stricter discipline and greater suffering than less favored ones are called upon to endure…To do His supreme work of grace within you He will take from your heart everything you love most. Everything you trust in will go from you. Piles of ashes will lie where your most precious treasures used to be.” 122
From: “Knowledge of the Holy”:
“Perverted notions about God soon rot the religion in which they appear. The long career of Israel demonstrates this clearly enough, and the history of the Church confirms it. So necessary of the church is a lofty concept of God that when that concept in any measure declines, the Church with her worship and her moral standards declines along with it. The first step down for any church is taken when she surrenders its high opinion of God.” 4
“Were all humans to become suddenly blind, still the sun would shine by day and the stars by night…So, were every man on earth to become an atheist, it would not affect God in any way. He is what He is in Himself without regard to any other. To believe in Him adds nothing to His perfections; to doubt Him takes nothing away.” P. 33
The scholar has a vitally important task to perform within a carefully prescribed precinct. His task is to guarantee the purity of the text, to get as close as possible to the Word as originally given. He must compare Scripture with Scripture until he has discovered the true meaning of the text. But right there his authority ends. He must never sit in judgment over what is written. He dare not bring the meaning of the Word before the bar of his reason. He dare not commend or condemn the Word as reasonable or unreasonable, scientific or unscientific. After the meaning is discovered, that meaning judges him; never does he judge it. P. 20
To be right we must think worthily of God. It is morally imperative that we purge from our minds of all ignoble concepts of Deity and let God be the God in our minds that He is in His universe. The Christian religion has to do with God and man, but its focal point is God, not man. Man’s only claim to importance is that he was created in the divine image; in himself he is nothing…That God exists for Himself and man for the glory of God is the emphatic teaching of the Bible. The high honor of God is first in heaven as it must yet be in earth. P 35
“From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God,” said Moses in the Spirit. “From the vanishing point to the vanishing point” would be another way to say it quite in keeping with the words as Moses used them. The mind looks backward in time till the dim past vanishes, then turns into the future till thought and imagination collapse from exhaustion; and God is at both points, unaffected by the other.” P 39
The yearning to know what cannot be known, to comprehend the Incomprehensible, to touch and taste the Unapproachable, arises from the image of God in the nature of man. Deep calls to deep, and though polluted and landlocked by the mighty disaster theologians call the Fall, the soul senses its origin and longs to return to its Source. How can this be realized?
The answer of the Bible is simply, “through Jesus Christ our Lord.” In Christ and by Christ, God effects complete self-disclosure, although He shows Himself not to reason but to faith and love. Faith is an organ of knowledge and love is an organ of experience. God came to us in the incarnation: in atonement He reconciled us to Himself, and by faith and love we enter and lay hold on Him. P. 9
“With the goodness of God to desire our highest welfare, the wisdom of God to plan it, and the power of God to achieve it, what do we lack? Surely we are the most favored of all creatures.” 64
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