It's been at least 10 years since I first read A.W. Tozer's The Pursuit of God. It's widely regarded as a spiritual classic. After picking it up again on vacation last week, I remember why. I feel like Tozer puts words to my philosophy of ministry. I've always felt that ministry begins and ends with God. Nothing can usurp the pursuit of God's heart at the center of who we are and primary informer of all things ministry. I also feel as though it's easy for us to get so caught up in the doing that being is left out to the point we think they are the same (though they aren't completely opposite, either). Here are a few quotes to mull over today:
- "Current evangelicalism has (to change the figure) laid the altar and divided the sacrifice into parts, but now seems satisfied to count the stones and rearrange the pieces with never a care that there is not a sign of fire upon the top of lofty Carmel."
- "There is today no lack of Bible teachers to set forth correctly the principles of the doctrines of Christ, but too many of these seem satisfied to teach the fundamentals of the faith year after year, strangely unaware that there is in their ministry no manifest Presence, nor anything unusual in their personal lives. They minister constantly to believers who feel within their breasts a longing which their teaching simply does not satisfy." (Though Tim might add that we are also lacking good Bible teachers today, as well)
- "The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain."
- "Everything is safe which we commit to Him, and nothing is really safe which is not so committed."