Some of the highlights from The Pursuit of God, by A.W. Tozer (Chapter 1: Following Hard After God)
Christian theology teaches the doctrine prevenient grace, which, briefly stated, means that before a man can seek God, God must have sought the man.
Before a sinful man can think a right thought of God, there must have been a work of enlightenment done within him.
We pursue God because, and only because, he has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit.
The impulse to pursue God originates with God, but the outworking of that impulse is our following hard after him.
God is always previous.
[The following quote is with regard to the church of today... which was 1948 when Tozer wrote this. How much more true today] Faith may now be exercised without a jar to the moral life and without embarrassment to the Adamic ego. Christ may be “received” without creating any special love for him in the soul of the receiver. The man is “saved,” but he is not hungry nor thirsty after God.
We have almost forgotten that God is a person and, as such, can be cultivated as any person can. …but full knowledge of one personality by another cannot be achieved in one encounter. It is only after a long and loving mental intercourse that the full possibilities of both can be explored.
The moment the Spirit has quickened us to life in regeneration our whole being senses its kinship to God and leaps up in joyous recognition. That is the heavenly birth without which we cannot see the kingdom of God. It is, however, not an end but an inception, for now begins the glorious pursuit, the heart’s happy exploration of the infinite riches of the Godhead.
To have found God and still to pursue him is the soul’s paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too easily satisfied religionists, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart.
Complacency is a deady foe of all spiritual growth.
[In his day... and in ours]… are programs, methods, organizations and a world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart.
When religion has said its last word, there is little that we need other than God himself. The evil habit of seeking God-and effectively prevents us from finding God in full revelation.
Click here to read the prayer that goes with this chapter. It is truly beautiful.