“The Presence and the manifestation of the Presence are not the same. There can be the one without the other. God is here when we are wholly unaware of it. He is manifest only when and as we are aware of His Presence. On our part there must be surrender to the Spirit of God, for His work it is to show us the Father and the Son. If we co-operate with Him in loving obedience God will manifest Himself to us, and that manifestation will be the difference between a nominal Christian life and a life radiant with the light of His face.”
The Pursuit of God is aptly named; there is no thread connecting its chapters other than the broadest chasing after of a deeper experiential relationship with Jesus. Tozer mercilessly wages war on a tick-list approach to a devotional life, in which lifelessness, rather than misunderstanding or an unsound doctrine, are the problem. Whether entirely justified or not, his audience is crystal clear; Tozer is the picture of a frustrated conservative-evangelical, expressing what he considers its blind-spots to be with a piercing precision that only comes from understanding a culture through full immersion.
And it is deeply effective. The Pursuit of God exists to transform one’s walk with the Lord, and it has reinfused life, refreshment and delight into my devotional times. To read the content and not be changed is to have entirely missed Tozer’s point. Well-considered and profound, each sentence comes across as refined through years of living the devotional life he prescribes. There is so much to process that one is forced into a more meditative reading style; it cannot be read cover to cover, but must be tackled over a number of weeks. One must read a chapter, pray the set prayer, and fall to one’s knees in adoration to the God who is there.
I unreservedly recommend the book to all of those already familiar with a more contemplative approach to a devotional life; there is definitely worthwhile content for them. As for those who have had little exposure to an experiential engagement with God in prayer, and who wonder what on earth that actually entails, The Pursuit of God will hit like a truck.