My Top 10 A.W. Tozer-isms

See the source imageIt’s still hard to believe there was an A.W. Tozer book I wasn’t aware of. Delighting in God came to me through the library of a local pastor here in Wichita, KS who was giving away most of his books. This book is supposedly the sequel to The Knowledge of the Holy and meant to be a practical follow-up to a study of the attributes of God. I will let you know later this month what I think of the book.

Reading this Tozer book reminded me of how quotable this man still is. To prove it, here are my Top 10 favorite quotes from Tozer.

  1. “A real Christian is an odd number anyway. He feels supreme love for One whom he has never seen, talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see, expects to go to heaven on the virtue of Another, empties himself in order to be full, admits he is wrong so he can be declared right, goes down in order to get up, is strongest when he is weakest, richest when he is poorest, and happiest when he feels worst. He dies do he can live, forsakes in order to have, gives away so he can keep, sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows that which passeth knowledge.” – A.W. Tozer in The Root of Righteousness
  2. “God is looking for men in whose hands his glory is safe.” – A.W. Tozer
  3. “God knows instantly and effortlessly all matter and all matters, all mind and every mind, all spirit and all spirits, all being and every being, all creaturehood and all creatures, every plurality and all pluralities, all law and every law, all relations, all causes, all thoughts, all mysteries, all enigmas, all feeling, all desires, every unuttered secret, all thrones and dominions, all personalities, all things visible and invisible in heaven and in earth, motion, space, time, life, death, good, evil, heaven, and hell. Because God knows all things perfectly, He knows no thing better than any other thin, but all things equally well. He never discovers anything. He is never surprised, never amazed. He never wonders about anything nor does He seek information or ask questions.” – A.W. Tozer in The Knowledge of the Holy (pg. 56)
  4. “God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil. When he chooses to do evil, he does not thereby countervail the sovereign will of God but fulfills it, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make but that he should be free to make it. If in His absolute freedom God has willed to give man limited freedom, who is there to stay His hand. … Man’s will is free because God is sovereign.” – A.W. Tozer in The Knowledge of the Holy (pgs. 121-122)
  5. “I have always felt compassion for Christian men and women who seem to major in pessimism, looking on the dark and gloomy side and never able to do anything with life’s problems but grumble about them! I meet them often, and when I do I wonder: “Can these people be reading the same Bible that I have been reading?” – A.W. Tozer in a sermon entitled “A Happy Contradiction: Rejoicing in Trials!”
  6. “It’s doubtful that God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” – A.W. Tozer in The Root of Righteousness
  7. “Left to ourselves we tend immediately to reduce God to manageable terms. We want to get Him where we can use Him, or at least know where He is when we need Him. We want a God we can in some measure control. We need the feeling of security that comes from knowing what God is like, and what He is like is of course a composite of all the religious pictures we have seen, all the best people we have known or heard about, and all the sublime ideas we have entertained.” – A.W. Tozer in The Knowledge of the Holy (pg. 8)
  8. “Repentance is not likely to do us much good until it ceases to be a change of mind only and becomes a wound within our spirit. No man has truly repented until his sin has wounded him near to death, until the wound has broken him and defeated him and taken all the fight and self-assurance out of him and he sees himself as the one who nailed his Savior to the tree.” – A.W. Tozer in Man: The Dwelling Place of God
  9. “The man who is seriously convinced that he deserves to go to hell is not likely to go there, while the man who believes that he is worthy of heaven will certainly never enter that blessed place.” – A.W. Tozer in Man: The Dwelling Place of God (pg. 15)
  10. “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God. For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most important fact about any man is not what he at any given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church. Always the most revealing think about the Church is her idea of God, just as her most significant message is what she says about Him or leaves unsaid, for her silence if often more eloquent than her speech. She can never escape the self-disclosure of her witness concerning God.” – A.W. Tozer in Knowledge of the Holy (pg. 1)

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