I once heard a pastor of a healthy and growing church say, “God hasn’t called me to be original, just effective.” Though the church was close to 3000 in regular weekly worship and ministry participation, he had none of the typical trademarks you might find of a pastor looking to expand his ministry. He had written no books, had no broadcast ministry, wasn’t featured in any publications and held no positions on boards of any kind beyond his own church. He participated in mission trips, was a part of a home group, led every new member orientation and baptized everyone joining his congregation. At every level, this pastor was present in some way in all the ministries of the church and was committed to the growth of his local body of believers.
In the spirit of what I observed from this man I would like to embark on an unoriginal journey with you through the attributes of God as outlined by A.W. Tozer in The Attributes of God. While the title is broad and implicitly grand, it is the subtitle that really caught my attention, “A Journey Into the Father’s Heart.” In an effort to avoid making this a lengthy and dry book report, my hope is simply to touch on a few of the ideas that Tozer discusses that will be effective in drawing us toward God on this journey of moving closer to His heart.
As a pastor himself, Tozer carried a deep burden for the Church and was concerned that she move beyond superficial religious routines and truly embrace the high calling of what it means to be “in Christ”. His approach was prophetic, calling the people of God to remember the Lord and His Majesty. Tozer was a teacher to all those seeking to know God and be found in Him. It was his own personal passion to know God in His fullness and he has been quoted to have said, “I want to love God more than anyone in my generation.” His desire to know and love God pours out of his preaching and writing and can be inspirational to us if we see Tozer as one of those who has gone before us and is helping to connect us to God along our own journey.
Before we get into this study let me share with you a few quotes from other books that should wet our appetite for what Tozer will bring forward in The Attributes of God:
It is vitally important that we think soundly about God. Since He is the foundation of all our religious beliefs, it follows that if we err in our ideas of God, we will go astray on everything else.
This World: Playground or Battleground?
When a church begins to think impurely and inadequately about God, decline sets in. We must think nobly and speak worthily of God. Our God is sovereign. We would do well to follow our old-fashioned forebears who knew what it was to kneel in breathless, wondering adoration in the presence of the God who is willing to claim us as His own through grace.
Jesus, Our Man in Glory
Worship, I say, rises or falls with our concepts of God… And if there is one terrible disease in the Church of Christ, it is that we do not see God as great as He is.
Worship: The Missing Jewel
I look forward to sharing with you next time as we consider: God’s Infinitude.
For Christ Alone.