A. W. Tozer was born in a small farming community in La Jose, Pennsylvania. As a teenager he came to know the Lord after overhearing a street preacher say: "If you don't know how to be saved, just call on God, saying 'Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.' A. W. returned home, climbed into the attic and heeded the preacher's advice.
Five years later, without formal theological training, he accepted an offer to pastor his first church, beginning forty-four years of ministry. During this ministry he authored more than forty books, two of which are regarded as Christian classics, The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy.
A. W. and his wife lived a simple life, never even owning a car. In fact, after becoming a well-known Christian author, Tozer signed away much of his royalties to those in need.
Here are some quotes from Tozer's works that I have found most interesting. There are a month's worth of quotes listed. I encourage you to read one each day and consider it deeply as part of your daily devotion.
1. “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
2. “You can see God from anywhere if your mind is set to love and obey Him.” -- The Pursuit of God
3. "The key to prayer is simply praying."
4. “God never uses anyone greatly until He tests them deeply.”
5. "It will cost something to walk slow in the parade of the ages, while excited men of time rush about confusing motion with progress. But it will pay in the long run and the true Christian is not much interested in anything short of that."
6. "As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal, there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol." --The Pursuit of God
7. "We get the odd notion that God is showing mercy because Jesus died. No. Jesus died because God is showing mercy." --The Attributes of God: A Journey Into the Father's Heart
8. "The experiences of men who walked with God in olden times agree to teach that the Lord cannot fully bless a man until He has first conquered him. The degree of blessing enjoyed by any man will correspond exactly with the completeness of God's victory over him." -- The Divine Conquest
9. “Religion today is not transforming people; rather it is being transformed by the people. It is not raising the moral level of society; it is descending to society’s own level, and congratulating itself that it has scored a victory because society is smilingly accepting its surrender.”
10. “The things you read will fashion you by slowly conditioning your mind.”
11. “Religion has accepted the monstrous heresy that noise, size, activity and bluster make a man dear to God.” -- The Pursuit of God
12. “This is the tragedy and woe of the hour--that we neglect the most important One who could possibly be in our midst--the Holy Spirit of God. Then, in order to make up for His absence, we have to do something to keep up our own spirits.” -- Tozer Pulpit
13. “Any faith that does not command the one who holds it is not a real belief; it is a pseudo belief only. And it might shock some of us profoundly if we were brought suddenly face to face with our beliefs and forced to test them in the fires of practical living."
14. "Many of us Christians have become extremely skillful in arranging our lives so as to admit the truth of Christianity without being embarrassed by its implications.” -- The Root of the Righteous
15. “When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike, it resolves a great deal of anxiety.”
16. “Whenever you see confusion, you can be sure that something is wrong. Disorder in the world implies that something is out of place. Usually, at the heart of all disorder you will find man in rebellion against God. It began in the Garden of Eden and continues to this day.”--And He Dwelt Among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John
17. “As a sunbeam perishes when cut off from the sun, so man apart from God would pass back into the void of nothingness from which he first leaped at the creative call.”-- The Knowledge of the Holy
18. “For myself, I long ago decided that I would rather know the truth than be happy in ignorance. If I can not have both truth and happiness, give me truth. We’ll have a long time to be happy in heaven.” -- The Dwelling Place of God
19. “Like the eye which sees everything in front of it and never sees itself, faith is occupied with the Object upon which it rests and pays no attention to itself at all. While we are looking at God, we do not see ourselves - blessed riddance. The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect One.”
20. “...the cross of popular evangelicalism is not the cross of the New Testament. It is, rather, a new bright ornament upon the bosom of a self-assured and carnal Christianity whose hands are indeed the hands of Abel, but whose voice is the voice of Cain. The old cross slew men; the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemned; the new cross amuses. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it. The old cross brought tears and blood; the new cross brings laughter. The flesh, smiling and confident, preaches and sings about the cross; before the cross it bows and toward the cross it points with carefully staged histrionics--but upon that cross it will not die, and the reproach of that cross it stubbornly refuses to bear.” -- The Divine Conquest
21. “The Bible is not only a book which was once spoken, but a book which is NOW SPEAKING.”
24. "The idea that this world is a playground instead of a battleground has now been accepted by the vast majority of Christians. The 'worship' growing out of such a view of life is as far off center as the view itself -- a sort of sanctified nightclub without the champagne and the dressed-up drunks."
25. " 'Commune with your own heart upon your bed and be still' is a wise and healing counsel, but how can it be followed in this day of the newspaper, the telephone, the radio and the television? These modern playthings, like pet tiger cubs, have grown so large and dangerous that they threaten to devour us all. What was intended to be a blessing has become a positive curse. No spot is now safe from the world's intrusion."-- Alone With God
26. "The Scriptures declare, 'Abram fell on his face' as the Lord talked with him (Genesis 17:3). Abraham was reverent and submissive. Probably there is no better picture anywhere in the Bible of the right place for mankind and the right place for God. God was on His throne speaking, and Abraham was on his face listening!" -- Men Who Met God
27. "Nobody ever got anything from God on the grounds that he deserved it. Haven fallen, man deserves only punishment and death. So if God answers prayer it's because God is good. From His goodness, His lovingkindness, His good-natured benevolence, God does it! That's the source of everything." The Attributes of God
28. "I am a Bible Christian and if an archangel with a wingspread as broad as a constellation shining like the sun were to come and offer me some new truth, I'd ask him for a reference. If he could not show me where it is found in the Bible, I would bow him out and say, I'm awfully sorry, you don't bring any references with you"
29. "The average Christian is so cold and so contented with His wretched condition that there is no vacuum of desire into which the blessed Spirit can rush in satisfying fullness." -- Born After Midnight
30. "When I am praying the most eloquently, I am getting the least accomplished in my prayer life. But when I stop getting eloquent and give God less theology and shut up and just gaze upward and wait for God to speak to my heart He speaks with such power that I have to grab a pencil and a notebook and take notes on what God is saying to my heart." --Success and the Christian
31. "Every man is as holy as he really wants to be." -- Man: the Dwelling Place of God
"To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul's paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily-satisfied religionist,
but justified in happy experience
by the children of the burning heart." -- The Pursuit of God