If you study the Bible or listen to sermons regularly, chances are you’ve heard one of the many timeless quotes from Christian Pastor and Theologian A.W. Tozer.
A.W. Tozer’s journey with God began at a young age. From the simplicity in his response to God’s call to him, Tozer’s ministry always focused on the Call and Response of eternity.
He was also outspoken about the direction he viewed the American church was headed and for his speaking this truth and warning he became known as the “modern day prophet.”
We see his prophetic words rebounding impact in ministries over 100 years later. We’ve listed some of his greatest quotes for you to read yourself.
Born Aiden Wilson Tozer in 1897, Tozer grew up in rural Pennsylvania living a life not too different than many of his peers.
In a decent home, with hard-working parents, he learned self-sufficiency and good work ethic. But, we know a good upbringing is not enough to save one’s soul.
One day after work at an Akron, Ohio tire company, Tozer overheard a street preacher shouting about God. “If you don’t know how to be saved … just call on God.”
Even without yet knowing the Lord, he began sensing something strong in his heart. Upon returning home, he climbed up into his attic and did just that.
He immediately delved into the realms of God, and in one year from that 1918 day, he began his ministry in a church.
With no formal theological education and barely above a sixth grade academic backing, Tozer simply leaned fully into the graces and glories of the Holy Spirit for wisdom and understanding.
His life was characterized by three things: prayer, study, and proclamation.
According to his biographic website, Tozer “was known to arrive at his office in the early morning, change into a pair of old pants so he wouldn’t wrinkle his slacks, and pray for up to three hours at a time — beginning on the couch, but soon moving to the floor, face buried in the carpet.”
These are words that signify and exemplify all this man believed in, and the foresight God spoke through Tozer’s ready and willing spirit:
On the Modern Church:
“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.”
“One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organization do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team.”
On Tozer’s Longing for God:
“Lay Thy hand upon me. Anoint me with the oil of a New Testament prophet.”
“Give me vision to see and courage to report what I see faithfully. Make my voice like Thine own that even the sick sheep will recognize and follow Thee.”
On Understanding Heaven:
“I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.”
“I want the presence of God Himself, or I don’t want anything at all to do with religion… I want all that God has or I don’t want any.”
“Sometimes I go to God and say, ‘God, if Thou dost never answer another prayer while I live on this earth, I will still worship Thee as long as I live and in the ages to come for what Thou hast done already.’ God’s already put me so far in debt that if I were to live one million millenniums I couldn’t pay Him for what He’s done for me.”
“Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.”
“To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love.”
“When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection.”
“An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others.”
“The man who would truly know God must give time to Him.”
“Any faith that must be supported by the evidence of the senses is not real faith.”
“We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts.”
On the Inner Being:
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
“The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet come to the end of themselves. We’re still trying to give orders, and interfering with God’s work within us.”
“Rules for Self-Discovery:
- What we want most;
- What we think about most;
- How we use our money;
- What we do with our leisure time;
- The company we enjoy;
- Who and what we admire;
- What we laugh at.”
“The yearning to know what cannot be known, to comprehend the incomprehensible, to touch and taste the unapproachable, arises from the image of God in the nature of man. Deep calleth unto deep, and though polluted and landlocked by the mighty disaster theologians call the Fall, the soul senses its origin and longs to return to its source.”
On Trusting God’s Process:
“God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which he must work. Only to know this is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves.”
“It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.”
Tozer devoted 44 years of faithful ministry from his 1919 start till his passing in May of 1963 to the Alliance.
On his grave are the simple words: “A.W. Tozer–A Man of God.”