Growth Night – The Pursuit of God – Ch. 4




Wednesday 01/20/16

Series: The Pursuit of God

Message – Chapter 4: Apprehending God

Click here for the Video


Tonight we did something different and moved Growth Night to a Wednesday night. We are currently going through A.W. Tozer’s book, “The Pursuit of God” and tonight we read and discussed chapter 4, “Apprehending God”.

If you do not have the book you can still follow along by visiting the following page and either scroll down to page 20 in your browser or download the entire book for free and begin on page 20 which is the beginning of chapter 4.

Following the recording of tonight’s message, you may want to do the follow up questions by downloading the PDF file – HERE.

Chapter 4: Apprehending God


  1. To most Christians God is little more than an inference – not a warm, consistent reality.

Either He is not thought of in the moment to moment OR He is SO BIG that He is hard to relate to and so is related with only infrequently.

He is so human, that He hold little of the awestruck wonder and fear the scriptures reveal were the backbone of the relationship the faithful had and enjoyed with Him.

  1. In the last chapter and in this, Tozer described many divisions of Christianity as holding God in their intellect without requiring that they experience Him in their reality.


Taking an objective look at the real and honest interactions and relational intimacy you have with God can be a very trying and difficult experience. While some of it can be better identified with the safety of a “think tank” of loving and devoted believers – OFTEN the deeper issues of the heart will be revealed to us as we honestly evaluate ourselves alone with God – in our “closet” as it were.

This has been the all to infrequently visited crucible in which I have had to place both myself and many of my “beliefs” about God – to be willing to have them tested and tried and even modified or removed completely if the outcome demanded it – this requires an unprotectedness and an unguarded  approachin of God which I do not believe can be obtained without a genuine desire to know WHO HE REALLY IS – regardless of how that vision requires me to change or what it costs myself or those I love. It was in the middle of such honest  introspection that I have found much of what I have come to believe concerning God, His goodness, what true faith is AND more importantly what it is not, what it is to be forgiven to the uttermost and experience inexhaustible mercy in ways which go WAY beyond understanding. It is in times like these that I have understood a small glimpse of what it means to be accepted by God – to be His beloved AND EXPERIENCE that in the moment as an immediate reality rather than just a mentally accepted truth.


Two things which are IMO of paramount importance IF you are going to be serious about this pursuit if God is…

  • It is through rejecting a love for the truth that many are deceived and eventually perish according to Paul in Thessalonians
  • You have to be willing to stand for the truth you see and learn. This is a true litmus test for your love of the truth – are you willing to sacrifice for it? While you may be willing to sacrifice personally, are you willing to sacrifice others as well?


For Example – What if in your unguarded time with God He reveals to you that what you believe about something requires that you speak up in the face of someone who will see your new belief as an affront to who they believe they are? Like if a family member believes they know God and yet they do not live lives of devotion to Him, but in fact are almost worse than they were when they first “believed” – your dedication to truth may very well require you to speak up to them about their true state like Christ had to do with the Pharisees.


  1. Tozer said, “…Why do the very ransomed children of God themselves..know so little of that habitual conscious communion with God?” He answers, “Chronic unbelief”.

Belief is a precious thing because it can only come as a revelation “of God which He brings to your attention specifically and personally.

Notice – if you can remember the story –  how when Peter received the revelation that Jesus was the Son of God – NONE of those standing by came to know that same revelation at that moment. God brought it to Peter PERSONALLY! This is why so few know God the way Tozer has here described the relationship which ought to be the Christians NORMAL DAILY experience. This type of relationship requires dedication, devotion, NOT a daily, but a moment by moment turning of the attention back towards God. So often it is NOT a conscious turning to God, but a conscious effort to not turn away – empowered by the Holy Spirit.



I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. If you do not know Him, please use our ‘Contact Us‘ page and reach out so we may have the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Attendance at our church will NOT even be mentioned nor will money.

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Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!