The Pursuit of God – Chapter 7b



Wednesday 05/04/16 

Series: The Pursuit of God

Message –  Chapter 7 – The Gaze of the Soul II

Click here for the Video

{The audio is divided into two sections. The 1st is where we read through part of the chapter and divide into groups for discussion. The 2nd is when we come back together as and share from our groups.}



For Discussion

  1. Faith is relational and is therefore ongoing. It is constant, faithful, loyal and eternal. As Tozer said, it is not a “once-done” act.

God cannot be a source we turn to in order to obtain safety, but He must BE our safety. Our gaze cannot be occasional and only when we need assistance. Also our gaze is not merely at, but into the eyes of the One Who is beholding us.

In the first two passages I did some of your work for you. I underlined and made bold the text which showed that the gaze of the psalmist was upon God and WHO God is the the Psalmist. Consider the following passages and discuss their example to us of a soul’s constant gaze at Him.

Psa 63:1-11, “(1) A Psalm of David When He Was in the Wilderness of Judah. O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.  (2)  So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.  (3)  Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You.  (4)  Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your Name.  (5)  My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.  (6)  When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.  (7)  Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.  (8)  My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.  (9)  But those who seek my life, to destroy it, Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.  (10)  They shall fall by the sword; They shall be a portion for jackals.  (11)  But the king shall rejoice in God; Everyone who swears by Him shall glory; But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.”

Psa 18:1-3, I will love You, O LORD, my Strength.  (2)  The LORD is my Rock and my Fortress and my Deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  (3)  I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.”

Psa 27:1-10, The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?  (2)  When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell.  (3)  Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.  (4)  One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple.  (5)  For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.  (6)  And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.  (7)  Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.  (8)  When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.”  (9)  Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.  (10)  When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the LORD will take care of me.”

Psa 62:2-8, “He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.  (3)  How long will you attack a man? You shall be slain, all of you, Like a leaning wall and a tottering fence.  (4)  They only consult to cast him down from his high position; They delight in lies; They bless with their mouth, But they curse inwardly. Selah  (5)  My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.  (6)  He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.  (7)  In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.  (8)  Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah”

Psa 144:1-2, A Psalm of David. Blessed be the LORD my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle— (2)  My lovingkindness and my fortress, My high tower and my deliverer, My shield and the One in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me.”

  1. One thing Tozer addressed in this chapter that is of particular importance to us in this church is this notion of maintaining God in our thoughts. Not that our minds cannot be otherwise occupied, but that He is always there, if not in direct focus than always in the immediate peripheral. We need to have developed the “habit of soul” that when our minds are free from other distractions, our spiritual reflex will lead our minds back to Him as our habitual focus.

Tozer tells us that this focus on God is not something uniquely designed for ministers but for every child of God – regardless of occupation.

He says, “Now, if faith is the gaze of the heart at God, and if this gaze is but the raising of the inward eyes to meet the all-seeing eyes of God, then it follows that it is one of the easiest things possible to do. It would be like God to make the most vital thing easy and place it within the range of possibility for the weakest and poorest of us.”

One thing which might help us in developing this practice is to NOT view this relational gaze upon Him as a duty towards developing faith, this is to reduce relationship into religion. No, this is an act within relationship itself out of which trust grows and matures.

Tozer said, “When the eyes of the soul looking out meet the eyes of God looking in, heaven has begun right here on this earth.”

With this in mind, talk about how this “relational beholding of each other” can be practiced in practical “real-life” ways, regardless of ones schedule or occupation.

How can God become the focus of our hearts gaze…continually?

  1. Read 1 Samuel. 17:22-52

This is a terrific, real life example of David and his relational trust in God. David knew that God had created Israel as a sovereign nation to live Him as their God. David also knew that God had aided him in his obedience towards his father’s house in tending and keeping his father’s sheep.

The sovereignty of Israel was also something every Jewish male knew, and yet that knowledge was only mental to them. David on the other hand knew this on a different level. To him, all of this was God’ revealed will and David knew it.

What do you suppose made the knowledge of the men in the army of Israel mere information, while David’s knowledge was revelation?


If you do not get this far, then take it home and think through it, making notes (mental or written) so that our discussion time next week can begin with this exercise.



This is where we ended our discussions on chapter 6 , The Speaking Voice of A.W. Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God. We will most likely be teaching a lesson By Request next Wednesday…Blessings! 

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!