The Pursuit of God – Chapter 9b



Wednesday 07/2o/16 

Series: The Pursuit of God

Messages – Chapter 9b – Meekness & Rest

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Chapter 9 Meekness & Rest

For Discussion

  1. Tozer brings up two things in the closing of this chapter which we will make the focus of our entire evening…
    1. Pretense – This is almost entirely an outward expression. It is the projection of a “false-self” we believe will be more to our advantage than who we actually are. We do this almost instinctively by exhibiting an image of ourselves which we believe will make us more appealing to others and so attract their acceptance, honor and praise – OR – by causing people to stand at a distance and so protect ourselves from vulnerability. In either case, we do it for a false sense of safety. Again, and this is important enough to repeat…we do this almost without realizing it. It is not malicious it is instinctive to our survival.
    2. Artificiality – This is almost an entirely inward problem. It is the desire behind pretense. A desire to actually BE someone different than we are based upon a fear that we will someday be discovered to NOT be the person we project to the world in our pretense. This is more insidious in that it is more deliberate, is assuming the right to “re-create” ourselves in another image and is there willing participation in a prideful lie.

    Both of these are symptoms of greater problems. We love and genuinely feel the need for the acceptance of man. We desire man’s praise and favor. Jesus told us that this makes it impossible to have genuine faith in God. By examining this statement of Jesus, we will uncover why these two issues are so sinful and destructive.

    So, why is it that desiring man’s admiration compromises our ability to trust God?

  2. Faith (trust) in God requires not only honesty from God (meaning that He can be genuinely known), more importantly it requires honesty from us. Why is this true?Discuss this in light of our tendencies towards pretense and artificiality.
  3. Tozer makes the comparison between adults and our pretentious, artificial ways and those of a child before they take on those learned characteristics.As much as possible (and don’t get too bogged down here) go back in your mind to a time before you felt the need to live out of a false self.
    1. What was life like then?
    2. What precipitated the change?
    3. In honesty and vulnerability, examine and discuss your reaction.
  4. Spend some time describing the rest Jesus was referring to in the passage Tozer quoted.
  5. What about Jesus’ invitation, if genuinely understood and believed, would have changed your childhood reaction as discussed in question 3?
  6. Soul salvation is a slow and progressive work. That is doesn’t HAVE to be that way is clear from the instantaneous change we will all experience upon seeing Him at the resurrection. This snail’s pace change is the result of several things. One of them is because we are all hiding from something. True, unfettered intimacy is completely undoing and there are simply too many things in us we are protecting to allow that to occur all at once. At the core, MOST of our desires to “grab a fig leaf to hide behind” is tethered to who we believe ourselves to be. Spend some time in smaller groups discussing this and PLEASE do not gravitate to the same person you always do. Let’s make this a maturing process as well.


This is where we ended our discussions on chapter 8c , Restoring the Creator Creature Relation of A.W. Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God. We will be progressing further into the chapter next week…Blessings! 

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

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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!