My Coward Heart

I’ve recently begun re-reading AW Tozer’s Pursuit of God. It’s just 10 chapters and only takes up 70 pages, but is rivaled by very few books in the Christian living genre.

Today I was struck, yet again, by the powerful yet succinct prayers that Tozer offers at the end of each chapter. They cut deep and right to the quick, but the most effective part is that they complement the chapter so well.

At the end of the second chapter entitled, The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing, he proposes,

The way to deeper knowledge of God is through the lonely valleys of soul poverty and abnegation of all things.

Said much less eloquently…if you want to really know God, be ready to give up all of your stuff, but especially your most important stuff. The Lord may not take your most prized possession away from you, but He wants to know if you are ready to give it up for His sake, to surrender it to Him.

heartIf we’re not willing to abnegate, we might as well be content to be shallow, superficial shells of what the Lord Jesus intends us to be. Then how does Tozer close this chapter? By praying like this:

Father, I want to know thee, but my coward heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival. Then shalt Thou make the place of Thy feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall be no night there. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Sadly, I say with Bro. Tozer, my coward heart fears to give up its toys. My coward heart fears to bare itself before its Creator. My coward heart is just that. Cowardly.


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  • Mom

    As you know, Tozer is my favorite writer and Pursuit of God is my second favorite of his books. He can shine a spotlight on the dark corners of my heart that I don’t want to look at and the Holy Spirit says “hey Janice, what is this I see?” I need to do some re-reading too.

    • Cathy Roussel

      I have been praying for God to give me more compassion for the people we witness to. When I remember where he took me from I become more compassionate toward our street people. I just recently heard a preacher preach “the Lord has need of thee”. He asked what am I;m willing to give up for him, my Jesus. After all, it’s all about him. I have a lot I need to give up for him. Thank you for encouraging me. Love yall,

      • Michael

        Don’t we all have a lot to give up for Him! Thanks for the note. Give hugs to everyone from us.

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