I am reading A Passion for God: The Spiritual Journey of A.W. Tozer by Lyle Dorsett. I have greatly benefited from Tozer’s published writings over the years. And I am excited about all that I am learning about the man and his ministry in this gripping biography. I am being reminded that God uses human beings, not pulpit superheroes. I strongly believe that we need Tozer’s story today, maybe more than we need his wise and helpful books. He was not a religious celebrity, a megachurch pastor, or an ecclesiastical powerbroker. Aiden Wilson Tozer (1897-1963) was an humble man with a great passion for God.
I was just reading about Tozer’s ordination, which took place on August 18, 1920. After the ceremony, Tozer slipped away to pray about the solemn calling and great responsibility the Lord had given him in assigning him to gospel ministry. Tozer later wrote out his recollections of this prayer. He called the article, “For Pastors Only: Prayer of a Minor Prophet.” Here are several exerts from the article that caused me to stop reading and start examining myself:
“Save me from the curse that lies dark across the face of the modern clergy, the curse of compromise, of imitation, of professionalism. Save me from the error of judging a church by its size, is popularity or the amount of its yearly offering… Let me never become a slave to crowds. Heal my soul of carnal ambitions and deliver me from the itch for publicity. Save me from the bondage to things. Let me not waste my days puttering around the house… Deliver me from overeating and late sleeping. Teach me self-discipline that I may be a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (pp. 66-67)