The Purpose of Man: A.W. Tozer - Book Reveiw
I wrote this review while I was in seminary. Recently I found it and felt it might be a blessing to someone. We are called to righteousness and it is in how we live out our lives that we worship the Lord. What I am saying is: Our life should be a form of worship. Lord, may I worship YOU well with my life.
The Purpose of Man by A.W. Tower is an extrapolation of a call to worship the Lord. This calling is so important that even to try and place a value on it is difficult at best. Tower does an effective job at bringing you to a place of surrender knowing that you our powerless within yourself to achieve true worship. This worship can only be achieved through the “power of the Holy Spirit”. It is not through vain repetition, religious utterance, or self centered live that one can develop a lifestyle of worship that is pleasing to God.
John 4:23,"But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.
This place of worship can only be reached as we maintain a personal relationship with the Lord. It is a time of awe and wonder of His goodness and majesty. He declared, “that it is good” He was expressing His appreciation for creation and the perfect harmony in which the world was operating in at that time (21). That entire God created was for His purpose and pleasure and He created us to worship.
Since the fall of man people have been looking for their purpose and are starving as they seek truth and hope for their future. “The biblically defined purpose is that we might worship God and enjoy Him forever (28).” As we were created to worship we are longing and seeking for that which satisfies us, yet we truly feel whole when we are in His presence and absent from the pains of this life due to our circumstances. Our eyes are taken off ourselves and focused on our creator. To be revived is to be in a place of worship where you are restored and washed in His presence. We are called to worship Him in beauty of holiness. “That is our supreme purpose (32).”
Isaac Watts’s song says, “I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath!” When we love the Lord with our whole heart even our very breath should praise Him.
We need to be awakened to our true purpose, which is to praise Him in all that we do. Our adoration to Him should be present through our day and not merely of Sunday. Our identity should be in Him and not our work and education, yet one should see His handiwork as we reflect His glory as we surrender our wills throughout of daily walk.
Page 43: “You are a mirror of the Almighty, and this is the reason you were created in the first place. This is your purpose. You are not created so that you might only take something over here and put it over there- work. You were not created only that you might develop your brain so you can speak with a cultured accent- education. Neither are we here to enjoy ourselves, even the pure pleasures of life. Nor are we here for the thrills life brings.”
Thrills, education, and works, - are empty without Him for we were designed to worship and intrinsically people realize that something is missing when they do not know the creator and worship Him. People thus try to fill this void with other things, yet hopelessly searching for a redeemer even when they are unaware of it. The Lord delights in us and in our praises. It was His intent that we would take on the Divine Nature of God and this can only happen through knowing Him.
Page 71, “Therefore, worship originates with God, comes back to us and is reflected from us. That is the worship God accepts, and He accepts no other kind.” This is why it is imperative that you know Him for to “truly worship” it must originate with Him. Our heartfelt emotion, feelings, sentiment, is genuine as we reflect on His glory. We become amazed at all that He has done for what and us He is doing this moment in time. We actually cannot conceive life without Him. For He is everything! We realize that we can worship Him anywhere as no matter where we are – He is with us. His presence is what is important. It is not the music, instruments, choir, or building. It is His beautiful presence.
Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me, John 14:6. Mankind is seeking truth and in that they look to many faiths in order to fill that void which can only be filled through Jesus. What is truth to one may be different to another who does not believe in Christ. But, I believe that the Word says that those who seek Him shall find Him. So, it is my prayer that if they are truly seeking - they will indeed one day find Him and then they will experience freedom. For it is in His presence that one finds comfort day and night.
Page 95: “Our work is only acceptable to God if our worship is acceptable.”
I believe what A.W. Tozer is saying is that when we work we should have an attitude of worship. If we are called to “Praise without ceasing” then God is calling His people to do all things unto Him from a place of worship. People who take time to worship are the most productive. As one sets aside time for the Lord, He give us instruction or perhaps a refreshing or strength that we did not have prior to our time with Him.
Confidence, Admiration, Fascination, and Adoration are the four ingredients to Worship according to Tozer (110).
Each of these brings us to a place of longing for more of Him. First it takes faith to cry out to the Lord and as we commune with Him the adoration comes naturally. Again, it must begin with faith as we join with Him and once His presence envelops us/consumes us we than are at awe with the greatest and splendor of our Savior. It is a gift to know Him and to have His presence. For this we must show our gratitude continually. Therefore we not only take on His name, but His nature as we spend time in worship.
Page 157:”Our personal relationship to Jesus Christ is the most important thing about us, which is defined for us in the worship we offer to God.”
It is all about our relationship to God for it is only as we spend time with Him that we are changed and transformed into His image. This takes a life of discipline. We are filled up so that we can be of worth to others. This is how we have the flavor of “salt” on the brilliants of “light”. We are called to walk in righteousness and that righteousness comes from Him. Everything that is “good” comes from Him.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above.” So, if we desire to be a gift to this world, we need to have a vibrant worship lifestyle in which we spend time with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. This must be a priority in our lives to commune with Him and desire His presence over all else. Romans 8:39,”nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”