A.W. Tozer Quotes

Aiden Wilson Tozer was an American evangelical pastor, speaker, writer, and editor. After coming to Christ at the age of seventeen, Tozer found his way into the Christian & Missionary Alliance denomination where he served for over forty years. In 1950, he was appointed by the denomination’s General Council to be the editor of “The Alliance Witness” (now “Alliance Life”).

Born into poverty in western Pennsylvania in 1897, Tozer died in May 1963 a self-educated man who had taught himself what he missed in high school and college due to his home situation. Though he wrote many books, two of them, “The Pursuit of God” and “The Knowledge of the Holy” are widely considered to be classics.

A.W. Tozer and his wife, Ada Cecelia Pfautz, had seven children, six boys and one girl. 


“God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which he must work. Only to know this is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet come to the end of themselves. We’re still trying to give orders, and interfering with God’s work within us. ”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“I want the presence of God Himself, or I don’t want anything at all to do with religion… I want all that God has or I don’t want any.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Perhaps it takes a purer faith to praise God for unrealized blessings than for those we once enjoyed or those we enjoy now.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Any faith that must be supported by the evidence of the senses is not real faith.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Jesus calls us to his rest, and meekness is His method. The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“If man had his way, the plan of redemption would be an endless and bloody conflict. In reality, salvation was bought not by Jesus’ fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him.” ~ A.W. Tozer


“Justice is not something God has. Justice is something that God is.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly
has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“We can be in our day what the heroes of faith were in their day – but remember at the time they didn’t know they were heroes.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“A man by his sin may waste himself, which is to waste that which on earth is most like God. This is man’s greatest tragedy and God’s heaviest grief.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“I believe that entertainment and amusements are the work of the Enemy to keep dying men from knowing they’re dying; and to keep enemies of God from remembering that they’re enemies.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God and the Church is famishing for want of His Presence.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“The fact of God is necessary for the fact of man. Think God away and man has no ground of existence.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Unbelief is actually perverted faith, for it puts its faith not in the living God, but in dying men.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“All things as they move toward God are beautiful, and they are ugly as they move away from Him.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


‘Secularism, materialism, and the intrusive presence of things have put out the light in our souls and turned us into a generation of zombies.” ~ A.W. Tozer


“Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“For myself, I long ago decided that I would rather know the truth than be happy in ignorance. If I can not have both truth and happiness, give me truth. We’ll have a long time to be happy in heaven.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Trying to be happy without a sense of God’s presence is like trying to have a bright day without the sun.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“We get the odd notion that God is showing mercy because Jesus died. No. Jesus died because God is showing mercy.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“God is so vastly wonderful, so utterly and completely delightful that He can, without anything other than Himself, meet and overflow the deepest demands of our total nature, mysterious and deep as that nature is.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“The love of Christ both wounds and heals, it fascinates and frightens, it kills and makes alive, it draws and repulses. There can be nothing more terrible or wonderful than to be stricken with love for Christ so deeply that the whole being goes out in a pained adoration of His person, an adoration that disturbs and disconcerts while it purges and satisfies and relaxes the deep inner heart.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“But the sons of this world have not God; they have only each other, and they walk holding to each other and looking to one another for assurance like frightened children.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Hardly anything else reveals so well the fear and uncertainty among men as the length to which they will go to hide their true selves from each other and even from their own eyes.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Whenever you see confusion, you can be sure that something is wrong. Disorder in the world implies that something is out of place. Usually, at the heart of all disorder you will find man in rebellion against God. It began in the Garden of Eden and continues to this day.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply.” God actually rises up storms of conflict in relationships at times in order to accomplish that deeper work in our character. We cannot love our enemies in our own strength. This is graduate-level grace. Are you willing to enter this school? Are you willing to take the test? If you pass, you can expect to be elevated to a new level in the Kingdom. For He brings us through these tests as preparation for greater use in the Kingdom. You must pass the test first.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“A true and safe leader is likely to be one who has no desire to lead, but is forced into a position of leadership by the inward pressure of the Holy Spirit and the press of the external situation. Such were Moses and David and the Old Testament prophets. I think there was hardly a great leader from Paul to the present day but that was drafted by the Holy Spirit for the task, and commissioned by the Lord of the Church to fill a position he had little heart for. I believe it might be accepted as a fairly reliable rule of thumb that the man who is ambitious to lead is disqualified as a leader. The true leader will have no desire to lord it over God’s heritage, but will be humble, gentle, self-sacrificing, and altogether as ready to follow as to lead, when the Spirit makes it clear that a wiser and more gifted man than himself has appeared.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“The problem of why God created the universe still troubles thinking men; but if we cannot know why, we can at least know that He did not bring His worlds into being to meet some unfulfilled need in Himself, as a man might build a house to shelter him against the winter cold or plant a field of corn to provide him with necessary food. The word ‘necessary’ is wholly foreign to God.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Promoting self under the guise of promoting Christ is currently so common as to excite little notice.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“In every Christian’s heart there is a cross and a throne, and the Christian is on the throne till he puts himself on the cross. If he refuses the cross he remains on the throne. Perhaps this is at the bottom of the backsliding and worldliness among gospel believers today. We want to be saved but we insist that Christ do all the dying. No cross for us, no dethronement, no dying. We remain king within the little kingdom of Mansoul and wear our tinsel crown with all the pride of a Caesar, but we doom ourselves to shadows and weakness and spiritual sterility.” ~ A.W. Tozer


“To admit the existence of a need in God is to admit incompleteness in the divine Being. Need is a creature-word and cannot be spoken of the Creator. God has a voluntary relation to everything He has made, but He has no necessary relation to anything outside of Himself. His interest in His creatures arises from His sovereign good pleasure, not from any need those creatures can supply nor from any completeness they can bring to Him who is complete in Himself.” ~ A.W. Tozer


“I do not think I exaggerate when I say that some of us put our offering in the plate with a kind of triumphant bounce as much as to say: “There – now God will feel better!” I am obliged to tell you that God does not need anything you have. He does not need a dime of your money. It is your own spiritual welfare at stake in such matters as these. You have the right to keep what you have all to yourself – but it will rust and decay, and ultimately ruin you.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“I want to be a more serious-minded Christian, more detached from this world, more ready for heaven than I have ever been in my whole life. I want an ear that is sharp to know the voice of the enemy, whether it comes from religion, politics, or philosophy … I would rather stand and have everybody my enemy than to go along with the crowd to destruction. Do you feel that way?”  ~ A.W. Tozer

“Many of us Christians have become extremely skillful in arranging our lives so as to admit the truth
of Christianity without being embarrassed by its implications.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“How tragic that we in this dark day have had our seeking done for us by our teachers. Everything is made to center upon the initial act of “accepting” Christ (a term, incidentally, which is not found in the Bible) and we are not expected thereafter to crave any further revelation of God to our souls. We have been snared in the coils of a spurious logic which insists that if we have found Him we need no more seek Him.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“What is wisdom? It is the skill to achieve the perfect means by the perfect ends.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“The cross stands high above the opinions of men and to that cross all opinions must come at last for judgment.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“We are often hindered from giving up our treasures to the Lord out of fear for their safety. This is especially true when those treasures are loved relatives and friends. But we need have no such fears. Our Lord came not to destroy but to save. Everything is safe which we commit to Him, and nothing is really safe which is not so committed.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Whoever defends himself will have himself for defense, and he will have no other. But let him come defenseless before the Lord and he will have for his defender no less than God Himself.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“A real Christian is an odd number anyway. He feels supreme love for One whom he has never seen, talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see, expects to go to heaven on the virtue of Another, empties himself in order to be full, admits he is wrong so he can be declared right, goes down in order to get up, is strongest when he is weakest, richest when he is poorest and happiest when he feels worst. He dies so he can live, forsakes in order to have, gives away so he can keep, sees the invisible, hears the inaudible and knows that which passeth knowledge.” ~ A.W. Tozer


“First, there is the burden of pride. The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. Think for yourself whether much of your sorrow has not arisen from someone speaking slightingly of you. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol. How then can you hope to have inward peace? The heart’s fierce effort to protect itself from every slight, to shield its touchy honor from the bad opinion of friend and enemy, will never let the mind have rest. Continue this fight through the years and the burden will become intolerable. Yet the sons of earth are carrying this burden continually, challenging every word spoken against them, cringing under every criticism, smarting under each fancied slight, tossing sleepless if another is preferred before them. Such a burden as this is not necessary to bear. Jesus calls us to His rest, and meekness is His method. The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort. He develops toward himself a kindly sense of humor and learns to say, “Oh, so you have been overlooked? They have placed someone else before you? They have whispered that you are pretty small stuff after all? And now you feel hurt because the world is saying about you the very things you have been saying about yourself? Only yesterday you were telling God that you were nothing, a mere worm of the dust. Where is your consistency? Come on, humble yourself, and cease to care what men think.” ~ A.W. Tozer


“Whatever God felt about anything, He still feels. Whatever He thought about anyone, He still thinks. Whatever He approved, He still approves. Whatever He condemned, He still condemns. Today we have what they call the relativity of morals. But remember this God never changes. Holiness and righteousness are conformity to the will of God. And the will of God never changes for moral creatures.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike, it resolves a great deal of anxiety.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“The heart’s fierce effort to protect itself from every slight, to shield its touchy honor from the bad opinion of friend and enemy, will never let the mind have rest.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“God does his deepest work in our darkest hours” ~ A.W. Tozer


“To escape the error of salvation by works we have fallen into the opposite error of salvation without obedience. In our eagerness to get rid of the legalistic doctrine of works we have thrown out the baby with the bath and gotten rid of obedience as well.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“If God gives you a few more years, remember, it is not yours. Your time must honor God, your home must honor God, your activity must honor God, and everything you do must honor God.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Frankly, I am quite tired of those who tout Christianity as a way to stop smoking or drinking or break wild habits of the world. Is that all Christianity is, to keep us from some bad habit? Of course, regeneration will clean us up, and the new birth will make a man right. If that is what Christianity is all about, what about the person whose life is not that bad? The purpose of God in redemption is to restore us again to the divine imperative of worship. We were created to worship, but sin destroyed that ability. Jesus Christ, on the cross, redeemed us and brought us back to the place where we now can worship and have fellowship with God Almighty. My clean life is a by-product of my conversion. My life may have pointed out to me that I needed a drastic change, but that is not the purpose for which I was converted. The essence of conversion is to bring me into a right relationship with God and have fellowship with Him.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“The things you read will fashion you by slowly conditioning your mind.” ~ A.W. Tozer


“Religious work can be done by natural men without the gifts of the Spirit, and it can be done well and skillfully.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Anyone who wishes to check on his true spiritual condition may do so by noting what his voluntary thoughts have been over the last hours or days.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Some Christians have taken all the justice, judgment and hatred of sin out of the nature of God and have nothing left but a soft god. Others have taken love and grace out and have nothing left but a god of judgment. Or they have taken away the personality of God and have nothing left but a mathematical god—the god of the scientists. All these are false, inadequate conceptions of God.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Worship is no longer worship when it reflects the culture around us more than the Christ within us.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Our thought habits are those of the scientist, not those of the worshipper. We are more likely to explain than to adore.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Christianity has been watered down until the solution is so weak that if it were poison it would not hurt anyone, and if it were medicine it would not cure anyone.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Remember, fear is of the flesh and panic is of the devil.” ~ A.W. Tozer


“The only Christians you want to listen to are the ones who give you more of a hunger for God.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Be hard on yourself and easy on others. Carry your own cross but never lay one on the back of another.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“Those who have truly seen Christ in His glory have eyes for nothing else.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“The world lives in a time of crisis. Christians alone are in a position to rescue the perishing. We dare not settle down to try to live as if things were normal.”  ~ A.W. Tozer


“For always remember this friends, that who a man is is always more important to God than what he does.”  ~ A.W. Tozer