Shortly before his death, A. W. Tozer was asked what specific steps he would recommend for the earnest seeker after the “deeper life.” Tozer answered in his characteristic directness that he never thought much for “steps” in the Christian life, though they may be useful to some people. His method was to “simply plunge in on the promises of God and let God take care of the ‘steps.'” He did, however, have some recommendations for anyone seeking a more satisfying and more God-possessed life. Here is a summary of his recommendations.

First, determine to take Christianity seriously. Too many disciples play at Christianity. We readily admit to being members of the social club we call church but rarely stop to focus our whole lives seriously on God’s rightful claim of sovereignty over us.

Second, throw yourself recklessly upon God. Give up everything and prepare to surrender yourself even unto death. Repudiate your ambitions, plans, and possessions. Never be satisfied with the technical aspect of surrender. Press the issue in your life until a true crisis has taken place and there is an actual transfer of everything from yourself to God.

Third, take a solemn vow never to claim any honor or glory or praise for anything you are or have or do. Fourth, determine not to defend yourself against your detractors. Put your reputation in God’s hands and leave it there. Fifth, mortify the flesh with the affections and lusts. Real death to self is a painful thing and tends to reduce a man in his own eyes and humble him into the dust. Not many follow this rugged way, but those who do are the exemplary Christians.

The deeper life of the Spirit requires a level of discipline that too few disciples are willing to practice; however, throughout the ages men and women of God have been willing to enter into “the deeper life.” From their insights you and I can learn how to be better disciples.

Here are some books that are filled with the thoughts of some of these men and women. Why not read one or two? You may be helped as you pursue the deeper life.

Nouwen, Henri J. M.

The Way of the Heart: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers

The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society

Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World

Merton, Thomas

Wisdom of the Desert

New Seeds of Contemplation

Peterson, Eugene H.

Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology

Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading