Victorious Spiritual Experience Summed Up in Three Words

“Be thou exalted.”

These are the three words that A. W. Tozer used to describe what he called “the language of victorious spiritual experience.”

He did this in chapter eight of The Pursuit of God, “Restoring the Creator-creature Relation.”

According to Tozer, “be thou exalted” is our proper response as creatures. It’s “the only thinkable relation” between creatures and their Creator, he wrote:

“God being Who and What He is, and we being who and what we are, the only thinkable relation between us is one of full lordship on His part and complete submission on ours.”

“Be thou exalted.”

Tozer took these three words from Psalm 57:5: “Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.” (KJV)

For him this was not just the voice of poetry and praise, but of logic and sound reasoning:

“I hope it is clear that there is a logic behind God’s claim to pre-eminence. That place is His by every right in earth or heaven. While we take to ourselves the place that is His the whole course of our lives is out of joint. Nothing will or can restore order till our hearts make the great decision: God shall be exalted above.”

Even though it’s the only thinkable relation between us and God, we still try to think our way around it:

“Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and to bring Him nearer to our own image. The flesh whimpers against the rigor of God’s inexorable sentence and begs like Agag for a little mercy, a little indulgence of its carnal ways. It is no use. We can get a right start only by accepting God as He is and learning to love Him for what He is.”

“Be thou exalted.”

When we say it, things start to change. Or maybe it’s not the things so much as it’s we who change. According to Tozer, making this change solves “a thousand minor problems”:

“‘Be thou exalted’ is the language of victorious spiritual experience. It is a little key to unlock the door to great treasures of grace. It is central in the life of God in the soul. Let the seeking man reach a place where life and lips join to say continually ‘Be thou exalted,’ and a thousand minor problems will be solved at once. His Christian life ceases to be the complicated thing it had been before and becomes the very essence of simplicity. By the exercise of his will he has set his course, and on that course he will stay as if guided by an automatic pilot. If blown off course for a moment by some adverse wind he will surely return again as by a secret bent of the soul. The hidden motions of the Spirit are working in his favor, and ‘the stars in their courses’ fight for him. He has met his life problem at its center, and everything else must follow along.”


NEXT: Laying Down the Burden of Self


This Post is Part of a Chapter-by-Chapter Look at A. W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God

  1. This Voice from the Past is Still Calling for the Seekers
  2. The Larger the Heart, the Less It Holds
  3. God Tore Down His Veil, We Protect Ours
  4. We Walk by Faith Not by Sight, Not by Imagination
  5. Three Tips for Cultivating Spiritual Receptivity
  6. Has Everybody Heard the Speaking Voice?
  7. Seeking a Practical Definition of Faith
  8. Victorious Spiritual Experience Summed Up in Three Words
  9. Laying Down the Burden of Self
  10. Learning to See All of Life as Worship