Monday, September 14, 2009

...from the firey pen of A.W. Tozer

THE MOST CRITICAL NEED of the Church at this moment is men -
the right kind of men, bold men. The talk is that we need revival that we need a new baptism of the Holy Spirit - and God knows we must have both - but God will not revive mice. He will not fill rabbits with the Holy Spirit.

We languish for men who feel themselves expendable in the warfare of the soul because they have already died to the allurements of this world. Such men will be free from the compulsions that control weaker men. They will not be forced to do things by the squeeze of circumstances. Their only compulsion will come from within - or from above.

Prophets… not Mascots
This kind of freedom is necessary if we are to have prophets in our pulpits again instead of mascots. These free men will serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious retainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary.

They will make no decisions out of fear, take no course out of a desire to please, accept no service for financial considerations, perform no religious acts out of mere custom, nor allow themselves to be influenced by the love of publicity or the desire for reputation.

Much that the church - even the evangelical church - is doing today, it is doing because it is afraid not to do it. Ministerial associations take up projects for no higher reasons than that they are scared into it. Whatever their ear-to-the-ground, fear-inspired reconnoitering leads them to believe - or fear - the world expects them to do, they will be doing come next Monday morning with all kinds of trumped-up zeal and show of godliness. The pressure of public opinion calls these prophets, not the voice of Jehovah.

The true church has never sounded out public expectations before launching its crusades. Its leaders heard from God and went ahead wholly independent of popular support or the lack of it. They knew their Lord's will and did it, and their people followed them - sometimes to triumph, but more often to insults and public persecution - and their sufficient reward was the satisfaction of being right in a wrong world.

Burdened and Broken by Love
Another characteristic of the true prophet has been love. The free man who has learned to hear God's voice and dared to obey it has felt the moral burden that broke the hearts of the Old Testament prophets, crushed the soul of our Lord Jesus Christ, and wrung streams of tears from the eyes of the apostles. The free man has never been a religious tyrant, nor has he sought to lord it over God's heritage. It is fear and lack of self-assurance that has led men to try to bring others under their feet. They have had some interest to protect, some position to secure, so they have demanded subjection from their followers as a guarantee of their own safety.

He has nothing to protect, no ambition to pursue and no enemy to fear. For that reason he is completely careless of his standing among men. If they follow him - well and good. If not, he loses nothing that he holds dear. But whether he is accepted or rejected, he will go on loving his people with sincere devotion, and only death can silence his tender intercession for them.

His Work—His Way
Yes, if evangelical Christianity is to stay alive, it must have men again - the right kind of men. It must repudiate the weaklings who dare not speak out, and it must seek in prayer and much humility the coming again of men of the stuff of which prophets and martyrs are made. God will hear the cries of His people as He heard the cries of Israel in Egypt, and He will send deliverance by sending deliverers. It is His way.

And when the deliverers come - reformers, revivalists, and prophets - they will be men of God and men of courage. They will have God on their side because they are careful to stay on God's side. They will be co-workers with Christ and instruments in the hands of the Holy Spirit. Such men will be baptized with the Spirit indeed and through their labors He will baptize others and send the long-delayed revival.

(SOURCE: "This World: Playground or Battleground?", Chapter 7 – Subtitles, Steven Camp).


4given said...

Yes, and the kind of women we need more of in our churches are women that embrace Biblical womanhood, longing to be helpers to such men, praying fervently for such men. Serving God boldly by embracing our God ordained role.

Terry Rayburn said...

"...they will be men of God and men of courage."

This "courage" is under-rated, but so important.

Jesus was courageous enough to be labeled a "sinner", "wine-bibber" and "glutton", because he ate with the "branded" of society.

We need to be courageous enough to:

-- Stand for the Word of God, even if they label us fundamentalists.

-- Stand for the sovereignty of God in salvation, even if they label us hyper-calvinists.

-- Stand for the truth that no one comes to God except through faith Jesus Christ, even if they call us intolerant or bigots.

-- Stand for the truth that we are to love all of the Body of Christ, even if they mock us with "kum-ba-yah around the campfire".

-- Stand for the truth that we are to love even our enemies, even if they label us too tolerant.

-- Stand for biblical justification by grace through faith, even if they call us intellectually unaware of the New Perspective.

-- Stand against sin, even if they call us legalists, or hypocrites, because we also sin.

-- Stand for the radical grace of the New Covenant after initial salvation, even if they call us antinomians.

Courage. Don't leave home without it.


scripturesearcher said...

Two of the greatest writers (both without much formal education but filled with wisdom from God) that all contemporary Christians would do well to read are Tozer and Pink.

Both are largely discredited and ignored by current educators because they were not university and seminary graduates.

Please do not allow the books of any human writers to replace your study of the sacred scriptures but find room in your schedules for Tozer and Pink - and Spurgeon, yes, and Havner.

Sparks said...




SJ Camp said...

My older brother Norm ministered in very difficult surroundings for most of his as a missionary to the Muslim people.

In this "conversation" about the EC, I was encouraged by a friend of mine to post a link about him and his ministry. My brother died unexpectedly seven months ago. My tribute to him can be read here.

I believe this will help put things into perspective in this discussion.

2 Cor. 4:5-7

~Mark said...

The struggle of being a man in the Church is a hard one. It nearly brings tears to my eye to be reminded that others were thought odd for the same reasons.

A call to Biblical manhood could be what many men need today to bring manly passion to serving Christ in whatever way He has called them.

I gotta say, these "6 AM bagel and muffin breakfasts, everybody weep about something, let's sing Kumbaya instead of charging down the walls of the city" men of today have left me wishing for a modern day Elijah in my life.

My dad died when I was 10, but God was faithful to put good men in my life to pattern after. Most of them have moved on to ministry in other places, and I miss them greatly.

I once asked a colleague why he was doing a certain, very questionable thing. He said because the boss said so. When I reminded him that God signs the paychecks, this man who claims Christ said something that soured my stomach:

"Was His name on your last check? It sure wasn't on mine!"

The thing he was doing wasn't something he had to do in the way he was doing it, but it was the way of the company.

Matthew 6:33

Steve, I'm sorry you lost the direct fellowship of your brother. That must have been quite a blow, and I'm just grateful that you'll see him again someday.

4given said...

Your post about your brother made me cry. Jon, my husband, has a younger brother who also does missions in a Muslim dominated closed country. Please pray for them.

donsands said...

"They knew their Lord's will and did it, ... their sufficient reward was the satisfaction of being right in a wrong world."

I thought of Jerimiah as I read this. One of the key verses for me in his book is: "Then I said, 'I will not make mention of Him,
Nor speak anymore in His name.'
But His word was in my heart like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
I was weary of holding it back,
And I could not." Jer. 20:9

"The believer feels the word of Christ to be "as a burning fire" within, that will and must find a vent for itself; he can not forbear to testify of his beloved Lord, howsoever man may reject his testimony." -Jamison.Fausset.Brown

Brian said...

I see so many people comment here, and I always read this blog, but usually don't post. Anyway, I am soon to be working with the Jesus Film Project to take the Gospel to the nations. I love your stand for truth here.

I graduated from University of Illinois last May, and we had approximately one fourth of our movement's leadership go into full time ministry. Many of these people are my dearest friends, friends who labored throughout their entire course of college to lead Bible studies and reach people for Christ. At least, and probably more than one half of them, were men. They are calvinists, 22, and moving out into the rest of life where they will have ministry as well.

I think that with all of the problems the church faces today, God is still doing His work and raising up young men to storm the gates. I wanted to encourage you all of that. Keep praying hard, God hears!

littlegal_66 said...

Campi said: "I believe this will help put things into perspective in this discussion."

I definitely agree with you-your brother's story does lend itself to putting things in perspective, provided the tribute is read humbly and objectively, with the unpretentious heart of a servant.

There is much inspiration to be drawn from the legacies being left by your courageous brother and by other brave, faithful ministers of the Gospel.....who serve(d) Him with pure, selfless motives and who minister(ed) with sound, biblical methodologies.
(And often in very treacherous & volatile surroundings).

Soli Deo Gloria!

Psalm said...

This is the best post I have seen since coming here long ago. It is something that needs to be heard and put into practice. Without this change of direction there is No hope of turning the tide of darkness. Because of the failures of over respected, self promoting leaders, the spark of fear that held wickedness in chains has gone out. It will get worse until We get the courage to do what we were born to do. Shine!

Steve, The portrait of your brother, painted with humble words, is most beautiful. We should all aspire to walk that narrow road.

No matter the cost.
I am often criticized for the way I think but, I do not feel anything is lost, Until We give up......

Kevin in Manila said...

I've always loved Tozer! This post reminds me of why. I think I should re-read The Pursuit of God.

musicmike said...

You are so "right on" in your analysis. May God give us all this type of God-honoring courage. I'm finding out that this is what is lacking in our day. I certainly have not consistently possessed this courage, but I desire to have it on a daily basis so that I might boldly serve God and His church.