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  • "The ELIJAH TYPE" 


    by A.W. Tozer

    Great industrial concerns have in their employ men who are needed

    only when there is a breakdown somewhere. When something

    goes wrong with the machinery, these men spring into action to

    locate and remove the trouble and get the machinery rolling again.

    For these men a smoothly operating system has no interest. They

    are specialists concerned with trouble and how to find and correct it.

    In the Kingdom of God things are not too different. God has always

    had His specialists whose chief concern has been the moral

    breakdown, the decline in the spiritual health of the nation or the

    Church. Such men were Elijah, Jeremiah, Malachi, and others of

    their kind who appeared at critical moments in history to reprove,

    rebuke, and exhort in the name of God and righteousness.

    A thousand or ten thousand ordinary priests or pastors or teachers

    could labor quietly on, almost unnoticed, while the spiritual life of

    Israel or the Church was normal. But let the people of God go

    astray from the paths of truth, and immediately the specialist

    appeared almost out of nowhere. His instinct for trouble brought

    him to the help of the Lord and of Israel.

    Such a man was likely to be drastic, radical, possibly at times

    violent, and the curious crowd that gathered to watch him work

    soon branded him as extreme, fanatical, negative. And in a sense

    they were right. He was single-minded, severe, fearless, as these

    were the qualities the circumstances demanded. He shocked

    some, frightened others, and alienated not a few, but he knew

    Who had called him and what he was sent to do. His ministry

    was geared to the emergency, and that fact marked him out as

    different, a man apart.

    To such men as this the Church owes a debt too heavy to pay.

    The curious thing is that She seldom tries to pay him while he

    lives, but the next generation builds his sepulcher and writes his

    biography, as if instinctively and awkwardly to discharge an

    obligation the previous generation to a large extent ignored.

    Such a man as this is not an easy companion. The professional

    evangelist who leaves the wrought-up meeting as soon as it ends

    to hurry over to the most expensive restaurant to feast and crack

    jokes with his sponsors will find this man something of an

    embarrassment, for he cannot turn off the burden of the Holy

    Ghost as one would turn off a faucet. He insists upon being a

    Christian all the time, everywhere; and again, that marks him out

    as different.

    Toward him it is impossible to be neutral. His acquaintances are

    divided pretty neatly into two classes, those who love him with all

    admiration, and those who hate him with perfect hatred!

    -From "Why Revival Tarries" by L. Ravenhill