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  • Our MOST CRITICAL NEED by A.W. Tozer

    by 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.

    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.

    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. But
    the free man - never. 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.

    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, 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?" by A.W. Tozer.​