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, and 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...
[-From the Foreword to Leonard Ravenhill´s "Why Revival Tarries". A brilliant book!]
The historian D´Aubigne writes: "A great work of God is never accomplished by the natural strength of man. It is from the dry bones, the darkness and the dust of death, that God is pleased to select the instruments by means of which He designs to scatter over the earth His light, regeneration and life." [- D´Aubigne´s "History of the Reformation"].
Another writer has observed: "In the various crises that have occurred in the history of the church, men have come to the front who have manifested a holy recklessness that astonished their fellows. When Luther nailed his theses to the door of the cathedral at Wittenberg, cautious men were astonished at his audacity. When John Wesley ignored all church restrictions and religious propriety and preached in the fields and by-ways, men declared his reputation was ruined. So it has been in all ages. When the religious condition of the times called for men who were willing to sacrifice all for Christ, the demand created the supply, and there have always been found a few who have been willing to be regarded reckless for the Lord. An utter recklessness concerning men´s opinions and other consequences is the only attitude that can meet the exigencies of the present times." [Quoted by Frank Bartleman in "Azusa Street", pg 46. (Also published as "Another Wave Rolls in"). - Another brilliant book!]
Submitted 10/11/2008 6:11:39 PM | Author: A, W, Tozer