"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
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
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