“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).
The Church, very uniformly, still sees as men see and still judges after the manner of men’s judgement. So much eager beaver religious work is done out of a carnal desire to do well and make good. So many hours of prayer are wasted asking God to bless something that is geared not to the glory of God, whatever men may say, but to the glory of men. Much sacred money is poured out upon men who, despite their teary appeals, seek only to make a fair show in the flesh – a crystal cathedral or a private jet. This is all nonsense and the true believer should turn from it.
The fact is that no man is worthy to succeed until he is willing to fail and until he is willing that the honour of succeeding should go to another. God will bless a work where to succeed is not necessary for happiness. The man who is elated by success and cast down by failure is still a carnal man. Success does not make a man closer or dearer to God; our great honour lies in being just what Jesus was.
The Church today is full of “pastors”; these are more like the Greek orators ascending the platform to address the gathering in the meeting place, a common feature of life in Greek cities.
But the true Christian servant should be a descendant not of the Greek orator but of the Hebrew prophet, a different thing altogether.
The orator speaks for himself while the prophet speaks for God; the orator originates his message and is responsible to himself for its content whereas the prophet originates nothing and delivers a message he has received from God, Who alone is responsible for it.
The Christian Church needs fewer orators and more prophets. It is a dubious distinction offered to a preacher to say that he is original; we need less originality and more of the Holy Spirit.