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 mannever. 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.
Indeed, this is a great statement by Tozer. I have talked to a number of pastors about the prophetic in the Church today. Many of them while they fully believe in it, are absolutely terrified of it. They are terrified somebody in the congregation will give a word that causes everybody to go to the church down the street. Granted, they make a disclaimer about this and always seem to end up saying "you can't just allow some nut off the street to come in your church and speak up."
However, I don't believe this is what they really fear, as seldom in the history of the Church so-far-as-I-know has a total nut ever just entered a church and began speaking up in service. Even the mentally-ill and hardcore atheist know better than this.
Because of this fear that many pastors have, the prophet is hardly a ministry that is welcomed in the local church, and while on paper these pastors would be all gung-ho about its ministry, in practicality, many are guilty of trying to silence that voice.
Individuals who are worried about the numbers game are guilty of fearing man. I remember when I had a great fear of man, and though I always sought to hear from God when I would teach, I would also keep my ear alert to other voices.
So, sometimes I would receive a word that I know was not going to be accepted by man, and sometimes I would refuse to speak it, knowing that I would be rejected. This effected my ministry not only within the local church, but also my street evangelism ministry that I ran from for several years. And most importantly, this effected my ministry before God, as my prayers would ascend no higher than the ceiling above me.
But the verse that really stuck with me a great deal and God gradually used to break me down was "perfect love casts out fear." When I truly desired to love the soul of mankind, then I found that the fears I did have broke down- and mighty was its fall.
No longer am I a slave to fear, instead now I am free to love!
Though I am still conscious of the fact that what I say might not be popular, and there is always that temptation to let fear have its way, I have seen love allow me to overcome that fear. Instead, I allow the burden of the Lord to overtake me. In doing this, I have seen a great difference in my life over the last several months.
If they follow himwell and good. If not, he loses nothing that he holds dear.
Being a Bible college student, knowing that I am getting a degree that will mean little-to-nothing in the secular world, I have been tempted to do things to "secure" my future financially as far as the ministry is concerned. But the Lord has shown me more and more, especially in the last month or two, that I should not worry about these things in the least bit. The ministry the Lord has given me is not for establishing myself somewhere, but rather, it is for the purpose of establishing Him somewhere... and there is a difference. One would cause me to preach myself as lord, whereas the other will only cause me to preach Jesus as Lord, and myself as a bondservant. If I become "established" financially as far as ministry is concerned through the preaching that Jesus is Lord, then fine and good, but if I am not, and have to spend the rest of life in the ministry with a secular job, then likewise, fine and good. Either way, I will preach Jesus as Lord.
Btw, where do you get all these Tozer quotes from?