We hear much today about “celebrity” pastors and worship leaders. The truth is that the desire for celebrity lurks in all of us. These words of A.W. Tozer are a powerful reminder of what matters most and the need for humility:
Let me tell you this, my brethren, it is possible to want the glory of God to be revealed, and to pray that the glory of God might be revealed but at the same time want to be the one He uses to reveal it. It is possible for me to go to my knees and say, “O God, let Thy glory be revealed to men,” and at the same time have a sneaking hope that I’ll be the one He uses to reveal that glory.
Do you know what I’m asking for? I’m asking for a cut of the glory of God, a percentage of the glory of God, and I’ll never get my prayer answered.”
It is perfectly possible to want the Church to be restored from her Babylonian captivity, yet want to be the one who leads her back. If you pray like that, you might just as well not pray. It is possible to want the wall of Jerusalem to be built, but to want to be Nehemiah.It is possible to want the prophets of Baal to be defeated, but have a secret yearning to be Elijah and stand up and call fire down from heaven.We want a reformation, but we want to be Luther and say, “Here I stand, so help me, God.”
We want the army of the Lord to win, but we like to be a commissioned officer so that when it wins, we can ride at the head of the parade. We want our church to triumph over her foes, but we like to be around there working, so when it triumphs, everyone will say we had a part in it.
Now, my brethren, we must elevate our hearts and pray: “O God, honor Thyself, but do it through me or do it without me or do it apart from me.” We have to pray like that. Otherwise we’re praying selfishly.
We’re a starved generation that’s never seen the glory of God. We have men and women in their 20’s and 30’s who have never seen the glory of God. They’re Christians, they’re in Bible schools, and they’ve never seen the glory of God. They’ve never known what it is to be in a service where the Presence of God is so awe-inspiring that you can’t speak aloud. They’ve never heard God preached about so high and lifted up that they went home in silence and wouldn’t talk.
When A. B. Simpson preached in Buffalo, New York, he preached on the glory of Jesus Christ, and when he was through, they dismissed the meeting and no one got out of their seats. They sat there because they were afraid to get up and walk around in the Presence of God. But a whole generation of young people has never seen anything like that.
“O God, restore Thy glory by whomsoever Thou wilt restore Thy glory.” Amen.