The Preacher’s Own Experience Of What He Talks Of

A.W. Tozer said:

It is especially important that Christian ministers know the law of the leader – that he can lead others only as far as he himself has gone…

The minister must experience what he would teach or he will find himself in the impossible position of trying to drive sheep. For this reason he should seek to cultivate his own heart before he attempts to preach to the hearts of others…

If he tries to bring them into a heart knowledge of truth which he has not actually experienced he will surely fail. In his frustration he may attempt to drive them; and scarcely anything is so disheartening as the sight of a vexed and confused shepherd using the lash on his bewildered flock in a vain attempt to persuade them to go beyond the point to which he himself has attained…

We cannot take our people beyond where we ourselves have been, so it becomes vitally important that we be men of God in the last and highest sense of that term.

So true and so challenging.

And yet, wherever we are spiritually we will always feel that we have not yet attained all that we desire. J.I. Packer, in the preface to Knowing God wrote:

I do not ask my readers to suppose that I know very well what I am talking about. ‘Those like myself,’ wrote C.S. Lewis, ‘whose imagination far exceeds their obedience are subject to a just penalty; we easily imagine conditions far higher than any we have really reached. If we describe what we have imagined we may make others, and make ourselves, believe that we have really been there’ – and so fool both them and ourselves.

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