No Copy-Cats, Please

I looked again yesterday at the book God’s Generals (1996) by Roberts Liardon. It provides biographies on a dozen pioneers of 20th Century Pentecost, and their successes, challenges and stumbles.

Names included Sister Aimee Semple McPherson, John G. Lake, William Seymour, Smith Wigglesworth, Evan Roberts and A. A. Allan. Of course I have always been fascinated with the pulse of evangelism, and here I even had a couple born in Ontario, Canada, and just down the road (Aimee and Lake).

The narratives were filled with images of yearning crowds, honest prayer gatherings, bold sidewalk witnessing, healing of sickness and despair and sincere compassion for the hungry and minimalized. How often I had wanted to walk in their steps. Even now you might be suspecting the problem here. “Their steps”. And what about the steps of Jesus, including reproach, misunderstanding, suspicion and downright abuse?

I am convinced that each of these faith “heroes” operated under a novel and God-given burden and vision. It was theirs. I am never to attempt to copy it. The author of this book almost gives such a suggestion.

The Lord does not use me where I am not. He uses me where I find myself, with the attributes He has built into me, and among a group of friends and acquaintances encountered over a lifetime.

Oh yes, the occasional David Livingstone or Mary Slessor goes to Africa; Hudson Taylor goes to China; William Carey goes to India; John Williams goes to the isles of the Pacific. But in each case the Good Shepherd went before and drew the servant with unmistakable cords. They were not wishful thinkers or dreamers.

Our Lord has a host of assignments, and all over the place. You will recognize your specific call if you remain humble, prayerful and alert. It was His plan to birth you where He did, and it will be the same with ministry. My comments would apply equally to congregations mystified with this copy-cat business.

A striking example now comes to mind. In the early years of this 21st century, an organizing group sought to re-visit the place and spirit of the Azusa Street Revival (100 years later). It was presumption, not faith or burden God-given. It fizzled.

A World, Just Within Reach

That I might go

To some exotic place

And raise a chin

And raise a heart

With Grace

And test my steel

Against a land and clime

And show dark hearts

A walk and way sublime.

But here I stay

Familiar job and street

And noisy kids

That patter at my feet.

Is there some pain

Some tear I’m meant to find?

And comfort

In the love of Christ?

Have I been blind? (Doug)

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One thought on “No Copy-Cats, Please

  1. What self respecting plundering eye patched pirate would be caught dead without a parrot on it’s shoulder repeating everything it hears…”does polly want a cracker?”

    Ironically, a “dead parrot” at that…Perhaps a Norweigian Blue?
    Anthony

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