That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Tim. 3:17).

God’s man is never a priest of the cult of contemporaneousness. God’s man must always have a sense of past, present, and future to be enabled to give stability, purpose, direction, and even a sense of destiny to an age characterized by the withering feeling that it is a cut flower with no roots in the past, radically discontinuous with earlier generations, and uncertain about the future. God’s man can never speak to the present without knowing what God has done in the past, and how God’s prophets have related revelation to the life of the people, and without having the assurance that no matter what the future holds, he knows who holds the future. Special characteristics of any particular time are never as new, as distinctive, or as significant as we like to suppose.

Actually the man of God is confronted with the necessity of applying ancient principles and long-effective solutions to the modern version of the problems with which human nature has always struggled. One of these problems is pride, which makes every generation want to feel that it is the pivotal point of history, that it will unquestionably be the most honored to stand before God because of what it has endured.

Indeed one of the things most desperately needed by Christians today is a sense of being instruments in God’s plan of the ages rather than prima donnas. Too often we feel that the spotlight of God’s special interest must follow us wherever we move across the stage of human experience. Humility bids us to become aware of all that God is doing in our world through all of his people and to rejoice in the dignity of linking our lives with God’s plan of the ages.

In his ...

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