Spurgeon reminds us that the most important place for pastors to grow – if indeed they desire to be a weapon in God’s hand – is in their soul.
From Lectures to My Students:
“It will be in vain for me to stock my library, or organise societies, or project schemes, if I neglect the culture of myself; for books, and agencies, and systems, are only remotely the instruments of my holy calling; my own spirit, soul, and body, are my nearest machinery for sacred service; my spiritual faculties, and my inner life, are my battle axe and weapons of war.
M’Cheyene, writing to a ministerial friend who was travelling with a view to perfecting himself in the German tongue, used language identical with our own: ‘I know you will apply hard to German, but do not forget the culture of the inner man – I mean of the heart. How diligently the calvary officer keeps his sabre clean and sharp; every stain he rubs off with the greatest care. Remember you are God’s sword, His instrument – I trust, a chosen vessel unto Him to bear His name. In great measure, according to the purity and perfection of the instrument, will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses so much as likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God'” (7-8).