Fling him into his office and tear the Pastors Office sign off the door and nail a sign to it that says STUDY. Take him off the mailing list. Lock him up with his books, his computer, and his Bible and slam him down on his knees before text and broken hearts and the flick of lives of a superficial flock and a Holy God. Force him to be the one man in your community who knows about God. Throw him into the ring to box with God until he learns how short his arms are. Engage him to wrestle with God all the night through, and then let him come out only when he is bruised and beaten into being a blessing. Shut his mouth forever spouting remarks and stop his tongue forever tripping lightly over every non-essential. Require him to have something to say before he dares break the silence. Burn his eyes with weary study. Wreck his emotional poise with worry for God. Make him exchange his stance for a humble walk with God. Make him spend and be spent for the glory of God. Rip out his telephone. Burn up his ecclesiastical records. Put water in his gas tank; then give him his Bible, and tie him to the pulpit and make him preach the Word of the living God. Test him! Quiz him! Examine him! Humiliate him for his ignorance of things divine. Shame him for his good comprehension of finances, game scores and politics. Laugh at his frustrated efforts to play Psychiatrist. Form a choir and raise an anthem and haunt him with it night and day. When at last he dares approach the pulpit, ask him if he has a Word from God, If he doesn't dismiss him. Then command him not to come back until he's read and re-read, and written and re-written, and until he can stand up and say thus saith the Lord. Break him across the board of his ill gotten popularity. Smack him hard with his own prestige. Corner him with questions about God. Cover him with demands of celestial wisdom. Give him no escape until his back is against the wall of the Word. Then sit down before him and listen to the only word he has left, God's Word. Give him a chapter and order him to walk around in it, camp on it, sup with it, and come at last to speak it backward and forward until all he says about it rings with the truth of eternity.
Then when he is burned out by the flaming Word, when he is consumed at last by the fiery grace blazing through him, when he is privileged to translate the truth of God to men, and finally transferred from earth to heaven; then bear him away gently, and blow a muted trumpet and lay him down softly. Place a two edged sword on his coffin, raise the tomb triumphant for he was a brave solider of the Word and ere he did die for he had become a man of God.
Transcribed from a message by John MacArthur entitled "The Man of God" which was delivered at The Masters Seminary 08/31/2004