(Arthur Pink, "Spiritual Nurses")
It is lamentable when a boy in his teens is still tied to his mother's apron strings. Yet is it not equally deplorable for those who have been Christians many years—to be tied to their minister's apron strings? Yet how often we witness this very thing. There is a certain class who seem to be afraid, or at any rate unwilling, to think for themselves—to search the Scriptures for themselves, and act accordingly—and we suspect that in many cases the preacher is as much to be blamed as they are. It is true that he is their teacher, and as such he should possess a wider and deeper knowledge of spiritual things than they have. Yet it is his duty to instruct them—to familiarize themselves with God's Word, and thus become qualified to "Test all things—and hold fast that which is good." (1 Thess. 5:21). In other words, the preacher is not to be a nurse unto them all their lives!
It has long been our conviction that the preacher who is really of greatest service to his people—is the one who makes them most independent of human help, and casts them back directly upon God Himself. For souls to run to their pastor every time they are in trouble, or look to him to solve all their spiritual problems—is virtually to give him the same place in their lives, as the deluded Papists accord their "priests." This is not only to rob God of His glory—but also retards their spiritual progress. It is with God Himself, that I most need to deal, and any man who comes between me and the Lord is really a hindrance, no matter how good his intentions may be. Moreover, the preacher is human, and therefore liable to err—but God is omniscient and never misdirects. "If any of you lacks wisdom—let him ask of God." (James 1:5).
Sooner or later there comes a time in the lives of most real Christians, when those words, "Stop trusting in man!" (Isaiah 2:22) are applied to their hearts in Divine power. This will not mean that they now refuse to hear God's servants or read their writings—but that they will no longer place the same blind confidence in their teachers as the Papists do in their priests. Instead, they will emulate the Bereans, who did not mechanically accept what they heard, even from the lips of the Apostle Paul—but "examined the Scriptures every day—to see if what Paul said was true." (Acts 17:11)
"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan