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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : THE LONELINESS OF THE CHRISTIAN by A.W. Tozer

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Joined: 2008/2/15
Posts: 205
New York



By A.W. Tozer

The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share his inner experiences he is forced to walk alone. The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way.

The man [or woman] who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens. He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.

It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else.

 2012/4/11 8:30Profile

Joined: 2010/11/20
Posts: 1381


These words pierce to the very core of my being. I walk thus in my own home with 7 other people....I send online hugs to my kindred spirits who truly live these words of Tozer who speaks to us yet, though he has been with the Lord for decades...

 2012/4/11 8:47Profile

 My calling as a New Testament prophet; by A. W. Tozer

Thanks for that holy hug Mama27, and you too, iceman, for the post. Tozer could see, and is one of the few who communicated the prophetic call..[ always despised, never received, mostly misunderstood, the revelatory one....]

If we would take this to heart, we would be better men and women serving in the Gospel.

Taken from "Miscellanies" blog; address below.

Tozer was raised in a blue-collar, non-Christian home, a farmer who followed his family when they moved to the big city for better employment. From the farm Tozer transitioned into a job hand-cutting rubber in a Goodyear tire plant.

His gifting for the ministry however became evident to the Christians around him and Tozer was ordained by the Christian and Missionary Alliance on August 18, 1920 at the age of 23. After the ordination service, Tozer prematurely left the fellowship celebration to spend time alone with God in prayer, a priority he would cherish and model throughout his life.

Years later the private prayer from his ordination day was written and published, “For Pastors Only.” Here is the text as it later appeared in the Alliance Weekly on May 6, 1950.

For Pastors Only – Prayer of a Minor Prophet

By A. W Tozer

This is the prayer of a man called to be a witness to the nations. This is what he said to his Lord on the day of his ordination. After the elders and ministers had prayed and laid their hands on him he withdrew to meet his Saviour in the secret place and in the silence, farther in than his well-meaning brethren could take him. And he said:

O Lord, I have heard Thy voice and was afraid. Thou hast called me to an awesome task in a grave and perilous hour. Thou are about to shake all nations and the earth and also heaven, that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. O Lord, our Lord, Thou has stopped to honor me to be Thy servant.

No man takes this honor upon himself save he that is called of God as was Aaron. Thou has ordained me Thy messenger to them that are stubborn of heart and hard of hearing. They have rejected Thee, the Master, and it is not to be expected that they will receive me, the servant.

My God, I shall not waste time deploring my weakness nor my unfittedness for the work. The responsibility is not mine but Thine. Thou hast said, “I knew thee—I ordained thee—I sanctified thee,” and Thou has also said, “Thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.”

Who am I to argue with Thee or to call into question Thy sovereign choice? The decision is not mine but Thine. So be it, Lord. Thy will, not mine, be done.

Well do I know, Thou God of the prophets and the apostles, that as long as I honor Thee Thou wilt honor me. Help me therefore to take this solemn vow to honor Thee in all my future life and labors, whether by gain or by loss, by life or by death, and then to keep that vow unbroken while I live.

It is time, O God, for Thee to work, for the enemy has entered into Thy pastures and the sheep are torn and scattered. And false shepherds abound who deny the danger and laugh at the perils which surround Thy flock. The sheep are deceived by these hirelings and follow them with touching loyalty while the wolf closes in to kill and destroy.

I beseech Thee, give me sharp eyes to detect the presence of the enemy; give me understanding to distinguish the false friend from the true. Give me vision to see and courage to report what I see faithfully. Make my voice so like Thine own that even the sick sheep will recognize it and follow Thee.

Lord Jesus, I come to Thee for spiritual preparation. Lay Thy hand upon me. Anoint me with the oil of the New Testament prophet. Forbid that I should become a religious scribe and thus lose my prophetic calling. Save me from the curse that lies dark across the face of the modern clergy, the curse of compromise, of imitation, of professionalism.

Save me from the error of judging a church by its size, its popularity or the amount of its yearly offering. Help me to remember that I am a prophet; not a promoter, not a religious manager—but a prophet. Let me never become a slave to crowds. Heal my soul of carnal ambitions and deliver me from the itch for publicity.

Save me from the bondage to things. Let me not waste my days puttering around the house. Lay Thy terror upon me, O God, and drive me to the place of prayer where I may wrestle with principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world. Deliver me from overeating and late sleeping. Teach me self-discipline that I may be a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

I accept hard work and small rewards in this life. I ask for no easy place. I shall try to be blind to the little ways that I could make my life easier. If others seek the smoother path I shall try to take the hard way without judging them too harshly.

I shall expect opposition and try to take it quietly when it comes. Or if, as sometimes it falleth out to Thy servants, I shall have grateful gifts pressed upon me by Thy kindly people, stand by me then and save me from the blight that often follows.

Teach me to use whatever I receive in such manner that it will not injure my soul nor diminish my spiritual power. And if in Thy permissive providence honor should come to me from Thy church, let me not forget in that hour that I am unworthy of the least of Thy mercies, and that if men knew me as intimately as I know myself they would withhold their honors or bestow them upon others more worthy to receive them.

And now, O Lord of heaven and earth, I consecrate my remaining days to Thee; let them be many or few, as Thou wilt. Let me stand before the great or minister to the poor and lowly; that choice is not mine, and I would not influence it if I could.

I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame and I choose it above all things on earth or in heaven. Though I am chosen of Thee and honored by a high and holy calling, let me never forget that I am but a man of dust and ashes, a man with all the natural faults and passions that plague the race of men.

I pray Thee therefore, my Lord and Redeemer, save me from myself and from all the injuries I may do myself while trying to be a blessing to others. Fill me with thy power by the Holy Spirit, and I will go in Thy strength and tell of Thy righteousness, even Thine only. I will spread abroad the message of redeeming love while my normal powers endure.

Then, dear Lord, when I am old and weary and too tired to go on, have a place ready for me above, and make me to be numbered with Thy saints in glory everlasting. Amen; Tozer

 2012/4/11 11:39

Joined: 2008/2/15
Posts: 205
New York

 Re: My calling as a New Testament prophet; by A. W. Tozer

What an awesome prayer!

Thank you for posting Brothertom.

 2012/4/11 13:54Profile

 Re: The Loneliness of the Christian

I have read Iceman's posted article by Tosses several times. It speaks of the saint who has that intimate walk with Christ. That saint enjoys the presence of God. That saint longs to be around others that have enjoyed God's presence in that special way. Tragically the religious culture of our day despises those who walk with Christ in such blissful intimacy. The religious zealout will persecute the saint who is after God's heart. This saint falls more into that precious intimacy with his Jesus. Here lies the remnant. Dear God. Where are these precious souls who walk with you?

 2012/4/13 13:30

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