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 The Saint Must Walk Alone

Sections taken from: “The Saint Must Walk Alone”
by A. W. Tozer

“Always remember: You cannot carry a cross in company. Though a man were surrounded by a vast crowd, his cross is his alone and his carrying of it marks him as a man apart. Society has turned against him; otherwise he would have no cross. No one is a friend to the man with a cross. ‘Then everyone deserted him and fled.’ (Mark 14:50)….

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….

After all, he is a stranger and a pilgrim, and the journey he takes is not on his feet but in his heart. He walks with God in the garden of his own soul – and who but God can walk there with him? ....

He lives not for himself but to promote the interests of Another… He delights to see his Savior glorified in the eyes of men. His joy is to see his Lord promoted and himself neglected. 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 ( see Ps 45:8 ), and finding few or none he, Like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart…

He learns in inner solitude what he could not have learned in the crowd – that Christ is All in all, that He is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, that in Him we have and possess life’s 'summum bonum'...

The weakness of so many modern Christians is that they feel too much at home in the world. In their effort to achieve restful 'adjustment' to unregenerate society they have lost their pilgrim character and become an essential part of the very moral order against which they were sent to protest. The world recognizes them and accepts them for what they are. And this is the saddest thing that can be said about them. They are not lonely but neither are they saints."

The Radical Cross by A W Tozer pages 25-28

Ps. Summum Bonum: a Latin phrase meaning supreme good from which all others are derived.

 2005/5/23 4:08

Joined: 2005/10/18
Posts: 490

 Re: The Saint Must Walk Alone

I read this on another page today and thought it might encourage someone.

Ed Pugh

 2005/11/17 12:41Profile

Joined: 2005/2/16
Posts: 621
Cache Valley, Utah


It is an encouragement to me. Thank you.

Eli Brayley

 2005/11/17 13:54Profile

Joined: 2004/3/24
Posts: 1374

 Re: The Saint Must Walk Alone

He learns in inner solitude what he could not have learned in the crowd – that Christ is All in all[/b]

Aaaaaaaa-men ... i made similar reference in a conversation with a saint last night, telling her that it only took me 55 years for me to learn this ... :-o

i both praise and thank God for putting up with my hard hard head all these years, and ruefully repent of the grief my hard hard heart has caused Him in my past ...

Those of us forgiven much truly know that OUR GOD IS LOVE! ... :-D

 2005/11/17 15:19Profile

Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC


It is interesting to note, the word "saint" is always in the plural in the NT.

Jimmy H

 2005/11/17 15:46Profile

Joined: 2005/10/17
Posts: 22

 Re: The Saint Must Walk Alone

Thankyou so much for posting this cannot imagine how timely it is for me to read them at this point in my life! How God ministers to us using different ways never ceases to amaze me! I am at the point of tears...thankyou and God bless.



 2005/11/17 16:30Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: The Saint Must Walk Alone

Thanks Ed, for pulling this back up.

Mike Balog

 2005/11/17 16:41Profile

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776

 More thoughts on the value of solitude

I think we need to ponder on the reality of loneliness and solitude in our world that is addicted to social connection.

L. Ravenhill has said,

"Great eagles fly alone,
great lions hunt alone,
great souls walk alone
- alone with God."

The following excerpt from Streams in the Desert says the same thing:

No bird is so solitary as the eagle.
He who will fly as an eagle does
into the higher levels where cloudless day abides
and live in the sunshine of God,
must be content to live a lonely life.
God seeks eagle-men.

No man ever comes into a realization of the best things of God,
who does not learn to walk alone with God.
We find Abraham alone at Horeb,
Moses forty years in the desert alone with God;
Paul sent into the desert.

Let God isolate us.
In this isolating experience
He develops an independence of faith and life
so that the soul needs no longer the constant help,
prayer, faith, or attention of his neighbor.

We must dare to be alone.
Jacob must be left alone
if the Angel of God is to whisper in his ear
the mystic name of Shiloh;
Daniel must be left alone if he is to see celestial visions;
John must be banished to Patmos
if he is deeply to take and firmly to keep the print of heaven.*

A few of my own thoughts:
Abraham stood alone in his calling and his commitment to venture to an unknown destiny. He stood alone when he obeyed God's command to offer his son as a sacrifice. No one was there to comfort him.

Think of Joseph who was left abandoned in prison - forgotten. No one knew that he was there on false charges. No one cared. But through that lonely experience God was shaping him for an important duty.

There were many others in the Bible who knew the pain of loneliness; for example, Job, Moses, the prophets, and Paul.

Missionaries like Hudson Taylor, Mary Slessor, Gladys Aylward, Bruce Olsen, and countless more who were effective leaders, received their calling when alone with God. They continued to walk in that lonely calling, enduring many times of painful isolation from family, peers, and church members. They endured being misunderstood, criticized, ostracized with no opportunity to defend themselves.

It was in that place of loneliness where they received God's direction, encouragement, hope and empowerment. During their times of loneliness, God forged within their souls a crystal-clear conviction of their destiny. That assurance gave them the bold faith to venture where no human would dare go. The results of their work have been astounding and will last throughout all eternity.


 2005/11/17 23:01Profile

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