The truly spiritual man is something of an oddity. He lives not for himself but to promote the interests of Another. He seeks to persuade people to give all to his Lord and asks no portion or share for himself. He delights not to be honored but 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 for being dull or overly 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 psalm 45:8) 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………Two things remain to be said. One, that the lonely of whom we speak is not a haughty man, nor is he the holier than thou, austere saint so bitterly satirized in popular literature. He is likely to feel that he is the least of all men and is sure to blame himself for his very loneliness. He wants to share his feelings with others and to open his heart to some like-minded soul who will understand him, but the spiritual climate around him does not encourage it, so he remains silent and tells his griefs to God alone ( Tozer-The Radical Cross)
Can you see what Tozer is saying? There is so often a lonely path for those who have chosen the narrow way. And the days in which we live only intensify that all too common reality that has been with us down through the ages. Truly, if one is to follow hard after God one has to come to the place where he no longer considers the opinions of men. This has been the hardest lesson for myself to learn in my 25 years of following Jesus. Fear of man is a major obstacle in the life of the saint. To walk the path of conviction is to walk a lonely narrow path.
Don’t get me wrong, there is much wisdom in seeking the council of Godly men and women whom you know and Godly men of the past in their writings. Yet in every age, God speaks to His children and we must have an ear to His voice and His leadings. He is an ever present help in time of need. In every age He leads His children and feeds them with the fresh manna of revelation and inspiration. And it must be so if we are to rely ultimately on Jesus for directing us in our walk and how we walk in this present generation.
Consider chapter six of the Gospel of John. The greater the revelation of who Jesus is, the smaller the crowd got until there was only His twelve Disciples left and He asks ” will you leave me too?” The deeper into the Father’s heart you journey, the smaller and narrower the crowd around you will become. The more ungodly the world and the church becomes and the more you are convicted and determined to follow hard after God, the more unpopular you will become even within your own ranks.
Yet, if your life has been radically changed by Jesus and you follow hard after Him, you too will be left with this thought ” where else could we go Lord for you have the words of life.” Where else can you go saint? Where else? There is no where for you to go but to follow after your Lord. You cannot go back to the world from which you were delivered for you know that is but mere death. You cannot follow the religious crowd who seem so eager to appease and compromise with the world for a mixture is even more nauseating than the deadness of the world.
In the Tozer quote above he stated that two things remain to be said. Here is the second thing ” The second thing is that the lonely saint is not the withdrawn man who hardens himself against human suffering and spends his days contemplating the heavens. Just the opposite is true. His loneliness makes him sympathetic to the approach of the brokenhearted and the fallen and the sin-bruised. Because he is detached from the world he is all the more able to help it.”
We must be aware of the condition of our hearts. It requires a diligence and an abiding in the Lord. If we are not diligent and if we are not abiding in the Lord and in His word then we are in danger of drifting away from a nearness to His heart. As we drift away, our own hearts will grow cold and distant and powerless. And when that happens, we are vulnerable to temptation in a way we never were when we remained close to Him. It is a vital act to understand the condition of your heart and make the condition of your heart the priority of your life.
And so brothers and sisters, no matter how bad the world becomes or how compromised the church becomes we saints must follow hard after the Lord with a soft heart towards all but a fearless heart when it comes to men. Fearing God rather than fearing men may lead to a lonelier walk but those of us who know Jesus personally will understand that He is life itself and in Him we find our life and our joy and our peace. We are fulfilled in Him and He is our constant companion is He not?
Better to walk an intimate life and relationship with Jesus than to be popular with men.So brothers and sisters, stand fast in the power of His might. He who has begin a good work in you is faithful to complete it. He is our ever present help in time of need. And that time of need will never be more felt than in the coming days, yet to those who stay close to Him He will empower them to endure and to overcome. Stand fast brothers and sisters in the beauty of His Holiness...................bro Frank