..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Saturday, May 09, 2009

A Stranger and A Pilgrim: A.W.Tozer on True Spiritual Fellowship

“The man who has passed on into the divine
Presence in actual inner experience will
not find many who understand him.

A certain amount of social fellowship will
of course be his as he mingles with religious
persons in regular activities of the church,
but true spiritual fellowship will be hard to find.

But he should not expect things to be otherwise.

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 is of another spirit from the multitudes that
tread the courts of the Lord’s house. He has seen
that of which they have only heard, and he walks
among them somewhat as Zacharias walked after his
return from the altar when the people whispered,
“He has seen a vision.”

The spiritual man is indeed 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 Saviour
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, 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.

“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the
Lord will take me up.”

His inability to find human companionship drives him
to seek in God what he can find nowhere else. 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 Saint Must Walk Alone, by A.W. Tozer

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