"Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you.  He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you."  Deuteronomy 31:8......"If we are seeking to go on with God to any degree beyond that which is commonly accepted as a true Christian life; if we are called to pioneer the way for any further advance in spiritual life or Divine service; if we are given a vision of God's will and purpose not seen by the general mass of God's people - or even the larger number of the servants of God - ours will be a lonely way."  T. Austin-Sparks
In the first installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Frodo the Hobbit tells the elf queen Galadriel of the heavy burden and great sense of isolation he feels as the one who carries the ring of power.  She tells him that "You are a ringbearer.  To be a ringbearer is to be alone."  We who follow Christ do not bear rings of power.  We do however bear the power of His truth.  If we are determined to be full bearers of that truth, than we must know that to bear it will lead us on a path that is not trodden by many.  Most around us will not understand, will not hear or receive.  Rejection, derision, hostility may well be our lot.  It will not come only from the world.  Some of the worst may come from those who would also count themselves as followers of Christ.
To be a bearer, proclaimer of the fullness of His Truth, His Life, is to be alone.  Jesus Christ boldly proclaimed, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one can come unto the Father except through Me."  People will not quibble with His being the Way, the Truth, and the Life, but they may well build a gallows for he who states that He is only Way, Truth, and Life.  They did so for Christ Himself.  Why would they do less for we who carry the fullness of His Words and Life?

So often, we fall into the trap of Elijah, believing no one but us is standing with Him.  This is not so.  He has placed others, many others throughout His church and His world.  Witnesses to, and bearers of His Truth.  Yet, the inescapable fact is that to be such a witness will be a lonely way.  Applause, recognition, and the accolades of men and even the church will rarely, if ever be our lot. And the seduction of these can be powerful.  When Moses went up the mountain to encounter the Father and His Word, his brother Aaron was to be with him there.  Instead, he stayed in the lowlands with the people.  He ended up doing what the people wanted, building a golden calf.  Moses heard, and followed His God.  He was alone...with Him.  Aaron was surrounded by the multitude, but deaf to the voice of the Father.  Who do we more resemble?

To truly be His, to truly hear and speak for Him, means that we must undertake the life of a pioneer.  Years ago I first heard a song from a Jesus Movement singer named Honeytree.  It has stayed with me through all this time.  I share her simple but powerful lyrics with you......."Pioneer, Pioneer,  Keep pressing onward beyond your fear.  Only the Father goes before you, to your own frontier, you're a pioneer."  Today, more than ever, a lost world and a stagnating church need such pioneers.  The path will not be easy.  Indeed, it will be strewn with danger and be at times, many times, lonely.  Very lonely.  Yet He does go before us, leading us ever on into the Kingdom frontier He places before us.  He calls us to embrace such a life.  Will we?

I close with these other lyrics from that wonderful song.  They whisper deeply into my heart.  "You travel light, you travel alone and when you arrive, nobody knows.  But the Father in heaven, He's glad you can go, for those who come after you will need the road."  Who is it in our lives, our walk, that will need the road?

Pastor O
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   May 2019   
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