A Voice in the
Wilderness

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Re: Alone and Vulnerable?

Recently Joe Stowell was speaking on the local Moody radio station as I
was getting up out of bed for the day, in a continuation of a series in
praises of Promise Keepers. He said something reminiscent of a quote of
his we used for a commentary in Sept,97. He said:

"We are never as weak as when we are in isolation, never as vulnerable
as when we are alone!" As he continued (until I got around to the radio
to turn it off), exhorting regarding the need of having a friend to be
accountable to. Otherwise, the consequences are "disasterous"..."sin"
is the result!

Well, recently we have been studying about Joseph, in the 'Walk-thru'
series. He had been "daddy's boy" near the tail-end of a large family.
But was suddenly thrust into "aloneness". What was the result of his
isolation? He became God's mouthpiece to Pharaoh, interpreted his
dreams, and ruled Egypt through 14 years of plenty and famine.

Moses was "alone" with God in the mountain, receiving the Law. The
children of Israel, having the company of family and camaraderie of
many people "together" came to Aaron, and ended up reducing God down to
a "likeness" of a -cow- and engaged in idolatry. (Ps106:19-20,Ex32)

When the "group" of mankind put their minds together, they formulated 
to contrive idolatry. They said, let's stay 'together' as a 'group' so 
we are not scattered. And God scattered them, confusing the languages. 
(Gen11)

When youths are 'together' in a 'gang' is when they stir up enough 
"nerve" in each other to contrive and carry out hooliganisms. Robbery, 
murder, rape and other crimes.

"You shall not follow a MULTITUDE to do evil. Neither shall you speak
in a cause in order to follow MANY in order to wrest judgment."(Ex23:2)

Just as school massacres are not carried out -by- guns, but by the
people; "sin" does not result -because-of- "aloneness".  Just as the
"disaster" of killings is not caused by guns, sin does not originate
from singleness; but from the heart. "For out of the heart come evil
thoughts, murders, adultery, etc..." (Mt15:19) In fact, Jesus
proclaimed that "many" were the ones on the 'disasterous' path to
destruction, and only a "few" would "find" the way to life. (Mt7:13-14)

How does a person hear God's "still small voice"? (1Kg19:12) With the 
hoopla of "exploits" and the crowd, and people milling about, raucously 
pumping up one's emotions? Fire coming down from heaven to consume 
sacrifices, and being "charged up"? Through mighty "signs" of
earthquakes, wind and fire? No.  It is the "quiet" through which God
speaks to us. When we are alone in that cave. When we think we are the 
"only one left". 

Many of Paul's epistles were written from prison where most people had
"forsaken" him (2Tm4:10) and people had abandoned him at time of trial.
(2Tm4:16) But notice Paul's response, "But the Lord stood with me and
strengthened me..." (vs17)

People periodically write to me, explaining the situation with their
"church" and its apostasy, asking me if it's "OK" to leave such a 
place, because the people in the group tell them that they will "fall 
away from the Lord" if they leave. Well, you know... there is nothing 
quite like the Catholic and Baptist churches, which tell people that 
they must belong to -their- (Catholic/Baptist) church. That, 
essentially, the "church" will guarantee you access into heaven. And if 
you are not a "member" of their 'local' group, you will -surely- 
backslide, and/or miss the pearly gates.

Well, the 'voice from Heaven' proclaims, "Come out of her, My people,
that you may not be partakers of her sins..." (Rev18:4) When you do
that, you will, truly, be "alone" ...but... you are NOT -really- alone.
As Jesus said, "the Father is with Me." (Jn16:32) Jesus promised, "I
will not leave you orphans. I will come to you. (Jn14:18) Which He does
through the Holy Spirit, Who guides us into all truth. (Jn16:13)

When Jacob desired to keep Joseph under his "protection" his family was
nothing more than 'lowly' keepers of cattle. But when Joseph was
wrenched away from the "safety" of 'family', and was free for God to
work with "independently" ...he became ruler of the world's most
powerful nation. Before Moses could lead Israel out of Egypt, he had to
leave the camaraderie of Egypt's elite and spend 40 years "alone" with
God in the wilderness. Before John the Baptist was used to proclaim
Israel's Messiah, he was in the wilderness. Even God's Own Son, Jesus
spent 40 days of testing "alone" in the wilderness before beginning His
ministry.  Paul spent three years "alone" in the wilderness before he
was truly useable by God.

The camaraderie of "sinful" men? Or the fellowship of the Holy Spirit?
(2Cor13:14,Phil2:1)  When we are "weak" in human terms, then, the
"power of Christ [can] overshadow [us]." (2Cor12:9)

Amen!