A Christian’s heavenly journey with his feet on the ground. Treasures shared that are discovered along the way.
Please note that this blog has now moved to: "Senior Eagle walking with Father"

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Firsthand Christians

One of the marks of a Christian is a longing to meet with others of like mind and a hunger for God and godly teaching. Unfortunately in the early years - and not so early - I was often easily influenced. I hung on every word of anointed speakers and devoured the latest books of other’s experience as they came of the press. I even quoted from what I had read or heard as if it was my own discovery. The problem wasn’t necessarily with the teaching, but that I was living off the benefit of the struggles of faith of others. That was good, but to some extent I was a copier or ‘secondhand Christian!’

I’m sure that any pastor or minister worth his salt doesn’t want to control his flock or want them to be a clone of himself, along with all his own imperfections. Rather he would strive to encourage them in their own walk with Jesus and discover their purpose in life for themselves. But copying is prevalent. I have even known instances where members of a fellowship have dressed like their pastor.

I shudder to think of some of the church activities I have been involved in - “this is what we do” - and looking back I wonder whether God was in any of it. Because I felt a definite call of God I put myself forward for the ordained ministry in the Anglican Church. I couldn’t see at the time what else it could be! After two trying years of being processed, a bishop informed me that the answer was ‘not yet’ and that I should ‘go back to the desert.’ I found that an unhelpful remark of which I had no understanding.

I have benefited from a number of Christians who have encouraged, counselled and prayed with me over the years. These were people I respected and looked up to and were available at just the right time. Eventually however, for one reason or another those connections passed on. The supporting props were no longer there.

In my resolve to follow God in obedience I found myself in a sort of wilderness. And as the truth of the situation finally sunk in, I felt the desolation and loneliness. It was only then I had some idea of what that bishop was rather insensitively getting at. So began an earnest focusing on Father and a journey of personal discovery that would not have happened otherwise.

Now I’ve said before that I have always been a fan of Elijah. Admired his close relationship with God, boldness of speech, miracle-working and compassion. I even identified with his fear of a woman and escape to a cave. But I ignored the years he spent wandering in the wilderness being moulded by God.

Elisha followed his mentor Elijah wherever he went. He wouldn’t be put off and wanted what he had got. Elijah said he could have that, provided he kept his eyes on him as he was taken up to heaven. A difficult thing to do with all the fireworks, flashing lights and activity going on all around Elijah! Elisha then had to cross the Jordan and go it alone and find his own way.

We are all different, but I feel that if we want to be God’s man or woman, a ‘firsthand Christian,’ there may come a time when we find ourselves isolated for a purpose.

“Elisha saw this and cried out, "My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!" And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart.” 2Kings 2:12 New International Version

“It is better to trust in the LORD than to depend on human leaders.” Psalm 118:9 New International Version


  1. Tamela's Place said...

    even Jesus had to isolate himself sometimes as to get alone with God. Not that He was a follower of man by no means but He definitley was a follower of His Father. Jesus is our example!

    Amen! a great Word!

    In Christ Jesus
    Tamela :)

  2. Alexander said...

    I'm going through this very process right now. I am in a heavy duty crossroads in my life right now in a couple of key areas.

    I've done the fellowship and seeking counsel. Now is the time to really get one-on-one with God.

    And sometimes it's easy and sometimes it's just going through the motions. But either way, I have to remember that He loves me!

  3. wayfarerjon said...

    Sounds as thought you are 'moving' with God even though it may be apainful - know how it feels. I am praying for you.