A Song by The Barn Again Gang


See the perspectives of Jesus ON His mother's side


Friday, September 9, 2016

Special Tribute To Pastor Ferdie Santos of Jesus The Shepherd Community Church


That day was a very historic day for me as I brought my daughter- Margie Alarilla- Santos at the
feet of our Lord and master Jesus Christ where she accepted Him as her Lord and savior and became born again. Little did I realize that we began a chain of events that led to many souls that would be led to the feet of our Lord and master for the salvation of their souls and the attainment of eternal lives for them. She did the same to her husband Ferdie and their three kids, Jenny, Jasmine and Jenine. God has a wonderdul plan for their family. Ferdie became an assistant pastor of their church and he was sent to study through the Seminary Extension Education of the Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary (PBTS Baguio). He then became the head Pastor of the Jesus The Shepherd Community Church at the 2nd Floor, Baranggay Center, Phase 3, Marycris Complex, Gen. Trias, Cavite. Their church is part of Eastern Cavite Baptist Churches Association where he is now their vice president. He is also the head of the Bible studies of their church where he, Margie and Jenny are teachers of PEPSOL Discipleship Training. Ferdie is the head of the Men's Primary Cell Group Leaders and Margie is the head of the Women's Primary Cell Group Leaders. Margie is also the teacher of the youth and adviser of the Worship Leading Team. Jenny is one of the cell group leaders
and church keyboardist. She is also a scholar at the De La Salle- Dasmarinas. Jasmine is one of the Wordhip Leaders/Singers. while Jenine assists in their current Sunday school, assisting the director and teachers in handling little kids.

I never thought that that little act of leading my daughter Margie to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and savior would go a long, long way in becoming a ray of light to lost people in their search for salvation and eternal life. In all these, all I can say is TO GOD BE THE GLORY.  

Melencio A. Alarilla
1765 Potrero, Lolomboy, Bocaue, Bulacan 3018

Thursday, August 11, 2016

5 Areas of Your Life Satan Wants To Enter

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A Re-post from Bible Gateway
(Definitely, must read for all Christians and believers)
Christianity.com Home
5 Areas of Your Life Satan Wants to Enter
Cindi McMenamin
Satan wants nothing more than to enter certain areas of your life so he can gain a stronghold. He’ll try anything to throw you off center, distract you from your focus, and render you ineffective for the Kingdom of God.
And I believe, after more than 25 years of ministering to women, that there are common areas he attacks – not just in women, but in any of us. As long as we’re aware of his strategies, we can be on guard to keep him out of his targeted entry points.
These are the five areas of your life Satan wants to enter:
1. Your heart – so it’s not God’s alone.
There’s a reason God’s Word tells us: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23). Satan knows he has an entry point into your life if God is not first in our hearts. God’s first commandment, set forth under the Old Covenant, was: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). And Jesus restated that under the New Covenant when He was asked what is the greatest commandment and responded by saying “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’...” (Luke 10:27). Satan’s greatest desire is to prevent you from giving God all of your heart so he will constantly dangle people, things, and desires in front of you – anything to distract you so he can erect a false god in front of you that you don’t even realize you have. He will try to lure you with a false god like your career, a spouse or love interest, a dream or goal, a hobby or lifestyle. I know many women whose first love is their bodies, so they spend more time in the gym working out than letting God work within. It’s a subtle way of starting to love other things more than God. Some of us love food, money, recreation, our children, a substance, or a “feeling” (like being in love, or feeling energetic) more than God, Himself. Guard your heart by keeping Christ on the throne of your life so Satan doesn’t try to sneak anything else in there.
2. Your worries – to make you doubt God’s love and provision. Satan wants you stressing, because then you’re not resting in God’s ability to care for you. Women tend to stress over the temporal – bills that must be paid, whether or not a man will come into our lives, if we’ll be able to have a child, what someone is saying about us, how our body looks, and so on. Men tend to stress about their jobs, providing for their families, and whether or not they are “making the cut” in several areas of life. Then there’s health concerns, fears about our aging parents, and other situations that can crowd out God’s peace in our lives and even cause us to begin to blame God for our circumstances. Don’t let Satan in this door through his tantalizing “what if?” questions and the doubts he weaves through your mind. God instructs us in Philippians 4:6-7 to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (NASB). Keep praying about your concerns and keep thanking God ahead of time for what He’s about to do, so Satan doesn’t get a stronghold in your mind through your worries and fears.
3. Your everyday thinking – so you’re just like the world.
It’s amazing how many people profess to know God and follow Him, yet their thinking patterns are just like those of anyone else in the world. Satan loves that. He wants you to be so absorbed with the ways of the world that you are clueless about what God’s Word says. He will do this through subtle messages in music lyrics, statements from your favorite celebrity, and words of advice from friends (even friends of yours who are believers, but are quoting “verses” that are not in the Bible). Scripture commands us: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is” (Romans 12:2, NLT). Furthermore, God’s Word instructs: “fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise... and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9, NLT). But Satan would rather have us in mental anguish by listening to the world, rather than the word of God. Guard your everyday thinking by soaking it in Scripture. It’s the only way to keep Satan and his worldly philosophies from entering in.
4. Your speech – so you tear others apart.
God wants us to be holy mouthpieces for Him – people who heal and help with our words. But Satan would rather have you and me blowing it big time with our mouths. A few critical words here, a few complaints there, some profanity mixed in with a little gossip on the side and we have given him permission to make us people who tear others apart and sound no different (and sometimes worse) than unbelievers. Satan knows we can cause much damage with our mouths if we do not bring them under God’s control. Whether it is gossip, criticism or unkind remarks, our mouths can be instruments of righteousness or unrighteousness. Close that door to Satan, altogether, by applying God’s instructions in Ephesians 4:29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (NIV). And 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (NASB). Be a verbally thankful person who speaks only to lift others up, not tear them down. That will diminish and destroy a critical and complaining spirit that gives Satan a stronghold in our lives.
5. Our Bodies -- so they no longer glorify God.
Why is it that when people get depressed they overeat or drink excessively or turn to substances? Why is it that young girls will cut their bodies or starve themselves when they are dealing with emotional pain? I believe it’s because Satan will turn us against our bodies if he can, as a way of “getting back at God.” Our bodies are precious to God. Scripture commands us to “Give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?” (Romans 12:1, NLT). Satan knows that God considers our bodies His temple and therefore God wants us to keep our bodies holy, healthy and honoring to Him (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Scripture says keeping our bodies holy is our “spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1, NIV). So because our bodies are holy to God, Satan would love to have us harm them, mutilate them, starve them, and destroy them with substances. Don’t let him in. Not in how you dress. Not in how you see yourself. Not in how you treat yourself. Ask God for a healthy body image and a desire to protect your body so you can serve Him on this earth in it for as long as possible.
So what’s your strategy now that you know the areas where Satan wants to enter your life? God gives us a great defense through Paul’s instructions to the saints in Ephesians 6:11-18: “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes...” I find it interesting that every piece of “armor” described in that passage refers to the character of Christ. (See my article “Are You a Warrior Woman or a Wounded One?”) In other words, put on Christ-likeness. Abide in Christ, be clothed in His character and righteousness, and you will fend off the attacks of the enemy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

7 Daily Steps To Trust In The Lord With All Your Heart

7 Daily Steps to Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart

John UpChurch | Senior Editor
7 Daily Steps to Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Perhaps you’ve been told that as a Christian you must learn to “trust in the Lord with all your heart.” But this famous passage from Proverbs 3 contains more than just a general statement about living. Instead, you’ll find the steps you need each day to truly walk with God.
Follow these 7 daily steps to make sure you’re leaning on the Lord:

1. Don’t Depend on You

We live in a world where trust must be earned and seems to be in short supply. But Solomon, the famous king who wrote Proverbs, knew that trust is exactly where we must start:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5)
Most of us have faced disappointments, which have taught us that we can only depend upon ourselves. But living the life God has called us to means unlearning that lesson. Instead, we’re meant to rest in God’s understanding.
We may know in our minds that He possesses all wisdom:
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” Romans 11:33
But sometimes trusting Him completely like that can be tough. So, each day we must consciously lay aside our own plans and expectations—and surrender to His plans.
What if we don’t feel like we can trust Him like that? That’s where step 2 comes in…

2. Cry out to God

Surrendering to God begins with our lips and our thoughts. We need more than a commitment to depend on Him; we need to cry out to Him to show that dependence.
“in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:6)
When we pray, we admit that His ways are higher than ours. We show that we’re leaving our troubles and burdens and dreams in His capable hands. In fact, the Bible promises that when we reach out to Him in prayer, He hears us:
“Evening, morning, and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. ” (Psalm 55:17)
We handed the keys of our lives to Him, and we know that He’s able to lead us. But in order for that to work, we have to…

3. Run from Evil

So much in this world can clutter up our relationship with God. John, the writer of the fourth gospel, describes them as the desires of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride in our lives (1 John 2:16). In other words, our blessings can easily become our stumbling blocks when we think of them as what we deserve or what we need to be happy.
Instead, life works best when we remember the true source of our blessings—God—and focus on the things that please Him:
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.” (Proverbs 3:7)
Sometimes, the only way to live the life God wants us to live is by separating ourselves from the bad influences that keep dragging us down. That works the best when we start pursuing something else in their place:
“Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22)
Is that easy? Not at all. Fleeing from the evil desires that pull at us means spending a lot of time crying out to God and leaning on Him. But our Creator promises to honor our commitment to Him when we shun evil:
“This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:8)
When we pursue Him, we find life—abundant life. Running from evil and pursuing God doesn’t come naturally to most of us. Instead, it means we have to make a serious change:

4. Put God First in Your Life

It’s easiest to put ourselves first. When something good happens, we want to congratulate ourselves with a reward. When something bad happens, we want to console ourselves or find someone to blame. In other words, we often have a “me-centric” starting place.
And when it comes to money, the struggle is even harder. But Solomon, who had quite a bit of wealth himself, knew that his money didn’t belong to him:
“Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9–10)
If we can trust God with the first of our wealth, we’re truly showing how much we depend on Him. Handing over the first part of our paycheck takes a huge amount of faith, after all. But doing so means being God-centric.
To get there, though, make sure you…

5. Check Yourself by God’s Word

Let’s be honest. We aren’t so good at evaluating ourselves. We will go to great lengths to excuse our behavior, our actions, and our sins. Who needs a defense attorney when we can pretty much find a reason for any bad thing we do? The prophet Jeremiah captures this very well:
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
If we’re ever going to truly trust in God and flee evil, we have to know exactly where we stand. We have to find an objective measure that tells us the truth. And that truth comes from God and His Word.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we’ll always like what we see or how we see it:
“My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke” (Proverbs 3:11)
That’s right. Sometimes it takes something bad happening or seeing ourselves in a bad light before we finally admit that we need to change. And the more we’re in the Bible, the more likely this is to happen.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)
When we have Scripture planted firmly in our hearts, God will often use that to deal with us.

6. Listen to the Holy Spirit

When Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to the church, He told His disciples that this Counselor would be their spiritual compass or GPS:
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
As we go through our day, this same Holy Spirit guides us, too. That means we don’t have to go it alone or hope we’re getting it right. No, the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth and protects us:
“Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” (2 Timothy 1:14)
After all, the gift of the Holy Spirit to us believers reminds us that we can truly…

7. Rest in God’s Love

When we face a difficult world each day, we can sometimes wonder if God even cares. Why do bad things happen? Where is God when I need Him? Solomon reminds us that God never takes a break or leaves us to fend for ourselves:
“because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” (Proverbs 3:12)
Even in the midst of turmoil, God sticks with us and uses those challenges to shape us. When we understand that, our perspective completely flips. No longer do we see our setbacks as failures; we see them as moments when God, as our loving Father, works on us.
And that’s exactly why we can trust in the Lord with all our hearts. He cares for us each and every day. He gives us what we need to thrive. He pours blessing after blessing upon us.
Of course, following each of these daily steps isn’t easy. That’s why Jesus said we have to deny ourselves and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). Trusting God takes a whole-hearted commitment from dawn till dusk. But we’re never alone in it:
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

That None Should Perish

                                           THAT NONE SHOULD PERISH

The Lord wants all people to come to repentance and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and savior so that none should perish. The Lord never intended man to suffer the loss of eternal life and suffer eternal torment in hell. He wants all men to be saved that was why He sent His only begotten Son- Jesus Christ to suffer an excruciating death on the cross as expiation and ransom for mankind's sins. But there is a price for God's grace of salvation and that is, to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and savior and surrender our lives to Him. Those who will refuse God's offer of the grace of salvation will be condemned to spiritual death and eternal punishment in the flames of hell together with Satan and his minions. We are all encouraged by God to spread the Gospel of salvation to the whole world so that none should perish. Most people fail to realize the gravity of the situation. They make all kinds of rationalization not to avail of God's grace of salvation most often because of self pride and they don't want to give up their sinful lives. They want to please themselves and not God and want to enjoy the pleasures of wanton living. Thus they give all kinds of excuses not to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and savior and surrender their lives to Him. One of the most common excuses is "all streams lead to the same ocean." That means all religions, philosophies and beliefs lead to salvation of man's soul. This is farthest from the truth. Acts 4:12 states that, "There is no other name under heaven that was given to men by which we must be saved." John 14: 6 says, "Jesus answered, 'I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me." We must do our utmost best to spread the Gospel of salvation so that none should perish.

Intimacy With God

                                       INTIMACY WITH GOD

What do Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Paul have in common. They all walked in the will of God and had great intimate relationship with Him. Enoch did not die. He was taken up to heaven by God because he walked with God. Of all the people of the earth during the time of the global deluge, only Noah, his wife and his sons and his sons wives survived the cataclysm all because of Noah's intimacy with God. Thus God used Noah, his wife and his sons and his sons wives to repopulate the earth whose entire population was wiped out during the deluge. Abram was called by God to settle in the land of Canaan and become the father of God's chosen people. Thus his name was changed to Abraham by God. Abraham believed God and all His promises and they were all credited to him as righteousness by God. Tested by God, Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son to God in obedience to God's command. David killed the giant Goliath and firmly established the greatness of God and Israel. It was said that David heart was after that of the Lord and God rewarded him with a mighty kingdom. Paul was a recipient of Jesus Christ apparition on the road to Damascus. Thus the once dreaded scourge of the early Christians was designated by God to be the apostle to the Gentiles. From then on, Paul immersed himself to the propagation of the early Christian church, suffering so many trials and deprivations but unwavering in his efforts to spread the word of God to the whole world and expand the fledgling Christina church. We owe to Paul the rapid expanse of the Christian church as we know it today.

We have to follow their examples if we want to have great intimacy with God. We should walk by faith not by sight and must do everything for the glory of God alone. We must imitate Christ in all that we must do and become totally selfless like Him. And if God so desires, we must be willing to sacrifice our very lives for the sake of others. And after our life has ended, we will be welcomed by God with open arms and we will hear these words from His lips, "well done, good and faithful servant. Welcome to My kingdom." 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

One Hundred Bible Lessons - Alban Douglas - Lesson 15

                                    ONE HUNDRED BIBLE LESSONS - ALBAN DOUGLAS
                                                   LESSON 15

                                             THE COMMANDS OF CHRIST


The idea for this lesson came from an issue of the "Herald of  His Coming" which lists 147 commandments seven under each of the 21 headings.
(The Great Commission Prayer League lists 173 commandments of Christ taken from the Epistles and Revelation, whereas this lesson confines itself to the Gospels).
This is a day of extreme lawlessness with many believing that Christ abolished or fulfilled the law and left us with one vague commandment - love.

                                 I - REPENTANCE

Repentance is twofold: turning from sin and turning to God.
Matthew 4: 17 "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Luke 13: 24 "Strive to enter in at the straight gate: for many... shall not be able."
Matthew 6: 33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness."

                              II - BELIEF

We are to believe the Gospel, believe in Christ and in the Father.
Mark 1: 15 "Repent ye, and believe the Gospel." This was spoken by Jesus not John.
John 14: 1 "Ye believe in God, believe also in Me." This is a definite command.
John 6: 29 "This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He has sent."

                            III - THE NEW BIRTH

The new birth is the mysterious operation of the Spirit that converts.
John 3: 7 "Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again."
Luke 10: 20 "Rejoice because your names are written in heaven."
Matthew 12: 33 "Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by his fruit." Conversion is the only solution.

                           IV - RECEIVING THE HOLY SPIRIT

Each Christian is to be Spirit indwelt and empowered.
John 20: 22 "He breathed on them and said unto them, 'Receive you the Holy Ghost."
luke 24: 49 "Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power."

                          V - FOLLOWING JESUS

The believer has no choice but to follow Jesus implicitly.
John 12: 26 If any man serve Me, let him follow Me."
Luke 9: 23 If any man will come after Me let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."
John 21: 22 "Follow thou Me."
Luke 5: 27 (Christ to Matthew) "Follow Me."

                       VI - PRAYER

The Christian's life is to be characterized by prayer.
Luke 21: 36 "Watch ye therefore, and pray always."
Luke 22: 40 "Pray that ye enter not into temptation."
Luke 10: 2 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth laborers into His harvest."
Luke 6: 28 "Pray for them which despitefully use you."   

                       VII - FAITH

The believer is made great because he has faith in a great God.
Mark 11: 22 "Have faith in God." This is absolutely essential.
John 20: 27 "Be not faithless, but believing." Away with unbelief.
Matthew 14: 27 'Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid."

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Saint Must Walk Alone

The Saint Must Walk Alone

A.W. Tozer |
The Saint Must Walk Alone Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Most of the world's great souls have been lonely. Loneliness seems to be one price the saint must pay for his saintliness.
In the morning of the world (or should we say, in that strange darkness that came soon after the dawn of man's creation), that pious soul, Enoch, walked with God and was not, for God took him; and while it is not stated in so many words, a fair inference is that Enoch walked a path quite apart from his contemporaries.
Another lonely man was Noah who, of all the antediluvians, found grace in the sight of God; and every shred of evidence points to the aloneness of his life even while surrounded by his people.
Again, Abraham had Sarah and Lot, as well as many servants and herdsmen, but who can read his story and the apostolic comment upon it without sensing instantly that he was a man "whose soul was alike a star and dwelt apart"? As far as we know not one word did God ever speak to him in the company of men. Face down he communed with his God, and the innate dignity of the man forbade that he assume this posture in the presence of others. How sweet and solemn was the scene that night of the sacrifice when he saw the lamps of fire moving between the pieces of offering. There, alone with a horror of great darkness upon him, he heard the voice of God and knew that he was a man marked for divine favor.
Moses also was a man apart. While yet attached to the court of Pharaoh he took long walks alone, and during one of these walks while far removed from the crowds he saw an Egyptian and a Hebrew fighting and came to the rescue of his countryman. After the resultant break with Egypt he dwelt in almost complete seclusion in the desert. There, while he watched his sheep alone, the wonder of the burning bush appeared to him, and later on the peak of Sinai he crouched alone to gaze in fascinated awe at the Presence, partly hidden, partly disclosed, within the cloud and fire.
The prophets of pre-Christian times differed widely from each other, but one mark they bore in common was their enforced loneliness. They loved their people and gloried in the religion of the fathers, but their loyalty to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their zeal for the welfare of the nation of Israel drove them away from the crowd and into long periods of heaviness. "I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children," cried one and unwittingly spoke for all the rest.
Most revealing of all is the sight of that One of whom Moses and all the prophets did write, treading His lonely way to the cross. His deep loneliness was unrelieved by the presence of the multitudes.
'Tis midnight, and on Olive's brow
The star is dimmed that lately shone;
'Tis midnight; in the garden now,
The suffering Savior prays alone.
'Tis midnight, and from all removed
The Savior wrestles lone with fears;
E'en the disciple whom He loved
Heeds not his Master's grief and tears.
- William B. Tappan
He died alone in the darkness hidden from the sight of mortal man and no one saw Him when He arose triumphant and walked out of the tomb, though many saw Him afterward and bore witness to what they saw. There are some things too sacred for any eye but God's to look upon. The curiosity, the clamor, the well-meant but blundering effort to help can only hinder the waiting soul and make unlikely if not impossible the communication of the secret message of God to the worshiping heart.
Sometimes we react by a kind of religious reflex and repeat dutifully the proper words and phrases even though they fail to express our real feelings and lack the authenticity of personal experience. Right now is such a time. A certain conventional loyalty may lead some who hear this unfamiliar truth expressed for the first time to say brightly, "Oh, I am never lonely. Christ said, `I will never leave you nor forsake you,' and `Lo, I am with you alway.' How can I be lonely when Jesus is with me?"
Now I do not want to reflect on the sincerity of any Christian soul, but this stock testimony is too neat to be real. It is obviously what the speaker thinks should be true rather than what he has proved to be true by the test of experience. This cheerful denial of loneliness proves only that the speaker has never walked with God without the support and encouragement afforded him by society. The sense of companionship which he mistakenly attributes to the presence of Christ may and probably does arise from the presence of friendly people. Always remember: you cannot carry a cross in company. Though a man were surrounded by a vast crowd, his cross is his alone and his carrying of it marks him as a man apart. Society has turned against him; otherwise he would have no cross. No one is a friend to the man with a cross. "They all forsook Him, and fled."
The pain of loneliness arises from the constitution of our nature. God made us for each other. The desire for human companionship is completely natural and right. The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share inner experiences, he is forced to walk alone. The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way.
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 the 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 truly 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 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 of being dull and overserious, 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.
Two things remain to be said. One, that the lonely man 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.
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. Meister Eckhart taught his followers that if they should find themselves in prayer and happen to remember that a poor widow needed food, they should break off the prayer instantly and go care for the widow. "God will not suffer you to lose anything by it," he told them. "You can take up again in prayer where you left off and the Lord will make it up to you." This is typical of the great mystics and masters of the interior life from Paul to the present day.
The weakness of so many modern Christians is that they feel too much at home in the world. In their effort to achieve restful "adjustment" to unregenerate society they have lost their pilgrim character and become an essential part of the very moral order against which they are sent to protest. The world recognizes them and accepts them for what they are. And this is the saddest thing that can be said about them. They are not lonely, but neither are they saints.