The path of the serious disciple is a lonely one indeed. In the past couple of weeks, three professed believers have indicated to me that for various reasons they are choosing not to pursue a thoughtful commitment to follow Jesus Christ:
- For one it has to do with the crushing pressure of getting a new business up and running.
- Another, it seems, is seduced by the pleasure his newly acquired affluence now affords him.
- And a third honestly admitted to me that applying Biblical ethics to the operation of his business would prove his financial undoing.
Why should I be surprised or chagrined, as the life of the serious disciple has always been a lonely one:
- Jesus faced the prospect of the cross alone.
“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.‘ He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled… He fell with his face to the ground and prayed… Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?‘ he asked…?” (Matthew 26:36-39)
- Paul faced the trial for his life alone.
“At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them.” (2 Timothy 4:16)
Over a period of time, as the Holy Spirit puts His finger on various issues in our lives, we are faced with the choice of obedience, or of going our own stubborn way.
The more we obey, the greater will be the sense of alienation from the vast bulk of fellow-believers who have long since chosen the easier path of compromise.
During one of Jesus’ critical interactions with His followers, “many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. ‘You do not want to leave too, do you?‘ Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.‘” (John 6:66-68)
QUESTION: Are you prepared to walk the passage of obedience alone with Jesus – at whatever the cost – while most fellow-believers are surrendering to the world’s seductive forces? I am sure you are!