Posted: Thursday, May 29th, 2014Print
About Prophetic Writings Series
This series is a collection of Martha's prophetic words on a range of topics, such as solitude, false salvation, zeal for the church, the Fatherhood of God, and the power of silence.
A preacher spoke at a famous man’s funeral. He said: “When you get behind the plow, when you face the devil and when you face God, you do so alone.” When you face your responsibility, your enemy, and your Creator, you do so…all by yourself. No one can bear your burden. No one can face your life. You alone must do so.
Alone. The horror of humanity is to be alone. The belief of fallen humanity is that there must be some perfect person, an ideal slave/lover who will face my responsibility, my enemy and my Creator…instead of me…or at the very least with me.
In the end we will face God utterly, frighteningly alone. We must learn to live so…NOW.
That we are alone is the most naked reality. That He is intimately with us is the Joy discovered in the chasm of aloneness. Emmanuel—God with us! There are two figures of the New Testament who stand for severe solitude with God: Mary of Bethany and Paul.
Mary of Bethany had no entanglements, seemingly no relationships. Only Jesus was her companion and He, her only liaison. Yes, she had family, but she was strangely uninvolved with them. She seems always lost in some distant place, alone with Jesus, even in the daily presence of her busy family.
She loved her brother. She lived with her siblings. Jewish friends came and went in her home. Mary was no recluse, yet she lived in a solitary intimacy with Jesus and seemingly, no one else.
Paul learned directly from His Personal Savior by an intense encounter in the desert of Arabia. Three years he was utterly alone with that Bright Light. He was not sent to the disciples to be discipled. He was expressly sent to the desert of isolation so that he would be God’s man, not man’s man.
In all, for 14 years he was apart from the emerging Church, at a time when it was exploding through the disciples. Only when he had learned to relate solely to God, was he sent to mingle with the Church. His relationships with the church were vivid and fervent, but his sole passion was the Son of God and all his relationships fell under that singular motive.
That original solitude with his Lord was the basis for all his human connections. Paul lived in a severe seclusion with the Only One whose Voice he heard. On the ship, in the prison, traveling…his single goal was the “increase of Christ.” Not relationships.
He could anguish in prayer for the Church. He invested personally in those God gave him. He had far flung associations, many human bonds, but he could sustain such a public ministry because his foundation was solitude! He faced his God in a solitary journey. Aloneness was the core foundation of his existence.
In I Corinthians 7, Paul reveals his absolute aloneness. And its joy. He argues for the solitary (unmarried) life as the highest existence. His reason? Undistracted devotion to the Lord. Jesus was his father, mother, wife…all relational needs were deposited in One Lover. One Source. And really, only One True Relationship.
The Church has toppled to one side, toward Unity of the Body and it emphasizes “relationships” as the ultimate Christianity. Marriage and church relationships are given the priority. And that imbalance – that focus on people – builds an altar of worship to humanity, no different than the idolatrous world.
It was not so with Paul. He actually saw marriage as a hindrance to relationship with the Lord. “From now on those who have wives should be as if they had none” (1 Cor. 7:29). Startling statement we have missed.
Christianity has erred by placing the marriage relationship on a world-like pedestal. The Church has no mentality for the celibate life. The single person is put in a separate club. But Paul, the great celibate, preferred – and was called – to exclusivity with his Eternal Mate. Jesus demands an exclusive position, with no rival.
“If anyone comes to me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”
Luke 14:26 NASB
Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter in law against her mother in law; and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.
He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
Matthew 10:34-38 NKJV
No relationship is left untouched by the call of Jesus. It’s “either/or,” always a choice BETWEEN Jesus and other loves. Severe and excruciating division is the sign of His Calling, the proof of Jesus’ presence in your life. The ones you love, these are the enemies of your Destiny. And you must “kill” not them, but your self-exalting Self.
There are those who know this relentless calling of the Master. And a few answer “yes.” Those few who squeeze through the narrow gate by a divesting of all competing-loves, understand that to be alone with Jesus, to know Him in His fullness, you have to burn all your other houses of comfort, places of hiding in humanity…and slay all your human “gods and lovers.”
Human relationships as we know them, are involvements, complex and dependent. Fraught with conflict, and out of that strife and its disappointment…excruciating pain. Though called to relationship in God’s family, we are not called to build relationships, except by our own severe allegiance to the Trinity. God builds His own church. “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127).
David stood in splendid isolation with God. A solitude he was forced into…and learned to embrace. For all his many wives, his loyal following, and the children he adored, he was ever a man alone…with His God. He wrote of it…
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my Rock and my Salvation, my Defense and my Fortress; I shall not be greatly moved.
My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him.
Psalm 62:1-2, 5 AMP
Can we comprehend the terrible aloneness of Jesus? An utterly unique being, both God and man, to whom no one could relate. He was the most alone being who ever lived. He walked in a solitude we could never comprehend. His nights were an escape INTO the aloneness with God that was His deep necessity, His fountain of power.
His family tried to imprison him as one insane (Mark 3). His disciples who lived intimately with Him didn’t hear Him. To not be heard by those “in your house,” to not be recognized by your family—this is dreadful isolation.
In the Gethsemane of His travail, He writhed alone. No one faced it with Him. No one supported His anguish. “You…will leave me alone. And yet I am not alone because the Father is with Me” (John 16:32).
The aloneness of a separated-humanity was His living nightmare in those final hours. In the end, alone and torn apart even from His Cherished Father, He tasted the blackness of eternal separation and bore for me the isolation I deserved. In the agony of the Cross, Jesus swallowed our hideous isolation, our terrifying nakedness of Eden, that we might never, ever be alone again!
Then He came back to bring us not just a Companion, but the very presence of God the Savior WITHIN! Jesus told the disciples before His death, the Spirit of Truth…“He abides with you and will be in you” (John 14:17). The Internal Presence of HIMSELF by the Holy Spirit, living in a constant intimacy even Adam did not know. Adam walked with God in the mist of the morning. God walks IN me for all the day and through the night. Now! We can never be alone.
Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Matthew 28:20b NIV
For He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.
Hebrew 13:5 HCSB
However, to know this Intimate Companion who is amazingly resident within the Believer, you must plunge off the cliff of safe friendships, into the cavern of aloneness and let it engulf you.
Copyright © 1999 Martha Blaney Kilpatrick, Prophetic Writings