A Call To The Remnant

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Chapter six from “The fall of Christendom-and the separation of the remnant” Into the wilderness

Posted by appolus on October 7, 2019

INTO THE WILDERNESS

In this chapter I would like to touch on some key elements in this wilderness experience, including what it is, and why our Lord, in His infinite and loving wisdom might draw His children into such a condition. Perhaps you reading this now are in what you might consider a wilderness, alone with God, cut off in large measure from all you have ever trusted or known. Nothing now seems to make sense, even your religion or relationship with God. Everything appears dark and the way forward seems unfamiliar. Your faith is challenged like never before. The ground beneath your feet is shifting like loose sand. You turn to fellow saints for help and encouragement, but they just don’t seem to understand. All they seem to have is an argument or proof text trying to convince you that you are either in sin or rebellion.

My brothers and sisters, we know that you are out there, and that you may be at this moment feeling isolated and alone. It is our hope and prayer that you will be encouraged and edified by the fact that you are not in any manner abandoned by our Good Shepherd, and that you are still very much in His capable and loving care. This wilderness you are in is not a denial of Christ’s blessing on your life by any means, but living proof that He loves you more than you can ever know. Indeed, the wilderness – however it is applied to the servants of the Living God – is first and foremost God’s idea. It is His wilderness. It is His way back to Himself. He needs to know that there are no circumstances, nor people that will cause you to deny Him.

He needs to know that He alone is your first love. He needs to know that, stripped of all religion and corporate piety, and spiritual machination, you will seek Him alone, for Himself and His glory. He needs to know that you love Him for Him and not just His gifts, and all of the many things church may have restored to you. All of the biblical examples given above can provide us with valuable insight into what the wilderness is, what it looks like (in general terms, as we are also acutely aware that the wilderness experience is manifest differently for each of us as God’s children) and what we can expect to find there.

To begin, it is a new and strange place – a circumstance or condition that is foreign to all we know. Consider Abraham and Moses leaving the familiarity and security of their home and family and all they have ever known to venture out into a new and strange land. For the most part they are alone in the wilderness. They often don’t know exactly where they are being led. There is little to no explanation. God Himself has called them out, drawing them to Himself that they might follow Him in simple faith and trust. He is their way, and they must look to Him in perfect confidence that His guidance and provision will lead only to blessing.

The Lord, in drawing us to Himself often brings us through the wilderness. Here we learn not to trust in ourselves, but in Him alone. He draws us out of wherever we are that we might learn to lean on Him for everything. He is now our way, and our provision. It is a time of total and absolute dependence on Him. He draws us away from all of the props and dependencies, our friends and family, our everyday structures and support mechanisms, that He might be the All that holds us up, and maintains our lives. We must learn to trust God rather than circumstances or people. We must look for the bread that comes from heaven and the water that comes from the rock.

We must turn our backs on all we know, even those we love, so that He might know that we love him first and most, that He is enough if everything and everyone else is stripped from us. I have been considering something that A.W. Tozer once said in a sermon, and it was this – “What if all we Christians had was God?” Not His things, nor blessings per say, but only Him. Not a hundred fired up preachers or prophets telling us about Him, but only Him. Alone with Christ, and He asking us “Do you love Me more than these?” as He did to Peter. “Am I enough for you, or are there other things you desire?” My friends, this is essentially what the wilderness is for – to provide our Lord with the answer to this question.

[Have you ever pondered the idea that the modern church – with all of its structure and activity and paraphernalia – is endeavoring to answer questions that God has probably never even asked? Something to think about.] All of my life I kept looking for Him in other things – people, groups, movements, trends, systems, you name it. Yet in the end He has brought me to Himself, quite part from anything else that may claim or represent Him. This is the wonderful thing about the wilderness – it reduces everything down to bare Boned, spirit touching flesh reality. It clears away all the haze and noise that may be preventing you from seeing and hearing God.

If you have become a Christian, for example, to gain friends and community – if this is what you seek primarily – then the wilderness will isolate you so that He is your only friend and fellowship. Then our Lord will ask you bluntly – Am I enough for you? Do you Love me more than these? If Christianity and church membership is mostly about a healthy environment for yourself and your kids, for activities and programs, then here again, the wilderness will reveal this for the idol it is. The Lord must know, you see. And we must know also, and many will admit that so much of what we do as “church” today keeps us from coming into direct and personal contact with essential things.

The wilderness is a wonderful instrument for stripping away all of our dependencies on things and shadows isn’t it? It is about survival and spiritual reality, life and death, hunger and thirst, breathing in and breathing out. Is He your All, my brother? Does living for Him alone define you my sister? We are religious by nature, but only His nature in us, refined and perfected by His Holy Breath and Spirit will satisfy the burning ache in your spirit. We must have Him, and know Him, and want Him, and trust Him, before He will grant to us all of the many blessings pouring out of Him. Is the wilderness a pleasant place? Not really – not how the world measures things anyway – for only here it seems do we come to recognize what we are actually made of, that we are carnal and earthbound, that our faith is largely theoretical, not tried and tested in the fiery furnace of experience.

Like earthbound Jacob, wrestling with the Lord, we come to the end of ourselves that He might begin in us anew. Yet we also come to see our God for what He is, in all of His Transcendent Wisdom and Glory; in all of His Grace and Truth, and Love and Light. In seeing Him as He truly is everything else is seen as it really is. Every created thing, including ourselves, can be seen in its true light, the Light of the Bright and Morning Star, the Daystar that scatters all darkness. As there are so few distractions, everything in the wilderness is reduced to the most basic of questions, like –
“Do you love Me more than these” and, “Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge?”

My brethren, I am sorry if this seems so different from what you have been taught to expect. Yet it is the truth and it is the Lord’s way. It is not the church’s way, and so for the most part those affiliated with it will spurn it, and judge it as illegitimate. Those who seek to save us from all that such a wilderness will present, will obviously fight against it with all they have. It represents no small threat to all organization and mediated leadership; to the selfexalted priest class that has come to rule so much of the body of Christ in our day. Read Job’s account and affirm what some of us have already discovered in our wilderness walk – that even God’s peace and presence is seemingly withdrawn, causing us to question how much we really trust Him.

Even when He withholds the manifest evidence of His presence, when He appears to have turned His back to us and stopped His ears, will we continue to bless Him and to love Him? Despite an often prolonged and overwhelming sense of bewilderment, discouragement, isolation and even guilt, will He remain our only Hope, our Heavenly Father and Loving Shepherd? Will we hold fast to Him or let Him go? Trust is often forged in darkness and silence, when our experience and expectation of what this new life means appears to be in contradiction. My friends – this reveals yet another aspect of God’s wilderness.

All of the so-called experts tell us how human beings innately require a community; yet what happens when the Lord is our only community, when all we have is Him, when even the ones we love abandon and forsake us? When all of their words make us feel only guilt and even more bewilderment, when they cannot seem to comprehend the legitimacy of what is happening to us. So much easier to pray down God and all His angels to extricate us from our isolation and hardship. And it is inconceivable to so many believers, not knowing the Lord or His wilderness, that this very thing could be sanctioned and even enabled by God Himself, out of His love and mercy for His beloved children.

“I will build my church”, proclaimed the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet this is apparently not good enough for the many man-size churchbuilders among us, who seek to separate us from God with all their various methods and mediators. By directing all of their resources at maintaining and perpetuating their precious institutions, they fail to recognize that the God they serve doesn’t care one bit for their institutions. He cares for His children and will spare no effort – even resorting to the wilderness if necessary – in building them up to perfection in His Beloved Son! Hear this please, all those who have ears to hear. I believe the Lord may be trying to get the attention of His people.

2 Responses to “Chapter six from “The fall of Christendom-and the separation of the remnant” Into the wilderness”

  1. Rebecca said

    I know what wrestling with God is like … in this wilderness place I asked, “How long LORD?” His Holy Spirit replied, “Paul was in the wilderness 3 years!” No answer just that statement. This place is a place of pruning for me and as Satan sends arrows I cry out to GOD. He is always there. I do not understand His ways and yet I must stay willing to submit. I can not bare up sometimes and then there is a scripture that speaks to me. Sometimes your blog touches on the very core of a struggle at hand. I just keep on keeping on. You are right He is shedding His own of all things. I could list the loss right here … but I know one day I will understand. We must learn to stand and endure in faith. He promised to never leave or forsake us. We are in a place of preparation and from this spot I am in what must be coming next will be very intense. Only those that love the truth will have faith to endure to survive. My one prayer a long while ago was Lord lead me into absolute truth and He has. We must love Truth. Satan attacks with His deceptive lies but then GOD sends a strong delusion to those that do not love the truth so they will believe the lie and be condemned. We must know His Word and we must test the Spirits by His Word. His Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and He will guide our path. I am thankful yet I weep for what is coming.
    Rebecca

    • appolus said

      God bless you sister, you have identified what burns at the heart of every true saint, this love for the truth. It is a gift from God and it is a fire in the bones of all those who have it. It is in our love for the Truth that we find this love for the truth. This love gives us the strength to endure, to overcome, to stand in the evil day and we will need every bit of it to stand in the coming days. Keep on keeping on sister and may the Lord keep you……….bro Frank

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