THE SOLITARY JOURNEY
For this is the will of God, your sanctification. I Thess. 4:3
To be sanctified means to be set apart from the mainstream. Those who are hand-picked from any group and set aside for another mission are usually the minority. In a platoon, only someone in pristine physical and mental condition is called forward to take part in special ‘ops’. Out of hundreds, there may only be one who qualifies.
As a follower of Jesus, I must be committed to sanctification. That life’s goal will set me apart from the masses. In a group, I may experience loneliness, like I don’t belong. I will often feel that I am an outsider, looking in on other’s good times. In a rousing party, while guests have much over which to commiserate, I am aware that I live on another planet. This phenomenon should not catch me unaware.
The call of God on a person’s life is a solitary one. He reaches down, chooses a person out of a crowd, and whispers in their ear, “Follow me!” Those around them wonder why they make the choices they do. Perhaps their appetite for unending social engagements diminishes. The things they once enjoyed are now past history. Their appetites have completely changed. A Spirit-driven prayer meeting will have far more appeal than a shopping trip with friends.
I’m sure the disciples felt estranged from the people they once knew, too. While the rest of the world went on being carpenters, weavers, fishermen and potters, the twelve who followed Jesus became new people. Casting a fishing net was not what characterized their passion any longer. It was hanging on every word of the Lord. It was meditating on His figures of speech. It was being captivated by His way with people, and the mystery of His parables. Nothing else held a candle. Was it exhilarating? Absolutely. Was it also isolating? Yes. Sanctification has a pay-off, though. If we are holy, we will see God. That vision starts now.
You have called a remnant apart from the crowd. May I not ache to blend in and cave into the pressure to conform. Beholding Your face is worth the sacrifice. Amen