A friend of mine (Susan) shared this Tozer quote with me. I share it with you:
"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 his 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 [or woman] who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. 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 over-serious, 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. His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else."
From Man - The Dwelling Place of God, Chapter 39: "The Saint Must Walk Alone"
Clevsea's input and comments:
This quote brings out THE aspect of importance when it comes to Christian loneliness. The person described here isn't isolated from other Christians completely but can't find any who have "passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience." The first and obvious problem is the ungodly world, then the shock really hits when this kind of Christian can't find companionship among his fellow Christians.
What I call the "game known as church" has diluted every Spiritual thing down to an undetectable level of real Truth and real Walking with God. The musical bands, the committees, the politics, the man-made rules have taken the spotlight away from what is meaningful and placed it on the meaningless ... to the point where someone like myself is looking high and low for someone who has come to a real relationship with Jesus Christ and can't find that person no matter how diligently I look.
It's about obedience to the Bible and the Lord, for one thing. It's common to find someone who goes to church every week but NEVER prays at home. I mean never. I don't relate to that at all. I can't be snooty and throw my nose in the air with superiority but I also know that they cannot speak my language. If I used terms like "passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience" that would be so foreign to them that they would likely avoid me. I checked with my real-life friends on these kind of topics and got nothing. I reached outside of Protestantism to many groups who are known for this type of thing and still found nothing but ignorance on the concept.
Within Protestantism I have not found fellowship either. I have a found a few books that seem to understand but a book in one's hand is not the same as meeting and knowing and talking with someone who not only understands but is passionate about God's Presence.
Now that I used the word Protestant I want to remind you that I don't consider myself to be a Protestant or a non-Protestant because I'm not protesting anything. I don't use that kind of term on myself, others may call me what they will but I see no reason to label myself with such a strong word when I feel it does not apply.
I'm just a Christ Follower, no more, no less.
I hope my tiny glimpse into why I am drawn to that quote will bring permission to you all to share your opinions and reactions as well.