[Friend], our Lord is our example (not to try to follow in order to be saved but to follow in His steps after we are saved). First, He knew the value and set the pattern for being alone with His Father. We see Him rising a great while before day to pray. We see Him with His disciples yet He goes apart from them to pray at times. He knew the value of spending time alone with His Heavenly Father. Second, He is said to be 'holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners' in Hebrews 7:26. Yet, we see him often moving among needy sinners and meeting their physical and spiritual needs. What we don't see him doing is embracing the world and becoming one of them. He did not know the life of a hermit. He constantly went about doing good.
Our call is to be separate from the world. Separation begins in the heart. Being set apart for Him and His use will manifest itself in outward separation from some things, systems and people. Separation takes different forms. For example, there are certain places that we don't visit because it would bring reproach to our Lord. Another example, is there are certain religious systems that we can't be a part of because of their denial of fundamental truths of the Scripture. Does that mean we will not befriend any who are participants in these things? No. But, it does mean we won't condone the practices and where opportunity presents itself we can let them know why. I think our separation is what is meant in Hebrews where we are told 'Let us therefore go unto Him outside the camp'.
I hope this helps.
As to visits to the elderly and those in distress I think private judgment is the rule. We can certainly be an encouragement to one another and a wisely timed and Spirit led visit can be of great help to a suffering saint. Pray about each matter and leave it to the Lord to direct our steps.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Solitude or Society?
Recently a friend was conflicted over the apparent need for the saints to spend time alone with the Lord and the clear instructions for the Lord's people to care and minister to one another. I responded to my friend as follows and I wanted to share it with whomever might read this entry: