John chapter six records that Jesus had more disciples than just the twelve . . . but many did not really believe, departed and “walked no more with Him”. Other than unbelief, no details are given as the reason for leaving, however, it presents a very real danger we all face in serving the Lord that can cause us to walk away in deception and not even realize it. The true Christian believer has a close personal relationship with his Lord; he talks to Him, hears His voice, is led by the Spirit and continually receives direction for daily living. When the Lord gives a vision (firm insight, a knowing in our heart), a direction for our lives, we thrill with excitement, often amazed at the spiritual power of Christian living. But if a slight bit of unbelief creeps in and we compromise the vision we had, there is a serious and grave danger that we will unknowingly depart from Him and we will become a slave to points of view that are alien to our Lord. When we receive light we must walk in that light no matter what those around us think.

 

Last week we buried a man who I would consider to have been the best friend I have ever had. We were very close for many years. Three years ago he received a dramatic vision of what the Lord wanted him to do in life. He was thrilled beyond measure and called me immediately to describe how it happened. But he was a member of a very conservative legalistic church and their practice was that these things must be approved by the ministers before proceeding. Apparently they believe that the minister has more spiritual insight than the common person and must act as an intermediary in spiritual matters. In any case he took the experience to them and they disagreed that it was from the Lord and demanded that he ‘lay it down’ as they often say. And he did! But for the next two years he was in absolute agony, knowing that the Lord had given him direction but feeling that he was unable to walk in it. Basically he submitted his insight from the Lord to the wisdom of man, blind guides, and as such embraced unbelief. Many times I sat with him while he (in tears) expressed that he had no hope through his church to continue with what the Lord had given him. Nevertheless he chose to follow the advice of his church. Within a year and a half he was diagnosed with brain cancer and died from it last week. Although it is a fact that disease is brought on by stress we cannot know for certain how it was in his life. But we do know that once we receive light from Him, we will never be the same and to depart from it is to mark us as deserter. And that price is far more than we want to pay.

 

Christian walk carefully, danger is near,

On in thy journey with trembling and fear.

Snares from without and temptations within

Seek to entice thee once more into sin . . . (Christian Walk Carefully)