2004-05-10 - Communion with Christ
1 Corinthians 6:17, "But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him."
I have been reading a book of short, 5-20 page biographies of Christians who lived in Scotland. The book is currently in print and titled, "The Scots Worthies." In these short write-ups, I see in these people a faith I have never seen in anyone I have ever met. They had a close communion with Christ, and a Christian walk that is unseen today. I take for an example Alexander Peden, who was a persecuted Christian minister. He is by no means an exception, but rather his experience is quite common among those whom the book speaks about.
One of the great slaughters of Christians was at Bothwell Bridge. It was on a Sunday, and Peden was 40 miles away and set to speak to a congregation. The time for the service came and went, and the people waited. Some friends came to him and told him that the people were waiting. He replied, "Let the people go to their prayers; for me, I neither can nor will preach any this day; for our friends are fallen and fled before the enemy at Hamilton, and they are hashing and hagging them down, and their blood is running down like water." Peden, being far away, knew, somehow, of the slaughter. This was before cell phones, as it happened on June 22, 1679.
Shortly after Bothwell Bridge, he came upon a group which included Hugh Pinaneve. Peden overheard Hugh, talking unkindly about Richard Cameron, who had recently been slain. Peden approached Hugh and said, "Sir, hold your peace; 'ere twelve o'clock, you shall know what a man Richard Cameron was; God shall punish that blasphemous mouth of yours in such a manner, that you shall be set up for a beacon to all such railing Rabshakeths." Robert Brown, knowing that Peden's words would not fall to the ground, fled. That evening Hugh was struck with a sickness, "his mouth wide open, and his tongue hanging our in a fearful manner...he died before midnight." Peden somehow knew what the Lord would do and spoke as a prophet. There appears to be no case where what he said would happen, didn't happen.
These are just two instances of those that are recorded, and these things are not what are really remarkable about Peden. What is remarkable is his prayer life, and I have found this to be consistent throughout the book. These people recorded here had amazing lives of prayer. Peden is said to have spent at least three hours in prayer each day. In fact, the constant theme of this book, even though most in it died as martyrs, is that they were people of prayer. They had deep communion with Christ, and a relationship with Christ that few seem to experience today.
A deep walk with Christ is not achieved by doing lots of Christian activities. In fact, these may hinder a deep communion with Christ. The formula for a close walk with the Lord is rather simple, and maybe that is why so few have it. We expect that we must make some great sacrifice or do something heroic, but this is not the way to a closer walk with Christ. The proven manner of cultivating a close walk with Christ is through the study of His Word and prayer. It sounds simple, but it isn't. Discipline in the Christian life is difficult. There are many things that try to steal our time and attention. Many of them are good things. However, those who long to have a close relationship to the Savior know that their time is no better spent than when it is spent in careful Bible study and dynamic prayer. These two will reap more advantage to your soul than any book you could read or any activity you could engage in.
Soli Deo Gloria,