“An old disciple, with whom we should lodge,” (Acts 21:16 b)
“From henceforth let no man trouble me…” (Galatians 6:17 a)
The traits of the aged recluse are shared by the aged knower and the aged mystic at times. For these aged believers love to spend time with God and His Word. The aged recluse is not reclusive from a lack of love for others.
The reclusive Christ-ian tends to be a pr/teacher or writer. As men like St. Augustine, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, and Arthur W. Pink belong to this type.
Augustine and Calvin both longed to be reclusive academics. God would deny both of them their desire in part. He would allow them their reclusive nature but they would write for and minister God’s people all their lives.
J. Edwards would spent up to (13) thirteen hours a day in study. He felt that his flock would be better fed by his reclusive time in study than by his time spent in private visitation with individuals. That is not to say he ignored those he was responsible for.
Arthur W. Pink or A.W. Pink as he is known by many spent 30 plus years faithfully putting forth “The Studies in the Scriptures,” a magazine of deep spiritual content. Pink wrote and edited the (25) twenty-five to (28) twenty-eight page magazine. His beloved Vera would proofread and type the articles. This magazine required almost all of their time. They never had children for this work was their offspring. They had a immense letter writing ministry that pastored many a soul.
Another reason an aged believer might find himself in seclusion is due to the low spiritual condition of his day’s local church. He cannot, in good conscience tolerate the over all teaching that comes from the church not does the church desire to tolerate his views on Christianity. The holy recluse has not simply awoke to a self seclusion. This recluse has seen much “church” and heard many “sermons” and seen many “saved” He has been in the company of many boldfaced liars as they sing hymns.
When this type of aged believer does spend time with others his thoughts are on God and what God is doing in the life of the person he is spending time with. If the person he is spending time with is not a believer he is thinking about how much better off they would be if they were a believer.
There are “built in” dangers for this type of believer as there is for others. The aged knower is in danger of being “puffed up”, the aged mystic is in danger of being misled by another spirit and the recluse is in danger of their thought life being over run by thoughts displeasing to God as well as being tempted with personal sins.
The prophets of Scripture by their very spiritual nature must be reclusive. The Old Testament prophets were seen and heard when they were filled with messages from on High. They were necessarily reclusive so that they were ever ready to answer God with the prophetic, “Here am I, LORD.”
John the Baptist was a recluse in the wilderness awaiting God’s call to fulfill God’s ordained plan for his life. The Lord Jesus, though He was a very public figure and was surrounded by many He, too was a Recluse at heart. Many times do we read of His rising before day to go into a mountain to pray or how He would spend entire nights in prayer. One will also note if one reads deeply, “He was [A]lone, praying, [H] is disciples being with [H]im.” Surrounded , yet Alone.
As already mentioned elsewhere, Paul chose to travel on foot as his friends chartered a ship. As also noted, Enoch and Noah walked (Habitually) with God. Let it be said, as they walked habitually with God, they then did not and could not walk habitually with men.