Paul N. F. (2 June 2011)


By A. W. Tozer

The need for solitude and quietness was never greater than it is today. What the world will do about it is their problem. Apparently the masses want it the way it is and the majority of Christians are so completely conformed to this present age that they, too, want things the way they are.  They may be annoyed a bit by the clamor and by the goldfish bowl existence they live, but apparently they are not annoyed enough to do anything about it.  However, there are a few of God's children who have had enough.  They want to relearn the ways of solitude and simplicity and gain the infinite
riches of the interior life.  They want to discover the blessedness of what Dr. Max Reich called "spiritual aloneness." To such I offer a brief paragraph of counsel.

Retire from the world each day to some private spot, even if it be only the bedroom; (for a while I retreated to the furnace room for want of a better place).  Stay in the secret place till the surrounding noises begin to fade out of your heart and a sense of God's presence envelops you.  Deliberately tune out the unpleasant sounds and come out of your closet determined not to hear them.   Listen for the inward Voice till you learn to recognize it.

Stop trying to compete with others.  Give yourself to God and then be what and who you are without regard to what others think.  Reduce your interests to a few.  Don't try to know what will be of no service to you.  Avoid the digest type of mind-short bits of unrelated facts, cute stories and bright sayings.  Learn to pray inwardly every
moment.  After a while you can do this even while you work.  Practice candor, childlike honesty, humility.   Pray for a single eye.  Read less, but read more of what is important to your inner life.  Never let your mind remain scattered for very long.  Call home your roving thoughts.  Gaze on Christ with the eyes of your soul.  Practice
spiritual concentra­tion.

All the above is contingent upon a right relation to God through Christ and daily meditation on the Scriptures. Lacking these, nothing will help us; granted these, the discipline recommended will go far to neutralize the evil effects of externalism and to make us acquainted with God and our own souls.


Yours in Christ,
Paul N. F.