Written by KP Yohannan
A shift seems to be taking place in the reflections of men and women on godliness and knowing God. There is a growing awareness that external things—materialism, superficial experiences, worldly success—are not what our spirits long for, nor will we ever be truly satisfied with them. Rather, our spirits hunger after spiritual realities that will not be quenched with mere “words” of correct doctrines and the “truth” without life.
The current Christianity, which for the most part is based on self, has lost its ability to influence society and be what God truly intended. Instead of living simple, devout, quiet and godly lives, like salt and light permeating society, the Church has too often turned to worldly, fleshly and carnal means to effect change.
Yet in the midst of this confusion and darkness, these brave souls are seeking for deeper healing through humility and godliness. They are discovering that an independent spirit and avoidance of pain and suffering are not the means to find that “life abundant.” Their spirits thirst for the living God as a deer pants for the stream. And they will not be satisfied until they drink from the fountain of living water.
There is a glimpse of “another world” in their eyes. They have seen and heard things they can’t talk about. They are walking on earth, but they are not really here. There is an air about them reminiscent of the saints down through the ages like Madame Guyon, Thomas à Kempis, Saint Augustine, Saint Francis of Assisi, Watchman Nee, Sadhu Sundar Singh, A.W. Tozer and a host of others. They have touched the deep things of God and along with the psalmist testify, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you” (Psalm 73:25, niv). There is a sense of quietness and contemplation about them. They are not moved by the opinions of others nor do they seek praise and honor from men.
Here and there you will find these who follow the Lamb gathering for feeding on God’s Word and mutual encouragement. They choose to surrender their wills to God’s authority. They feel the sense of unworthiness as Job did when he met God.2 They embrace suffering and have no will of their own—the only way of truly being His.
Many look on and desire this sense of well-being and purity that comes from touching godliness. Sometimes they see it from afar. Others find it so close they can almost taste it. Yet it seems just out of their grasp. For a brief moment there may be a lingering of that spirit upon them as they encounter the reality of this godliness from those who manifest this life of Christ.
But they are not able to partake of this beauty and freshness they see in others. Their spirits long for godliness, yet their unwillingness to let go and surrender keeps the door closed, and they stand on the outside—still wishing.
We live in the day of individualism, of existential self-discovery and of fighting for liberation, where authority is seen as a servant appointed by “free men” to serve them. If authorities fail, they are replaced by a vote. The Church is full of people who have never understood the meaning of “Christ’s Community,” which can only happen through those who are broken and yield their wills to one another.
But as I said earlier, a new wind is blowing. The message of this book is for anyone who will join the ranks of those who seek God above all else and live with their eyes fixed on eternity.
These followers of the Lamb have a distinct mark about them: Submission.
There is a deep sense of humility and lowliness that you find about them. At home, at work, in church, in society—they manifest a quiet and gentle spirit.
Everything about their lives is marked by grace and love. If they err, they err on the side of grace, not legalism.
There is no rebellion in their attitudes. They are like their Master, the “Lamb” who epitomizes surrender and submission. Their life of submission comes from the indwelling Christ, who is their life.
In 40 years of serving the Lord, I have seen and touched the beauty of Christ’s life in so many, from numerous nations and various cultures. These believers manifest His likeness through their simple devotion to Him.
The Lamb of God has gone before us, showing the way of submission. In Revelation, we read, “The Lamb on the throne!” What a paradox. The Lion of Judah made the choice to become the Lamb of God. He submitted like a meek lamb taken to the slaughterhouse, never opening His mouth. Now, however, He is sitting on the throne. The path for Him to get there was submission and obedience.
May this motto ring true of our lives: “They follow the Lamb wherever he goes” (Revelation 14:4, niv). May we ever be His humble, gentle and broken people. If you care about the things Christ cared about and turn a deaf ear to the world—you too will begin to experience this mystery of godliness. He who has ears, let him hear.
Follow Him in life, and you will follow Him in eternity. The choice is yours. The door is open before you.