We tend to think of our believing walk as an individual thing. It is all about my relationship with Jesus, what I am hearing from God, how I pull myself up by my collar and follow Jesus. It is all about what God is telling me, how I build my spiritual life, what I am reading etc.
But walking alone as a believer is not God’s intention for us and I think the following is relevant to all of us: Heb 10:24-25
“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching”.
We are meant to live our lives as believers in community with other believers. We are to spend time with other believers regularly: so that we may encourage each other and be cheerleaders to each other’s walk of faith. We are meant to be part of something larger than ourselves, one small part of the body in the context of a larger body, in which Christ is the Head. 1 Cor 12:12-31; Eph 4:4-5.
When last did you fellowship or pray with other believers? When last did you focus on encouraging another believer, or allowed yourself to be humble enough to share with another about your own walk with God? Hebrews is clear that we are not to give up meeting together, “as some are in the habit of doing.” Some of us are in the habit of not taking part in the Body of Christ. We may be present at church, sitting in the pew, but not taking part, not getting involved in the lives of people around us… for whatever reason. Some are not even going to church… for whatever reason. Some have not prayed with another … for whatever reason.
We have reasons for being in the habit of not meeting together. Whatever the reasons may be, the instruction is clear: we are not to give up meeting together, even more so, as we see the last days approaching and expect the return of Jesus. Things are tough and it is going to get worse. Believers need each other. We need to choose to live in community with other believers.
No community of believers be it a church, a bible study, a fellowship group, a ministry group, or a small group of believing friends etc is perfect; for the simple reason that it is made up believers that although they are forgiven, are still battling with the flesh inside of them. We are all broken, dependent on Christ for our wholeness.
But when believers are together, there is power. In Christ, we are “living stones” building a “spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5) in which we are holy priests, “a people belonging to God” (1 Peter 2:9). Jesus declared that He will build his church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. (Matt 16:18) When believers are together there is power to withstand the enemy and conquer him. Together we have power to stand and advance the Kingdom of God.
We are stronger together: we overcome in a community of believers. Our lives have purpose in a community of believers working together. We grow in our spiritual walk in a community of believers. We conquer the enemy in a community of believers. The Christian walk is not about the individual walk, it is about the walk of the individual in a community of believers.
Whatever your reason… for not taking part in community, get over yourself, get over whoever offended you, forgive and start with reconciliation to the Body of Christ. Let go of your pre-conceived ideas and start taking part in community. Get out of your comfortable position in your pew and take part in community.
Here are some suggestions:
- Make a decision to get to where the fellowship is, where the community is together, no matter what!
- Make meeting a regular discipline, a part of your life; like brushing teeth. Look for opportunities to meet.
- Get out of your comfortable walled city, and reach out to people. Say hello, smile, talk to them, find out what their names are, what their lives are about. Be enthusiastic about people, don’t get in the habit of “being present, but not with” people.
- Start talking about your real life and not the life you want people to see (the job you have, the people you know, the trips you have been on, the things you have achieved.)
- Take part, volunteer, offer help. Work alongside those who are working and praying.
- Bring something to the community, you have something in your hand right now to bring.
Let us not give up meeting together!
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