The idea of community comes from the sense of responsibility we have for each other.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. - Hebrews 10:24-25
Christians are all part of the Body of Christ, and we all have different functions. Some of us are strong in this area, and some are strong in another. We must use what God has equipped us with to work together and have fellowship with one another. As a community, we our goal is to work together to advance God's kingdom, encourage each other, build each other up, and work bear each other's burdens. We offer something to one another that is needed and necessary, so don't even diminish your importance and role in the Body.
Isolation is a tactic of the enemy.
Consider how animals in the wild hunt.
My husband and I love watching National Geographic, Discovery channel, and any other planet earth themed show. We went on a honeymoon adventure and got to see Nat Geo's action in real life. We watched as the lioness crouched down into the tall straw grass, with her eyes on the migrating wildebeest. The strategy was to create havoc and fear amongst the herd to isolate one of the wildebeests, the weakest, defenseless, or who had been disoriented and separated from the pack. She was on the hunt to steal, kill, and destroy.
The enemy seeks to do the same to us when we try to go at things alone. It is a tried and true practice that we must fight against to stay connected to a community.
We shouldn't isolate ourselves from other believers. If we do, then how can we aid others in their time of need, and in our time of need, how can others help us if we distance ourselves? Not only is it pleasing to God to see the Body of Christ working together as one, but we are stronger together, and we become more like Christ together than we go alone (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
Not only were we created to be in the community, but we also need community. As I learned on our safari in the Serengeti, there is safety in numbers, but even more so in unity.
Though there aren't lions in everyday life, there are wolves who seek to destroy us. False theology abounds at every turn. Satan and his legions try to distract us with temptations. Our sin leads us astray. Our blind spots cause us to stumble. We need godly brothers and sisters to watch our back. We need to be connected in a community where we can all be on alert for the dangers that are all around us.
The truth is, we need each other. We need to trust, rely on, and depend upon other believers. God gave us each other to walk alongside, encourage, and spur one another in the faith:
The writer to the Hebrews says, "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near" (Hebrews 10:24-25).
James 5:16 says, "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."
We are to carry each other's burdens (Galatians 6:2), care for each other's practical needs (Romans 12:13, Hebrews 13:16), warn each other of sin (1 Thessalonians 5:14) and rejoice and mourn with each other (Romans 12:15).
"The more heaven comes to earth; the more earth will look like family."
We see this sense of individualism and disconnectedness in our world around us.
Many people have serially dated churches, never staying in one place very long. Some may stake a claim on a church but remain distant and on the margins, attending only when something better isn't going on. And then some may indeed have a committed relationship with a church, but they are not all in. Their community doesn't fully know them. They don't rely on the Body when they are struggling or in need. Instead, they wear masks that cover the pain of their lives, pretending that everything's okay, even though it's not.
It's time for the MASK TO COME OFF.
Jesus' set you free, has given you a new life, died for every sin you've ever committed, and provided you the power to walk boldly in your identity in Him. So, why continue to wear a mask with people? If God has set you free, then you are free indeed.
Individualism and doing life on our own is not part of God's design. After all, God is a community in himself. Existing for all of eternity past, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have enjoyed the love and fellowship of their perfect tripartite community.
TODAY: Reflect and pray. Do you know what it means to be in community where you are safer together? What do you think keeps people from engaging in real community? Consider why you need to be in a community.
I am inviting you to attend the Monday night Ministry I go to. We've been meeting and respecting the social distancing requirements, both in person and occasionally on Zoom. If you are ever available on a Monday, send me an email at email@example.com and I will give you the details.
It's one thing to receive information, and to get understanding, now I pray that you will put feet behind your faith.
Until next time,