Are you an introvert, an extrovert or an omnivert? I ask because those are words I have used to justify being alone and not going to Church. Most days I am introverted, reserved to a fault and being with others is stressful. Learning to Be Still and Know God and adding Abiding in Christ to that process has shown a need to avoid being alone. No matter what your personality preference is, there is a strength that comes from gathering with other Christians. Today we will see the who what when where and why of being in community with other Believers.Learning to Be Still and Know God and adding Abiding in Christ to that process has shown a need to avoid being alone. No matter what your personality preference is, there is a strength that comes from gathering with other… Click To Tweet
Did you find this mid-series? We are in a 40-day Fast to learn how to be still and know God. Go back here and read the intro and keep up with series.
Learning to Abide in Christ leads to learning to avoid being alone.
John 15:1-11 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
:4b As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine
If we reflect on John 15 as we have been this past week we see some promises that Jesus gives about Abiding in Him.
Benefits of Abiding in Christ:
- God will pull unfruitful branches
- He will prune fruitful branches to encourage more growth
- Abiding (living every day with Him) leads to bearing fruit.
- Living alone or apart from God leads to no fruit
There are many more benefits of abiding in Christ, but I want to focus on this one.
The branch that lives alone, apart from the vine (God) will not bear fruit.
Have you spent much time working a garden?
Gardening is a hobby of mine and I love the entire process. You plant you sow many seeds but not all the seeds grow.
Seeds that grow best are spaced well. They each have their own space but they are still close together.
When you have a lone plant it often grows slowly and bears little fruit.
Why Should Christians avoid being alone in their Walk?
Just like the roots of the seedlings support each other and encourage growth, the body of Christ gives support to help each member grow.
Okay, I know, there are reasons you might avoid Church or being with other Christians. So let’s have that conversation.
But Tiffany, the Church is just full of hypocrites.
It sure is. I have not met a person alive who doesn’t put on a mask and pretend about parts of their lives. That is no different in church though it should be.
The church is not a place filled with perfect people. Instead, you will find hurting people, healed people who have a past, struggling people trying to find hope, legalistic people trying to learn grace and so much more.
Church is filled with people. People tend to be hypocrites. Church people are just people who know they need God’s help to live life His way.Church is filled with people. People tend to be hypocrites. Church people are just people who know they need God's help to live life His way. Click To Tweet
But I am not the one telling you to come to be with us hypocrites.
Hebrews 10:24-25 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
The struggle to gather with other believers has been around since the beginning or it wouldn’t be addressed in the Bible. We just have to work through the thing!
But Tiffany, I have been hurt by the Chruch and don’t want to go back
Oh, sweet friend, I am so sorry you have been hurt in Church. Church is filled with sinful people and hurts happen when we live life together.
You are not alone in this. Even the Apostles, as they were building the early church were hurt. There are accounts of the separating from each other for a time then coming back together. Three are letters written to tell them how to deal with church discipline when serious offenses happened.
Hurting people (like we are in the church) will hurt people at times. It has happened to me… too many times to share about.But God tells us repeatedly to forgive each other and live in love. If you are struggling to forgive a hurt by the church I encourage you to read through this e-book where I share the pathway God showed me to freedom. Click To Tweet
But God tells us repeatedly to forgive each other and live in love. If you are struggling to forgive a hurt by the church I encourage you to read through this e-book where I share the pathway God showed me to freedom.
But Tiffany, I have time with God do I really need Church?
I hear you. If it were up to me, I’d just spend time alone with God. But the truth is, God has given you gifts and talents that are needed to help others.
Do you believe that?
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
If you are just growing alone with God, who will teach and admonish others?
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”
If you are just growing alone with God, how will you ever experience the power of the Holy Spirit coming into a prayer meeting?
Why Abide in Christ by Gathering with other believers?
When a plant or tree is growing there is rarely a healthy branch that is isolated. Yes, the branch will be alive, but it will often be scrawny and dry. When Branches of a vine gather together they nourish, strengthen and support each other allowing each branch to grow bigger and produce more fruit.
As tempting as it is to isolate yourself from other believers (even if you feel you have a good reason), God knows best. God knew we would need each other to get through this Christian life which is why He told us to Gather together.As tempting as it is to isolate yourself from other believers (even if you feel you have a good reason), God knows best. God knew we would need each other to get through this Christian life which is why He told us to Gather… Click To Tweet
Does Gathering together mean you attend some mega church? Not really. If we follow the example of Acts we see that Gathering together is about living life with each other. Getting really close to a few believers, so close that you eat together, play together and grow in the Word together.
Have you isolated yourself or are you living life with other Christians?
A final thought about avoiding being alone in your Christian walk
Proverbs 18:1 He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom.
I wrestled with this for a long time because the church hurt me. It’s easier to grow alone without the fear of hurt. Or so it seems. But scriptures tell us it is selfish and unwise to separate yourself from other believers.
- It is easier for the enemy to attach you alone.
- Other believers (Hypocrites or not, hurtful or not) help us grow, bring strength and support.
- Your gifts are needed to help them grow as well.
- The Body of Christ functions best in Unity.
A Prayer to Abide in Christ by not being alone
I confess the hurt I have caused to others as I have been too legalistic, judgmental, prideful, jealous, prone to gossip. forgive me for being the hypocrite that has hurt another believer and stopped them from coming to church.
Make us more like You, loving, accepting, patient and kind. Take our desire for cliques and make us a place that welcomes all.
Forgive us, the Church, for turning so many away from You.
Soften our hearts and heal those we have wounded.