Why Fellowship is Crucial to Your Faith
Is there such a thing as a ‘Lone Ranger Christian?'
BY: Michael F. Haverluck with Believe.com
Throughout our lives, we’re told to rely on ourselves in order to get things done, and that if we rely on others, it denotes a sign of weakness. But what does the Bible have to say about this?
Have you ever heard of a man waging a war by himself … and if he did, what would the likely outcome be?
God gives us a similar message in the Old Testament when it comes to standing strong in our faith.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. — Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)
Also, throughout the book of Acts, the Luke reminds us of the necessity of fellowship to live lives fully for Christ. Christians are called to stay ignited together and not cool down by wandering away from meeting with one another.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. — Acts 2:42 (NIV)
Staying in personal prayer with God and reading His Word are essential to keeping one’s faith strong, but keeping a line of encouragement and accountability alive with others throughout one’s walk is also a crucial aspect that cannot be overlooked or discounted.
Do you find yourself becoming more “self-sufficient” in your Christian walk as you fall away from church, Bible studies or accountability partners?
In the book of Hebrews, this situation was addressed by the Apostle Paul:
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching. — Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)
Consider this a warning from Paul against falling away from God. Some consider Christians not engaged in fellowship as “Lone Ranger Christians.” We get the imagery of a soldier charging into spiritual warfare against the enemy without his army of fellow believers behind him. Prayers and accountability from others are indispensable tools for protection, sharpening one’s faith and bringing glory to God. Paul doesn’t want us to forget this, as so many Christians are inclined to do over time.
God wants us to cast our burdens upon Him and let other believers help carry our heavy loads. In our pride, we might think we can handle things on our own, but recognizing our own weaknesses and insufficiencies is the beginning of a strengthened and invigorated relationship with God.
So, when you walk through your front door this morning, wouldn’t be great to have the full arsenal of God at your disposal for the battle ahead, rather than a skeletal trace of do-it-yourself protection?
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