“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
“That is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” Romans 1:12
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20
As I sit here and think about all the people God has used to reel me back to Himself, I can’t help but smile. God has been teaching me and showing me a lot lately about the importance of having friendships that are rooted in Christ. So, I want to share with you what He’s been laying on my heart, and I pray that you will be encouraged to seek out Godly friendships, to be open and vulnerable with one another, and that ultimately those friends will continually point you back to Jesus for God’s Glory! 🙂
For most of my life, I downplayed the importance of Christian community. I believed I should be completely content solely through my relationship with the Lord.
Since then, God has showed me that that is totally not Biblical at all– yes, HE is all we need and we are most satisfied when we are in HIM, but to be alone is not part of His design or perfect plan for our lives at all! (Hence the whole life of Jesus being spent in community with His disciples and others who did not yet know him, as well as the Great Commission). He has called us to be the body of Christ together, The Church, to go out and share the Good News to the ends of the Earth, and to do so in relationship with Jesus and in relationship with others! Don’t get me wrong…our joy and sense of wholeness ONLY comes from the Lord, and He truly is all we need, but He did not create us for isolation!! See also Psalm 133:1, Romans 12:4-5, and Acts 2:42-47.
The past couple of months were one of those “dry” seasons for me spiritually. That happens every now and then, and I’m convinced one of the main reasons is to first keep me humble, and also so I can better be able to comfort and relate to others when they face trials. It all started when my hubby and I got to travel out West (which was BEAUTIFUL by the way), and we were literally gone every single weekend for the next 2 months…no joke. I really do love traveling, but it sure did throw my routine of being in the Word out the door. When I would spend time in God’s Word after we got back, I would find myself exhausted, and my eyes would get heavier every minute. I was upset that was happening, but just couldn’t seem to get myself back at it. I could tell that it was affecting my thoughts and actions in a negative way. I was more moody, thought more negatively, and just felt lazier with my time.
Well…thank goodness for those Godly friends of mine!!! God knew what I needed and He sure brought it to me. I had a dear friend from Auburn come visit for the day. She is one of those friends who just make you want to read your whole Bible and praise Jesus immediately after hanging out with her!!!! She’s so good for my soul. Meanwhile, we got to have another friend of ours stay with us for a couple weeks! It was such a blessing, and God used her staying with us to encourage me to not only get back in the Word, but to start having accountability with one another to go through the New Testament together this year!!! Last but not least, God used an amazing coworker to teach me that the Bible is like a love letter written straight from God to me. She reminded me that if my husband wrote me a love letter, I would read it over and over and over; I would dissect it and try to figure out what he meant when he said this or that, find out what He thinks of me, etc. I would treasure it. Well, that’s how God intended me to read the Bible!! Man did that change things for me. 🙂
God used multiple people to reel me back into an intimate relationship with Him where His Word rejuvenates my soul and sets me on fire again!! He is so faithful to always provide what we need when we need it, and to keep His grip on us tight even when we start to loosen our grip on Him. I’m so thankful God gave me my friends to keep me accountable and continue to point me back to Jesus when I start drifting away again!
Are you struggling with anything in particular right now? Are you afraid to let others know about it, and may be keeping it to yourself? Do you feel isolated in your faith? I want to encourage you to reach out to the Godly friends that God has put in your life. Spend some more time with them, share your testimonies with each other if you haven’t yet, and don’t be afraid to confess your sins to one another (James 5:16) and build each other up in the faith (1 Thessalonians 5:11)!
Also, feel free to reach out to me any time if you need some encouragement or someone to talk to. I would LOVE to pray for you and to be here for you in any way I can! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember that God is faithful, He hears your prayers, and He will bring people to your path who will draw you into a more intimate relationship with Him!!! Just ask Him 🙂
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24