During our discussion about the power of routine, we have talked about spiritual disciplines that will impact our lives from being in God’s word, to praying, to fasting. Throughout the weeks we have asked ourselves essential questions that will tell us if we are on path of moving forward with our walk with Christ or backwards.
- What are your expectations for your relationship with God?
- Does my life reflect my expectations?
- Do I really want more God in my life?
God wants to move in our lives and as crazy as this may be for some to imagine, he desires a relationship with you. But he gave us this wonderful thing called free will where we have the choice of what we do. So, the answer to the questions above are going to indicate what choice you will make about these spiritual disciplines that will help aid you to a closer relationship with God. My prayer is each of you are at a place where you are not content with where you are in your relationship with God. Not to say that where you are is bad, but regardless of where you are in your relationship with God that you desire more God in your life and welcome change and growth.
Today we will close out our discussion about the power of routine by discussing one last spiritual discipline that is essential in our growth as believers in Christ, and that is community.
John Wesley said, “American individualism has emphasized a personal relationship with God to the point that many people who call themselves Christians think church is optional. But intentional Christian community is a nonnegotiable part of being a healthy and effective believer. “Christianity is not a religion for solitude and solitary. The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.”
We need a Christ like community, that holds each other accountable, shares God’s love with one another and with the world. This wasn’t meant to be done on our own, in fact we need to connect with the body of Christ to be a healthy and effective believer. To further this point, let us dive into the what the author of Hebrews wrote in Hebrews 10:23-25.
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 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.
I love this scripture! It reminds me of growing up with all my functions from academics, to sports to music. Throughout it all my parents were my biggest supporters and biggest fans. However, they were also my biggest critics. They would tell me when that wasn’t my best, or give me advice on how to be better. I knew it didn’t matter what I did they would always support me, but they said the things I didn’t want to hear to help me become the best version of myself. No matter if it was in school, with basketball, or music.
I see a Christ like community the same way. I see what is being described here in Hebrews as this. It’s believers in Christ who support you, but they hold you accountable. Is it hard talking about the things we struggle with the most? Of course, it is, but there is strength in knowing you’re not alone. There is strength in having someone share that encouragement, and there is strength in having a community of believers who share their struggles with one another.
We need each other because there is an enemy out there who is seeking to tear us down. In 1st Peter 5:8 it tells us that the devil is like a lion looking for someone to devour. How do lions hunt? They hunt the weakest prey, and the weakest prey are those who stand alone. See the first rule of the Safari is to stay in a group. The same rule applies to believers. If we become isolated, we weaken ourselves and become more vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy.
God intended for us to build a Christ like community, and surround ourselves with believers to encourage us, protect us and grow with. This community will only strengthen your own relationship with God.
Throughout we have discussed how these powerful routines can transform our lives. From diving into the word of God, to praying, to fasting, and to surrounding ourselves with a Christ like community. The crazy thing is when these routines quit becoming checklist items and start becoming who we are. When we are obedient and seeking him, he will move.
In your jobs, with your neighbors, and friend let them see Christ and his work in you. And you will be amazed at strength that comes in that. The strength that comes in Christ centered community as that may be the encouragement that someone needed or the different they needed to see. My prayer for you and I as we end this discussion, that your desire to continue developing these routines does not. That your no long hoping to grow in the Lord but expecting God to move in your lives. He is able. Let us be a light in a world full of darkness. The thing is ,if I shine my light it doesn’t make much of a dent does it? But when we all light our candles, we can light the entire room. Let us shine the light of Jesus together.